Caring For An Elderly Parent: Useless Treasures

“This is supposed to be the time of my life – the nest is empBlog - Pic 93ty; but now Mom needs me.”

OK, so my Mom’s a chronic pack rat. Some may called it hoarding. It could even be related to her OCD. But whatever you may call it, I call it a mess! Before we moved her out here you should have seen her house…. it was 35+ years of collecting things. My dad must have been the same way because he had “stuff” saved too. I mean things I can’t even imagine why they’d keep, like tops of bic pens, light bulbs that were burned out, empty tissue boxes, pens that were empty (and non-refillable), out dated articles, and loose change…. OK, the loose change I can see.

So when we did the clean up on Mom’s house prior to the move, we evacuated so much stuff. Most of it was garbage, and what we weren’t sure of (possible collectibles) we kept and boxed up. One thing I knew for sure is that it wasn’t coming to Cali! And every time I asked Mom why she was keeping it I got the same response, “I might need it some day.”

Now in California, Mom has started “collecting” again. I try my best to keep it under control by periodically grabbing a few empty yogurt containers, empty tissue boxes and empty bread bags off her counter and tossing them – she never misses them. But today I got the opportunity to REALLY clean things up… sort of.

The landlord was coming to view the property with the city inspector (I guess they do that for rental properties every few years) and I told Mom that she had to have everything cleared off her counters and tidy up the house so the inspector didn’t think she was hoarding. Oops! I shouldn’t have used that word. But I got the point across and she started putting things away. No… she didn’t throw things away, she put things away – in the cupboards. Well at least everything was out of site. She’ll probably forget that she put it away and I’ll be able to go in and trash it soon enough.

Her house actually looks great again – YAY!

What I Learned: Don’t upset the cart – just push it out of the way.


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