My mother's home is about to be condemned... Need encouragement and ways to shake the shame!

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She was a class 5 hoarder, with trash 4+ feet throughout the house and so full she could no longer get in. We rescued her 8 months ago, got her cancer surgery, and established in a memory care unit near our home. Her house was like this for at least the last 30-40+ years.

The town she lives in just gave us 2 weeks to move the cars off her house lot, and the inspector found two more in the bushes, total 3. There is one very poor man whom I paid to mow the grass all fall, so I have left him a message to see if he wants anything he can haul off on the outside, including the cars.

I have a lot of shame because I grew up there and was blamed by narcissistic mom for the mess. I know in my heart that was not true, because I have 6 children, 5 at home and who are home schooled, and I live on a small farm with all that entails, and my house is clean.

I am embarrassed I have not been able to get the place cleaned up even just on the outside. I plan to hire a hoarding specialist in June, the first oppty I have to spend significant time 5 hours away from home.

I could use significant amounts of encouragement at this time!

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Thanks for the input, Surprise. I'll pass that info along to my hubby as it's his step-mom and he will need to address it with her. I've decided to stay out of the situation as my involvement would only add to the confusion and complicate things more.
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Happyjack,
Don Aslett is a great cleaning guru, and somewhere in his writing says that storage units are used to store junk. Anything that has not been needed long enough to go in the unit is really not needed. In college, I thought I was supposed to keep everything. When I read Aslett, it gave me permission to let those things GO!!

There are shows on TV about the auctions of the contents of storage units when renters don't pay. Your MIL may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of going through the stuff. You could ask if there was anything specific the heirs needed to know about in the unit. That thing might need to be rescued before dementia sets in and they forget to pay, causing the junk to be sold.
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The second house was my grandmother's, who (Thank God!) raised me while my mother cared for my father for 5 years until he died. My grandmother had everything in great order AND had a cook/maid - no obvious OCD or hoarding issues. When Grandmother went to the nursing home, her house became another storage unit for my mother's auction junk.

Sadly, Grandmother had beautiful real antique furniture that my mother ruined. Mother locked a big dog up in the house, and fed it and let it run in the yard about once a month for a few years while Grandmother was alive. That was to "protect the house," but all it did was to ruin what was there and to abuse another dog.

My only reason for even looking in that house is to find a photo of my grandmother. I have none, and I consider her my "real" mommy. I barely remember what her face looked like, but I remember her hands clearly. :)
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I had to step away from what my husband and his sister's were doing with their mom's stuff. There are 4 of them and they haven't asked for any help. I have gladly, stayed out of it. I do have my own Mother to worry about and I will have to go through her stuff, quickly. I am going to dump what I can and people better stay out of my way. Good uck.
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My MIL has some hoarding issues as well. She is trying to go through things but due to her poor health, she is very limited as to what she can physically do. She has hired someone to come in but that person hasn't been there in a long while. My in-laws have been paying on a storage unit since 1988 - can't imagine what could be so important yet stored for 24 years!

My concern is when my in-laws pass my MIL's 2 daughters and my husband (immediate family) will need to go through all the "stuff" and one of the sisters has already stated that there isn't a need to go through things quickly. My concern is that an empty house is not a good situation. Also, the sisters live only a few minutes from in-laws house where we live an hour away. Any suggestions?
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It appears you've had two generations of your family struggle with this. I truly think that hoarding is an outward manifestation of inward trauma and bottled-up feelings. You didn't cause it and you probably can't fix it for someone else. All you can do is apply the Serenity prayer - decide what you can do and let go of what you can't, including the guilt and the past. You can't change them; all you can do is decide how you move forward and make a better inheritance for future generations.
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Just FYI, so far as the cars are concerned, Teen Challenge is an organization in many US states that takes donations of old cars and will take care of hauling them off in any condition (running or not) and give you tax credit receipts. There are probably other such charities interested in them, too.
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For me it's making my bed, if I can make my bed, I feel very accomplished, so I never even get out of my bed until I have made it first. Yep, it's quite the trick.
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Surprise, youa are one brave and smart cookie! Best of luck at the scence fair, have a lovely Easter. Oh, and write youself a prim and polite little speech in case you run into anh of those "leading families". "I know you understood about mom, s mental illness and am so glad you tried to help". Say it without snark. It'll make them feel their shame, properly placed.
Placed. You have nothing to be ashamed of.
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Surprise, youa are one brave and smart cookie! Best of luck at the scence fair, have a lovely Easter. Oh, and write youself a prim and polite little speech in case you run into anh of those "leading families". "I know you understood about mom, s mental illness and am so glad you tried to help". Say it without snark. It'll make them feel their shame, properly placed.
Placed. You have nothing to be ashamed of.
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