Today's clutter busting was a different kind of job. Usually people ask me to help them with their clutter. But my clients asked me to help their eighty-year old mother. She had been living in a particularly intense clutter situation. There was open rancid food in the kitchen. Stuff was piled everywhere with little pathways she had carved through. Many mice were living in and amongst her stuff. It was difficult to breathe in there. It was an oppressive environment.
Their mother had not allowed my clients to visit her home for ten years. What happened was the city found out about her overwhelming clutter situation and told her and her kids the house would be condemned and demolished unless something was done. I took the job because my clients were feeling guilty and in the wrong about their mother's situation. I felt I could help them and their mom. They had to do something about the clutter. The mother however didn't want to let anything go. They felt intimidated by her defensiveness. But the thing is she couldn't take care of herself anymore. The city wouldn't let her back in the home because of how dangerous it was for her.
As I was working today, I would call and report back to my clients about the drastic conditions of their mom's living space. I wanted to be directly matter-of-fact with them because they were feeling they were doing something terrible. They needed to know their feelings of guilt weren't justified. Sometimes we have to sidestep our mind's morass of great and debilitating worry and take care of things.
I told them about the mice infestation and how their mom slept at night on the couch amidst mice feces and activity. I went into detail about the open food that was everywhere and had spoiled and that stench seeped the air. I told them about the toaster that I found on under a pile of food and paper and it was a miracle the place didn't catch fire while she lived there. It was sobering news. The guilt clutter switched off. They could see they were helping her, and now they could focus on providing a better home and taking care of her.