Wednesday, May 25, 2011


If you haven't, you should check out this terrific blog The 3six5 - It's a journal written by people all over the world. Each day a new contributor shares his or her world in 365 words or less. For May 24, I was asked to pinch-hit. Below is my day.

This morning, I sat in the middle of my apartment surrounded by 2 laundry baskets and several gift bags. I was in full-on 'panic' mode because tomorrow the Los Angeles City inspector is coming in to inspect my apartment. This wouldn't be cause for alarm for most. For me, it's akin to a 4-alarm fire and I'm trying to find an escape route.

I am a compulsive hoarder.

Nine weeks ago, I made the commitment to clean up my crap. I had 12 years worth of stuff stacked, piled, crammed and hidden in every available space in my studio apartment. There were 2 paths – one to the kitchen, one to my bed. My nightstand was a stack of REAL SIMPLE magazines (I know, right?!), each one earmarked on articles about cleaning, clearing and living simple.

Three weeks ago, I had friends in my place for the first time ever. I was nervous and edgy and jumpy and freaking out my friends would look at my space with the same judgmental eyes as me. Chickens said “Stop being the hamster on the wheel.” But, it couldn’t be helped. Those feelings didn’t get tied up in Hefty bags like my clutter.

The shame and embarrassment of being a hoarder is often unbearable. The shame is oh so heavy. When I looked at my cleared space after everything had been tossed, I sat on that heavy shame, triumphant and proud. This morning, shame sat on my chest, crooning “Told ya so! Told ya so!” I listened and was this close to singing that familiar tune. I won’t. I can’t. I just can’t go back to ‘living’ with paths and stacks. I want to sometimes; I want the comfort and protection the clutter provided. I have to fight that. I have to find comfort and protection elsewhere (apparently, food is a good remedy for this, but, I digress).

It’s only been 3 weeks and some of the clutter is back. And, tomorrow, I have an apartment inspection. So, I sit here, thinking where I can cram these things and still pass inspection? And, what happens if I don’t pass?

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