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Boundaries & Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard (#AKOPTH)

It’s likely if you grew up in a hoarded home that boundaries may have been hard to establish, let alone enforce.

This issue can haunt us as we progress into our lives. We may not even realize that boundaries have been breached or that we actually need to establish some.

One way to work on this is to look at what we find acceptable or what we currently tolerate.

Are you happy with it? How do you feel about your current level of tolerance on things that bug you?

If something is going on at work, in a relationship or with your loved ones and it makes you feel bad, bullied or less than, it could be time to examine that situation more closely.

The word “no” can come in handy and I highly recommend knowing that NO is a complete sentence. Use it and mean it!

Yes is also a complete sentence and can be used when you are completely in alignment and feel good about saying yes!

Don’t say “yes” just to make someone else happy or to please them. Only say yes if it’s truly a “hell yes” for you!

 

Tammi Moses is the founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Homes Are For Living, LLC which is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA.  She provides consultations, assessments and workshops on the issue of hoarding and inspiring others to take their adversity and use it for the greater good. She is the voice of #AKOPTH-Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard. You can connect with Tammi via Emailhomesareforliving@gmail.com on Twitter and on Facebook.

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#FoodieFriday

***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, so if you purchase through the link, it means I could receive a commission on your purchase.***

It’s no secret that I like food! My parents met in cooking school, so I can truly say that it’s in my DNA!

In honor of this I want to share some of my favorite goodies on the #FoodieFriday!

Here is one of the things I discovered this week that I found to be extremely flavorful and the chip has a lightness in the crunch that I really like. I am loving these Paqui Cool Salsa Verde chips!

 

 

Some folks don’t really dive into to chocolate, but I happen to be a chocoholic! I enjoy a nice fancy piece of chocolate once in awhile. Plus if you are heading to an event and need a hostess gift, this is the ticket! Ferrero Roche is so melty and yummy on the tongue!

Ferrero Rocher

 

 

 

 

Another staple for me is popcorn! I love to have it and one of my favorites brands is Boom Chicka Pop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn. It’s a great snack for work or on movie night.

 

Well there you have it, some of my favorite snacks, I hope that you enjoy your fabulous #FoodieFriday!

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Parents That Hoard Can Sear Our Souls

It’s a valid fear that your parents could burn alive in their hoard.

It’s also a valid fear that mounds of stuff may become an avalanche, crushing them.

It isn’t enough that our parents are aging and dealing with the normal things that aging brings. It isn’t like I haven’t see aging or illness. I have seen plenty of it and it is by no means an easy or simple process.  But for the most part these folks planned for their future. They downsized ahead of time. They moved closer to their family to make it easier on their adult kids and grand kids.

If, however, your aging parent happens to hoard, it is likely they are not considering how their hoard impacts themselves or anyone else.  Even if you as the adult can see the solutions, the options and offer every level of assistance under the sun, most likely your parent will deny, demur or disown you if you keep bringing it up.

Well-meaning people will offer the Adult Kid of Parents That Hoard (#AKOPTH) advice that clearly indicates they simply do not understand the problem of hoarding.   Would I like to help my parent? Yes. Will my parent let me help them in a way that would improve their quality of life? No.

So at some point we have to set a limit and boundaries on what we can take on with our parent that hoards.  It isn’t that we don’t see the problem or the situation. If our parent is competent (or at least appears to be) and wants to remain in their home and live however they want, they can.

They can pile their stuff to the ceiling. They can allow their plumbing to fall into disrepair. They can keep their fridge on their front porch, full of rotting food, while they stuff their edible groceries on top. They can sleep on the floor because every other surface is taken up with stuff.  They can fill their showers with newspapers and clothes and they do. They can run extension cords over, around and through stuff, despite any safety risk this might present.  They can name the rodents that run across their ceilings and and through their walls.

Often all of that takes place behind closed doors where guilt, shame and fear rule the chaos. Clearing the “stuff” out is also NOT THE ANSWER. Say what?

