When we left Kat she was almost ready to leave the hospital. With Kat’s limited mobility and needing to use crutches for a couple of months, an occupational therapist was booked to visit her home to assess for safety. The visit did not go well and Kat soon learned that there were several changes required before she could return to her nest. Tripping hazards and a lack of clear space were the most significant problems highlighted. Specifically, a forced clean was required.
- The pathways in hall and other rooms would need to be widened
- The bathroom needed decluttering to make it accessible
- All items would need to be removed from around the bed.
Bill recruited Kylie and Violet onto the team. Surely this time, with “doctor’s orders” in place, Kat would allow them to help. They gently told Kat their plans.
“Don’t worry”, they assured her. “We’ll make good decisions on your behalf. Nobody knows you better than we do. And you’ll soon be home enjoying your own things again.”
With no other option, Kat reluctantly agreed.
So the team got to work. A skip was ordered. They tossed out any magazine over a year old. They hauled bags of rags out the door. They donated boxes of books to the local charity shop. They even uncovered Kat’s collection of self-help and decluttering books. They cleaned out Shannon Lush, decluttered Peter Walsh and Marie Kondo wasn’t sparking any joy, so out she went too. It took a couple of days and lots of muscle but finally the paths were cleared enough for Kat to be allowed home. The team were happy with the result.
You’d think Kat would be happy too, or at least grateful. But all she could see was that the things she’d been selecting, collecting, saving and storing were gone.
“What happened to the bags of clothes?” she wanted to know. “Don’t tell me they went in the skip! Don’t you know that 85% of textiles end up in landfill?”
Bill was unmoved. “85% of our house is landfill!”
Kat searched around. “Where’s my envelopes collection?”
“They were old used envelopes so we put them in the recycling.”
“But I was saving them for a special collage I was planning. I never had time to craft before, but now I’ll finally have the time.”
“And what about my pile of junk mail? That was going to be for my vision board!”
Bill was starting to lose his cool. “Well how’s this for a vision? Nice clear space for you to get around safely. And finally I get to enjoy my home without tripping over something.”
Kylie, seeing her parents squabble, tried to get Kat to see the bright side. “Isn’t it nice to do a spring clean? You’ll be able to invite your friends over for a book club meeting.”
Just then Violet pokes her head around the door with a bunch of daffodils. “Look, I brought you some nice fresh flowers, not like those dusty old dried roses we found.”
“What?!” Kat shrieked. “Those were from when I was a bridesmaid for Diane’s wedding.”
Violet says, “I don’t recall you having a friend called Diane.”
“No, not any more. I don’t really like her. But those were the last reminder of that friendship and now I have nothing.”