Friday, July 29, 2011

Hoarding and Seniors

I have mentioned that when it was time for my 99 year old aunt Ruth to face moving to Portland, well, just let me say the hoarding personality came out loud and strong! I admit that it was a challenging process to let go of things that had been in my life for many years. And so when I got so much resistance from my auntie, I tried to be sensitive about it and let her stay in charge as much as possible.

Of course if you are one of those people who get to live to this ripe old age of 99, you can imagine the the amount of "collectibles" you would accumulate. One of my aunts hobbies is photography and creating albums and scrapbooks. A very honorable hobby, and one that all of her family has benefited from. But, she will tell you that she started taking photos when she was thirteen years old and had a little Brownie box camera. Well, she has saved every single photo, and negative from that day on! Plus, she has created many albums of her travels and the family, enough for a room of their own.

She is also a very sentimental person and if you gave her a plant from the florist in 1963, you can be sure she has saved the vase it came in.............because "you" gave it to her. so, when it was time to pack, we talked about priorities and our goal in moving and the great benefit of getting to live closer to all the people we love. So, I will say she got very brave and gave away her couch (a huge thing) and she felt very proud of that. She realized that going to an assisted living facility, she wouldn't be needing many kitchen things so she gave those to my cousin who could use them. But, really that is where it stopped and all I could say to her is "we will get what we can in the POD (more about PODS later) and when it is full, then that will be that. We cant afford another POD." Well fortunately, our movers were brilliant and able to get everything in the POD. If you are moving to or from Ashland, Oregon , Siskiyou Movers are fantastic!

I have read about the hoarding personality and I do know that it is more prevalent with seniors, but there is help available. Two organizations that can assist you are; National Association of Professional Organizers and Nation Association of Senior Move Managers One thing I believe has helped my family keep my aunt's hoarding in control is that we hired a very competent house keeper to come in weekly to clean and clear her house.

I have many more tales of moving in retirement years, so tune in later.


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