If you force a clean out, it can be traumatizing for the person that hoards. If they are not getting any level of mental health treatment for their underlying issues, the clean out will likely not go well. If the clean out does occur anyway, it is likely the hoarding will begin in earnest again.

Not to mention if you as the Adult Kid are involved with any level of the clean out you may receive the worst chewing out and tongue lashing of your life. To the tune of, “You don’t love me,” “I hate you” and “I never want to see you again.”  Then this is traumatizing for the Adult Kid as well!  I often find this is totally a skipped concept in the conversation about hoarding.

This puts us in the precarious position of choosing either our parent and a relationship with them or clearing out the stuff to improve their quality of life.  It does come back to our own boundaries and our own lives.  As the #AKOPTH we have the RIGHT to say no, we won’t condone it. We won’t stay in it. But we love you and we want to you to know we care.  And sometimes that is all we can do.

You know, sometimes we just have to embrace the concept that we can’t fix the hoard. Or our parent.

But we can find ways to handle it within our own very necessary healthy boundaries.

 

Tammi Moses is the founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Homes Are For Living, LLC which is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA.  She provides consultations, assessments and workshops on the issue of hoarding and inspiring others to take their adversity and use it for the greater good. She is the voice of #AKOPTH-Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard. You can connect with Tammi via Emailhomesareforliving@gmail.com on Twitter and on Facebook.

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Ways to Connect With A Parent That Hoards

Finding a way to connect with a parent that hoards can be a challenging endeavor.

Here are a few things that I have found that can be really helpful in staying connected.

They help me feel connected but also honor my own personal boundaries.

I hope they will be useful for you as you deal with a parent that hoards.

  1. Call them and check in on them to see how they are doing.
  2. Visit them away from their home, as a restaurant, park or similar neutral location.
  3. Go on excursions together, a concert, a movie or have coffee somewhere.
  4. Have them VISIT at your home. Set a time limit for the visit.
  5. Have them visit at your hotel if you are visiting them from out of town.
  6. Buy a gift card for eating at their favorite restaurant, the zoo or an event.
  7. Take a walk with them at the beach, or in the park.
  8. Take them to the grocery store if they need to go.
  9. Send them an email with photos of you, your kids or your pets.
  10. Ask them about good or fun times that they have enjoyed in their lives.

Tammi Moses is the founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Homes Are For Living, LLC which is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA.  She provides consultations, assessments and workshops on the issue of hoarding and inspiring others to take their adversity and use it for the greater good. She is the voice of #AKOPTH-Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard. You can connect with Tammi via Emailhomesareforliving@gmail.com on Twitter and on Facebook.

 

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Resources

Positive Hoarding Solutions
https://www.facebook.com/positivehoardingsolutions/
-This page focuses on the ways we can positively and proactively address hoarding issues.

Tammi on Twitter: @AskTammi16 and
#AKOPTH-Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard

Clarifying & Peaceful Path
(For Adult Kids of Parents that Hoard) https://www.facebook.com/groups/245765099190796/

The Clutter Movement Family Support
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheClutterMovementFamilySupport/
-This group is for family members of people with hoarding issues.

The Clutter Movement
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheClutterMovementGroup/
-This group is for people personally struggle with hoarding issues.

Hoarding Task Force Network
https://www.facebook.com/groups/HoardingTaskForceNetwork/
-For folks dealing with hoarding and looking for resources.

The Hoarding Project, Tacoma, WA www.thehoardingproject.org
-They provide resources, information and are involved with the King County Hoarding Task Force.

 

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Important Events in October 2017

October is starting off in a much sadder place today and I want to reinforce the idea that we can take a tragedy, the anger, the heart break and fear and turn it into a firehose of positivity. The belief that we can make it our personal mission to be a positive force for good is about the only way that I think I will get through today.

There are a number of things happening this month where we can support our first responders and do what we can to make our homes safer in the event they ever need to rescue us.

Here are some events that can provide some information about being safer in our own living spaces.

