Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Phase 1: Check.

I've still been chugging away cleaning Mom's house, and last night, with Clint, Craig, and Jordan's help, knocked out the last of Phase 1: Tearing out carpet from the last 2 rooms, and cleaning out the shed.

Gah! The dreaded shed! Unopened for years, it's become a critter hotel. Amongst garden supplies, toddler toys, and baby cribs were tucked nests and poops and a nasty skeleton with a hairy tail still attached. As the guys were in charge of lugging stuff to the dumpster, there was only me left to pick through spider webbings, tense and praying that I wouldn't uncover an angry badger when I lifted out the next box. Suffice it to say that I left a clear path to the door at all times.

Here are the fruits of the last month's labor, ready to be hauled away on Thursday.

Next up: Phase 2: Tearing out the carpet left me with a new chore: scraping the rubber backing off of the tiles in the 2 bedrooms. Oh, joy. The roof and ceiling still have to be fixed, and lots of wall-washing is in order. Once that's done, boxes can be unpacked, curio cabinets filled back up and the house restored to it's natural, but tidier state.

When all is done, Phase 1 will have costed us about $1000.oo, including dumpster rental, garbage bags, cleaning supplies, industrial mop buckets, and muscle.

It's been well worth the money and the work. Mom functions better in this tidier, emptier house; there is simply less clutter--it is more difficult to lose a thing when it can only be out in the open. I still see signs of her hoarding: drawers that haven't been explored in years are pulled open and the contents are trotted out and carried to her bed, or put in other unlikely places.

Luckily, I also function better in the tidier house. I can now set things back in order with a quick sweep of the house, and turn my attention to Mom.

After watching my mother's life and home deteriorate for the last several years, and facing her resistance to change, finally being able to make some progress and make her life easier is extremely gratifying. It is one weight, at least, lifted off of my shoulders right now.

I'll keep you posted on Phase II!


  1. This is good to read for many reasons and on many levels. Any weight off is good.

  2. Anonymous3:47 AM

    Must have been a spider or two in all of that.

  3. Yay you!

    I've been cleaning out Mr. Jazz's aunt's freezer while she's in the hospital - it's and ancient thing with so much frost in it some of the stuff is literally frozen in place. Yesterday I threw out some meat with a best before date of November 24, 1998. No that's not a typo.

    I shudder to think what I'll find in the back of the freezer - and in the rest of the house when it comes to that...

  4. I am so incredibly impressed with you. My father also did the hoarding and sorting thing as his Alzheiner's got worse. Even now, more than a year after he's gone, every so often we find odd little stashes. What you're doing is so good for her....

  5. You are a good daughter!

  6. If I lived close, I'd help, I am so OCD ... I'd actually enjoy the cleaning/pitching! (I know there is probably some emotion happening too)

    Have you found any treasures?

  7. Anonymous5:43 PM

    You go girl!

    May this marathon project come to a joyous,very-satisfied champagne popping end soon :)


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