Helping a hoarder with a seemingly impossible job

Okay, I really hate labels. But I think this person, who I will call Tess, would be classified as a hoarder because of the large amount of stuff that needed to be attended to, and the stuff   was compromising her mental and physical health.

This job was a big challenge which we both rose to. The thing I liked about it was that we worked together well, finding ways to get things done without getting too stressed out. We had already had an hour conversation so that she could feel safe with me. When we started the job, we had another long conversation where she shed many tears and shared her fears and shame.

By the end of the eighteen hours we spent together within a two day period, we were happy and satisfied with the results. Even though practically every surface  in the three bedroom, two bathroom house was covered with stuff, with only paths to walk through–we were able to clear all that away and place it into categories mostly  in one room. The whole house was de-cluttered, and we even got some cleaning done.

Tess is hopeful that she will be able to sort through boxes that are now in more definable categories without being overwhelmed. She has her space back, and feels much calmer and more hopeful now that her environment is clear and clutter free.  Tess is able to make nutritious meals because her kitchen is usable. Her fears about dust, mold, and germs can be allayed because we were able to get to areas that needed attention.

Not only did we get a lot done, but we created a little retreat setting where much healing took place. I felt very happy to help her, and I hope and pray that her new environment will continue to help her in her life on all levels.She is continuing to get professional help through counseling and support groups as well.

Thanks, Tess, for the privilege of allowing me to serve you.

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