In Oak Harbor, WA there is a North Whidbey Fire & Rescue’s Open House on Monday, 10/9/17 from 6pm-9pm at the Heller Road Fire Station and the community is invited to attend the free event.

In Tukwila, WA there is the 4th Annual Hoarding Awareness Conference on 10/20/17 from 9am-5pm where you can learn about hoarding issues, the challenges hoarding presents and ways to help people climb out of the chaos of hoarding. There is still time to explore this conference and register to attend.

I have the privilege and honor of presenting a break out session at this conference entitled: “The Personal Financial Cost of Having A Parent Who Hoards.” Their can be a significant financial burden placed upon #AKOPTH (Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard) when visiting or approaching the hoarded situation. It is often not considered when people ask why the #AKOPTH doesn’t visit or come around that often.

On Saturday, 10/28/17 from 8am-5pm in Tacoma,WA there is the WLA Fall Conference for the Washington Landlord Association and I am excited to announce that Homes Are For Living, LLC will have a vendor table there to share about the issue of hoarding. There are a number of  ways that hoarding impacts landlords and ways that landlords can mitigate this issue. Addressing hoarding can mitigate damage to a landlords assets, as well as help someone potentially remain housed if they address their hoarding issues sooner rather than later.

If you or someone you know has a hoarding issue, please know you are not alone and there are resources available to assist you.

In what ways does hoarding impact you? Do you have questions or concerns I can help you address?

Please comment below or you can connect with me via private message. I am here to serve and help folks who may not be sure where to start with this daunting issue.

Tammi Moses is the founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Homes Are For Living, LLC which is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA.  She provides consultations, assessments and workshops on the issue of hoarding and inspiring others to take their adversity and use it for the greater good. She is the voice of #AKOPTH-Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard. You can connect with Tammi via Emailhomesareforliving@gmail.com on Twitter and on Facebook.

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Hoarding Impacts Everyone

Hoarding Disorder Awareness Week in the State of Washington is October 16-21, 2017 as declared by proclamation signed by Governor Jay Inslee on August 8, 2017.

It is so valuable and important that hoarding is receiving this degree of attention! It is a problem that impacts approximately 15 million people in the USA alone!

Hoarding is an issue in many other countries too and is finally becoming a much more talked about issue.

Mayo Clinic defines hoarding disorder as “a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.”  You can read additional information on this here.

Hoarding impacts everyone in some way. 

You might be the person suffering with hoarding symptoms yourself. You might be living with someone that hoards. Your neighbor might hoard. Your friend, neighbor, classmate or co-worker may be dealing with hoarding in some way. In essence, hoarding truly is all around us, lurking in scary dark corners.

Hoarding is a health risk that can attract rodents which carry diseases.

Hoarding is a fire risk and a death risk for first responders and residents of the home.

Hoarding causes damage to buildings and can impact surrounding property values.

Cleaning up a hoarded home is expensive and often a burden a city or county gets stuck dealing with. The least expensive hoarding clean up I have seen recently was $12,000.00 and that was with a discount!  The hoarding clean-up crew was dealing with rats running across their feet as they cleared the garage. They were fully suited up in their haz-mat suits as they carried stuff to the enormous dumpster in the yard.

Hoarding clean up can be a very traumatizing event for a person that hoards IF they are not ready for the clean-up or working with a mental health professional to address the actual underlying reasons the person hoards.

 

Living in a hoarded home and growing up that way is also a very traumatizing experience, making it difficult for anyone involved with the situation.

Hoarding at a minimum is personal self-neglect. If other’s live in the household, they are also suffering from neglect in some way. They may not have anywhere to cook, shower, wash clothes, do homework or have a place to have friends over.

Know that you are not alone in dealing with hoarding, no matter how you are being impacted by it.

Reach out, connect and be a part of the conversation.

Silence isn’t an option regarding hoarding. Speaking up is the only way to raise awareness and bring attention to this daunting subject.

