Kat says, “My parents were hoarders and I hated it”. But that doesn’t stop her from repeating the pattern.
When her mother died 2 years ago, Kat’s siblings, Liz and Phil, were so keen to get the family home cleared out and on the market that they didn’t give one thought to the childhood memories, years of hard work and lost potential that the house represented.
Liz and Phil revisited the home and took what they wanted to keep as mementos. Just a few trinkets really. They were in and out so quickly, but Kat was left to do the rest. It’s true that Phil brought his trailer to take things to the charity shop. And Liz had offered to help arrange for the leftovers to be carted off to the tip. They even suggested holding a garage sale!
Kat couldn’t take it. She broke down and called a halt to the whole proceedings. Was she really the only one in the family who respected her parents enough to care for their things properly? Someone had to protect their things from destruction, because they clearly didn’t care.
With the house going on the market, there was only one thing she could do. Kat arranged for the entire contents of her parents’ house to be put into storage until she could go through it properly. Bill, Kat’s husband, reluctantly agreed, just to keep the peace. But now, 21 months later, nothing has moved.
Liz and Phil have wiped their hands of the whole thing. They got what they wanted and moved on. They won’t help sort anything and they won’t help with the cost of the storage unit, which has now snowballed to almost $5000. Kat intended to go through a box each week. But there’s always so many other things to do. Bill’s mad. They could have had a nice holiday for that money. But how can Bill think of taking a holiday when the storage unit needs to be sorted out. It makes Kat wonder about Bill’s priorities.
Kat knows she could save over $200 a month if she cleared out the storage unit. But how can you put a price on childhood memories? Kat has a keen sense of duty to her parents. Even now, as a grown woman, she is still trying to be “the good daughter”.
Meanwhile, Kat’s own daughter, Kylie, has vehemently declared she doesn’t want any of the contents of that storage unit, and doesn’t want anything to do with sorting it out either. Kylie hasn’t even been to view it, so how can she know?
Poor Kat. No one will help her. When will it end?
All our Hoarding Home Solutions lessons include an Out in the Real World story to bring our key messages to life. In each newsletter we’ll follow the story of Kat. Her experience offers insight into the mind of someone who hoards and the challenges people with Hoarding Disorder face. Kat’s story illustrates how to help someone who hoards. In Kat’s life there are people who enable her hoarding, people who criticise and give ultimatums, people who help, and people who try to help but actually do more harm than good.
Catch up on the past Adventures of Kat here…