Squalor Survivors logo

Just Tired's story

I have lived with some degree of squalor all of my life. Even when I was little, our house was, at best, 2nd degree. I recently found before and after pictures I had taken of my room when I was about 12. There was an exercise bike on the bed, among other things. I remember I used to sleep on a cot in the doorway most of the time, because even if I could have reached the bed, there was no room to lay down.

When I was 15 my father died and my mom and I moved from our little 3-bedroom house in Indiana to a HUGE four bedroom house in Kentucky. I guess we thought if we only had more room, we wouldn't have so much clutter. We kept most of the new house in 1st to 2nd degree most of the time...until we decided to be flea market dealers. It started out as just a hobby, just something to do once in a while. Then, somehow it started to take over the house. Boxes of stuff just Everywhere!

About this time I got moved out, got married, and had kids. My husband and I both sold antiques at the flea market, so we always had LOTS of boxes of old dusty things around. Plus we were both hoarders. If I had a nickle for every time I heard his mother say 'You should keep that. It may be worth something someday' I would probably have a huge box of nickles sitting around here now. My parents were both raised during the Depression, so I saved everything that may, someday, have a use. Add two kids and the chaos they create, stir well, and you get 2nd degree at best, 3rd at worst, and the occasional overlooked dirty diaper that would get lost in the shuffle and cause us to flirt with 4th.

Because of the time constraints of having two toddlers, and the uncertain market for antiques, we gave up flea marketing. My mother, who sold novelties, kept it up. Both mom's house and my apartment stayed at about 3rd degree most of the time.

After being married for about six years,my husband decided he 'just couldn't take it anymore'(his words) and wanted a divorce. Bear in mind he was just as bad as I was around the house. I later found out he was having an affair with a woman who was a cleanie. The relationship lasted about two months. Anyway, after the divorce, I moved back into mom's house with my two kids and six year's worth of junk. At the time I was working full time, so I didn't have much time or energy to clean. Then when I got laid off from the only job I've ever liked, I thought, oh,good, I'll have more time to clean this big old house! Fat chance. Oh, I had the time. I just didn't want to. Couldn't find a starting place. No energy. Blah.

Then, one day, I was killing time online and I decided to look up information about the Collyer brothers, and about the book My Brother's Keeper, which was based on their lives. I found out that what they did was because of disposophobia. So I searched for info on that. One of the links from there was to this site. I was amazed! I never realized there were others that lived like this. (Well, I sort of did, but it never seemed real or something) I mean, we knew how the house looked, and we knew the problems it caused... but what to do about it, really? This site and the others linked to it has helped me to realize that I'm not on my own since I've gone beyond the point where there's just a little dust on things. There are THINGS on things, for gosh sakes! No book by Heloise has a chapter on that stuff. I know. I've looked.

Anyway, since finding this site things have been improving. Just this morning I took out two big bags of old junk and trash out to the cans.There's still a lot to do, but now I at least have some idea of how to go about it.

Whew. Enough rambling. More decluttering.

Love and biographies, J.T. [ZZZzzz]