A Family’s Struggle with Hoarding (Chapter 4)


This morning, when Mandy woke up, she found her mother passed out in her wheelchair with a large box of papers in front of her. She tried squeezing by Dolly without waking her up, but she was unable to make it around her wheelchair and the boxes that she has stacked up next to one of her dressers and medical cabinet. Mandy gently woke her up and Dolly seemed startled at first, but then she began going through the box once again. She begged her mom to lie down and get some rest, because she had been up all night going through the boxes.

Mandy went to the kitchen and noticed that there was as many boxes, as there was where she went to bed the night before. She felt pleased that her mother had taken the initiative to go through the boxes and start getting rid of things that she didn’t need. However, later on that day, Mandy found out that her mother had just consolidated the stuff into the different boxes. Finally, Mandy, asked Dolly if she could help her go through some more boxes and eliminate the need for so many boxes.

“No, I will do it myself. You will just throw my stuff away.” Dolly barked at Mandy.

“I promise that I will not throw any of your stuff away, without your permission.” Mandy replied.

Mandy knew that no matter what she does, her mother will always be a hoarder and the more she tries to organize Dolly’s life. The more resistance and negativity she receives from her mother, but Mandy is determined to somehow change circumstances that she has been dealt. Her grandparents were hoarders, just as her mother and her brother is a hoarder. Dolly is against having a yard sell or giving her stuff away to an organization that can use it to help other under families.

Currently, Dolly has three dressers full of clothing and boxes stacked about 5 foot high in some places, yet Mandy is proud that she has taken a time to finally eliminate many of the boxes that once filled up a whole room. At last count, she has about 30 more boxes to go through and then Mandy is hoping to talk her into going to her clothes. This way, she can live comfortably in the living room, instead of having the move boxes around constantly. Mandy’s mother has a lot of nice things, yet they are all stored in boxes and no one can see the beautiful pieces that she has collected over the years.

Mandy is thrilled that her mother has stayed on task and has gotten rid of many of the boxes that filled up the entire kitchen, as well as the living room. She doesn’t have that far to go, yet she still has a lot of boxes to go through still and Mandy will help her whenever she needs it. Maybe one day soon, Dolly will have her bedroom set up nicely and hopefully she will not have any more boxes full of papers are clothing. Honestly, Mandy’s mother has taken a big step in changing her life from a hoarder to someone who can show off her unique collections.

She has a long way to go still, because she needs to go through her many bags and purses, and order to find the best one for her to carry each day. Dolly also needs to gather her clothes and decide whether she wants some are not, so we can donate or sell the ones that she doesn’t want. At this point, Mandy is amazed at the progress that her mother has made, since we started this project six days ago. However, she wishes she could help her mother go through her stuff and finally get done with this daunting project.

(2014, Crystal S. Kauffman)