HOARDER HORRORS

IMG_0238

This is my back stairs but not my stuff

 

Going to sales can be a lot of fun and sometimes we might even find something on the curb that’s good but if your not going to use it anytime soon or do something with it like fix it up and sell it, Hey people have opened shops doing just that so don’t knock it, and if you don’t have room in your house for it, then forget it.

I live upstairs from a hoarder and now the city is paying us visits.  How did it get this way?  How did I wind up owning a duplex with a neighbor that’s a hoarder?  Well, it’s a story that I’m going to share here.

To begin with, I lived in a housing coop for many years and the majority of the homes were duplexes.  The coop decided they needed to refinance and restructure and so offered some of the homes for sale.  It was a great opportunity and so me and my downstairs neighbor decided that we would partner on this house with a Tenancy in Common agreement.  Separately we wouldn’t have qualified for a mortgage so this was beneficial to both of us.  We get along alright and I could see she had too much stuff but at that time nobody took hoarding seriously.  Today that’s a different story.  Hoarding has moved up to the national highlights of mental illness and other delights and now I’m living with it!

I have no regrets buying the house, it was a good move though a bad deal it was still a good move.  Rents these days have made a lot of people homeless and I don’t expect things will get better soon enough.  I also live in a great location near two downtown districts and easy access to anywhere in the city.  I’m very centrally located, close to the river and across the street from a lovely park.  It’s quiet and practically crime free.  I couldn’t live in a better area in the city.

Her hoarding has actually prevented me from accumulating too much stuff.  Most of us have a pretty good grip on our stuff.  We might have some clutter and a messy house from time to time but hoarding is a whole different lifestyle.  Since I began realizing that it’s a huge problem I’ve been doing a lot of reading about how to deal with it.  I’ll have to tell you from the start.  You cannot talk to a hoarder and get results.  You can’t put your hands on anything that is theirs or help them clean out their house.  They won’t let you.  You’ll go to war and you’ll lose.

So, what does one do!  There are different types of hoarders but they are still hoarders.  You have the emotional attachment hoarder who just can’t part with something because it reminds them of a lost loved one or their childhood or some such.  There is the Big Idea guy who collects stuff and has big plans to do something with it that only come to naught and then there’s the clutterer who just can’t get organized or make decisions.  Fear of throwing something away they might need, or the emotion of guilt and protecting oneself by hoarding.  These people would like to keep their hoarding and their private lives a secret but the hoarding speaks louder than words.  It’s not a fun place to be as the world watches while you get your house cleaned out and city trucks and dumpsters are parked out front.  It’s a push over the edge when that happens and many times the hoarder winds up in a hospital or committing the drastic act of suicide.  This is bad, very bad and it’s only beginning to play out at my house now.  I do worry what’s going to happen to me if the city condemns the house?  I can’t tell you at this time but I can keep you up to date on events and the final results.

What I have done so far is call a lawyer and have the Tenancy in Common Agreement formally written up and filed with the county.  Something that should’ve been done when we first partnered on the house.  I paid for it myself because I didn’t think my neighbor was going to sign it if there was a fee involved.  It wasn’t much and will save me a lot more down the road.  I hope.  I talked to the city inspector and gave him a copy of the Tenancy in Common Agreement and the letters stopped coming to me with my name on them.  I do get copies now when my neighbor gets them because as a co-owner of this house I need to know what’s going on.  My neighbor doesn’t seem to agree with that, but it’s a fact.  So I would advise this to anyone who lives in a townhouse, condo, or anything that shares with a neighbor.  Get whatever you need formally written up and filed.  You also want to stay on top of what’s going on, so be sure to talk to the inspector.

Needless to say, I haven’t been going to sales for awhile.  This experience has been a wakeup call for me too.  I decided no more sales until I sell off the stuff I have accumulated just to sell and I’ve done a lot of that.  My last eBay sales I sold everything except one item.  I made some money on one and broke even on the others, maybe a I made a little but anyway I broke even.  Look at it this way, you win some, you lose some.  That’s just how it goes.  Timing helps too.  Something that doesn’t sell today might sell just before Christmas or a buyer’s birthday.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: