Hoarding

We’ve been looking for a new home for nearly a year now. We’ve seen houses striped of all hardware and houses that don’t have stairs to the basement level, we’ve been entangled in a possible short sale since July that has kept our hopes up and made everything else pale in comparison. It’s been a year coming to terms with the fact that we might not be able to move back to the city.

Enter the new year. On Saturday we met our agent at a house that will be listed in a few weeks, after the current residents clean out their stuff in order for proper pictures to be taken. He warned us of the hoarding, that we’d have to have vision, that it wasn’t for the faint of heart to see a house before it was ready for viewing. Fear not, I have an overabundance of vision – just sometimes not the cashflow reality to recognize that my ‘creative fixes’ will run another $50k. This wasn’t a dirty home, it wasn’t filled with garbage as far as I could tell; just boxes of paperwork, books, piles of clothes, unopened packages containing hundreds of packets of tea. You couldn’t see the floor, you couldn’t see the furniture. There were pathways and tunnels to get around the house. There were french doors to a lovely deck that you couldn’t get to.

In a twisted way it feels like a sign that the current owners are hoarders. Like we could use this as an opportunity to take stock of our own possessions, and in turn make each corner of this house a sacred space, open and uncluttered. I can’t imagine being trapped in this homemade labyrinth, yet I wonder if we aren’t all, to some extent, burying ourselves alive. Sadness and grief, manifested as addictions, depression or a compulsion of some sort, shut out the light and drown us in our own undoing. If every disorder is a spectrum I’m aware that I share a gene with these people. Do I need 3 fleece jackets? 12 pairs of black pumps? I’m pretty sure it’s a fine line between being a ‘collector’ of nuts and a hoarder.

So we’re processing whether we can afford it, the price of the house combined with the vision of what it could be, but we’re optimistic. There even seems to be a buzz of energy, a surge of potential that I haven’t felt in awhile. So we’ll see … but I find it very interesting that as I’m coming to terms with my desire to create space for simplicity we tour the house of a hoarder, and after a year of looking it might just be the right house.

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