Help!! They don't want anyone else involved in the process and they are paying me as I'm in a bit of a financial pinch. Have I bitten off more than I can chew??

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You're doing this with their "help". How fun for you!

Better to be paid, and if they're paying your hourly, then even better :)

I tried to "help" my mother a few years ago and it wound up being a really bad idea. She's let me throw stuff away and later that night I get a call from my brother who thinks he has a raccoon in the trash--Nope, Mother is practically falling into the huge trash bin to reclaim some prizes.

And once we'd "finished", she promptly got out the catalogs and ordered more crap than she had before.

I've NEVER known a former hoarder. It's a terrible trait that is almost impossible to overcome, so I wish you the best.

Mother had so much sentimental value placed on "stuff" that she couldn't see past how filthy, unusable, ugly, the item was.

In the end, I really just donated about a dozen books to Goodwill. No clothes, no puzzles, no decorative anythings. It was an epic waste of time. She still tells everyone to "beware!! If "B" says she wants to help you clean all she does is throw away all your things!!"

I truly do wish you the best. We had already moved mother and dad out of a 5,000 sf home into a 800 sf apartment attached to brother's house. THAT was horrible. What mother lives with now is just junky piles of stuff, paperwork all over, puzzles, books she doesn't and won't read, waaaaaay too many pictures stuck to the walls---plus the place is dirty on top of all that b/c she won't let anyone clean. Oh, and add a filthy birdcage with 2 cockatiels and you get feathers and bird poop....

You're sweet to try. Let us know how it goes. I'm not now even "allowed" to take out mother's wet depends.
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Good luck. From what I have seen, hoarding is actually a mental health issue, so, I would imagine their feelings are all over the place. It's bound to be quite emotional for them. Do you have someone there to offer them support while you haul the stuff out? I'd try to do that. I'd be prepared for them to challenge you a lot and for things to go at a snails pace. But, maybe, they are ready and things will go well. I hope so. Let us know how it goes.
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How old are these guys and what's the mental and medical status?

Is the house filthy and dangerous or just full of junk?

I ask all this because it seems like an impossible task to pull off with them on site. Is it possible to just do enough to make the place habitable or is it a disgusting mess?

My folks are late 80s. The only way I can get rid of stuff is when mom has been in the hospital or rehab and dads asleep in his chair. I rip through the place with trash bags and collect junk mail, newspapers, old tattered clothes, 10,000 plastic bags etc. and the fridge....OMG...

Good luck. I don't have a good feeling about this.
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They're letting you do this? They're *paying* you to do this??!

Wow! Result!

Don't suppose your father would consider taking your step mother away for a nice little vacation somewhere..? It'll be less painful in the long run.
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Oh they are there!! And "helping"....I feel like the show hoarders without the dumpsters, the therapist, the organizer and the team!!!! I know this will be slow and painstaking but I hate when I walk in that place! It hurts me for my dad & step mother to live that way but she's gonna be the problem. I can already sense it!
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Princess, ah the money looked great until you opened the front door. If your parents were major hoarders then this will be a career emptying the house.

One suggestion, take home items you would want to keep from the house, especially photo albums, and important papers. That is if you can find them. Then call in the 1-800 trash haulers and pay them to empty the house. Yes it will be expensive, and it will be up to your parents to pay for this.

Some here have hire dumpsters, which means you would be tossing everything into the dumpster, and that would be very exhausting doing it yourself.

Grab stuff to donate.... it becomes a feel good moment for you.  Are there things your parents want to keep? Will they be on-site while you are doing this? Hope not, as that will slow down the process to a crawl.

Good luck !!
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