I was asked to list a house by a lady who felt her yard and house were just too big for her. She had recently removed herself from an abusive relationship and wanted to move on.
When I arrived at the house, it looked kind of OK from the outside. Just a cute little bungalow with a brick front. There was some overgrown shrubbery that could easily have been cut back. I was met at the door by the client who immediately began to apologize for the condition of the house. Uh oh. Aside from the immense amount of clutter that was immediately in front of me, there was a too
strong smell of "dog" in the house. She pushed open doors as we made our way to the kitchen and each one was overflowing from top to bottom with "stuff".
We sat at the kitchen table and had a chat again about her reasons for wanting to move, where she thought she would go and so on. She immediately offered that she knew the house wasn't ready to list yet and that she had a bit of a "hoarding" problem. She said she was getting help from her family, but just felt so overwhelmed by it all.
As gently as I could, I suggested that she was right, her house was not ready and she needed a plan to get where she wanted to go.
We started a list:
1. Find boxes/containers and bags
2. Categorize where you will put things when you sort. Goodwill, Trash, Save, etc.
3. Do just one thing: One basket on the kitchen counter, one shelf on the bookcase
4. Spend just 15 minutes
5. Ask your family for help
6. Set a goal date for listing.
I tried to help her with some encouragement and by compartmentalizing tasks into small segments and small chunks of time.
I left her with one task for the morning. Clear the magnets from the refrigerator.
It's a start, she seems anxious and I made plans to come and see her again in two weeks.
We'll see how it goes.