 

Tammi Moses is the founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Homes Are For Living, LLC which is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA.  She provides consultations, assessments and workshops on the issue of hoarding and inspiring others to take their adversity and use it for the greater good. She is the voice of #AKOPTH-Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard. You can connect with Tammi via Emailhomesareforliving@gmail.com on Twitter and on Facebook.

 

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What the heck is an INSTAGRAM?

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the link in this post.

If you are anything like me, you see all these apps and websites and social media things and wonder which one you should be using??

And once you figure that out, who should you ask for guidance on using it properly?

If you trying to figure out Instagram, well I have just the expert for you in Trish Leto!  She is a sister US Navy Veteran helping other folks just like you and me figure out this Instagram business.

She is the GO TO expert on organic growth and provides excellent value in her group, Instagram for the Hustlers! There is a lot of helpful info and amazing interviews with industry experts, which are some of the valuable key components in her group!

You can check out her group here for Awesome People ready to take rapid action to grow your audience using Instagram!

If you are ready to take the next step in learning and working with Trish, you can purchase her training course here. (affiliate link)

Wherever you are on the journey; I look forward to connecting with you and hope to see you in the Instagram For the Hustlers Group! Let’s learn how to use Instagram together to have a maximum positive impact!

Tammi Moses is the founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Homes Are For Living, LLC which is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA.  She provides consultations, assessments and workshops on the issue of hoarding and inspiring others to take their adversity and use it for the greater good. She is the voice of #AKOPTH-Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard. You can connect with Tammi via Emailhomesareforliving@gmail.com on Twitter and on Facebook.

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Remembering Those Who Serve & Hoarding

As a day of remembrance on 9/11 I am taking moments today to truly reflect on what it means to serve.

On 9-11 our first responders, emergency personnel and countless selfless folks ran right into the crisis and did everything they could to help others. All the way up to risking and losing their very own lives! Sacrificing their future to help others.

9-11 was a horrifying loss on an epic scale. I can still remember the silence of our skies for a period of time after that. Where I live the sound of freedom is oft debated, but I appreciate that sound! It means we are alive to fight yet another day.

Getting back to first responders though and their willingness to head right into the fire, the flame, the dust, the flood or the myriad of crises we face as a society never cease to amaze me.
They are first in and they are often called on to respond situations most of us can never even imagine.

Firefighters in particular are called upon to respond to hoarding situations where the extra accumulation of stuff can change fire behavior and burn patterns. Sometimes fire personnel cannot enter a heavily hoarded home as there is no way to actually get into the home.

Often entering the home may involve busting a window and even cutting into the roof to get into the residence to attempt to rescue a resident. Once they can get in to the home, but can find their egress and ingress blocked by an avalanche of stuff. They may have had a way in that they can see, but if an avalanche occurs, they are not able to see a way out due to the smoke and can become trapped.

Another words hoarding can kill.

That means the person that hoards and any family members living in the hoard. It can also include pets or animals living in the hoard. This can also impact anyone responding to the fire in a hoarded home. Fire can also spread from one residence to another causing damage to surrounding people and properties.

This is why we cannot ignore hoarding behaviors and issues. This is why we cannot placate someone that hoards. We can approach with empathy, harm reduction and encourage the person to seek mental health treatment. This is why we must talk with them and have a conversation about who they really are as people.

But ultimately we should NOT be silent and turn away. There are hoarding task forces being formed in many communities. There are online resources as well.

If you don’t know what to say, find someone to ask. Request a presentation or workshop. Connect on social media with someone like me. Don’t wait. Someone’s life could be at stake.

 

Homes Are For Living, LLC is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA.  We focus on reducing clutter and restoring peace of mind for folks struggling with extreme clutter. You can connect with Tammi Moses  via Email: homesareforliving@gmail.com , on Twitter  and on Facebook.

We look forward to helping you meet your clutter free goals!

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Let’s Go! Hurry Up! Do you have Your…. ?

Oh wait a minute! What did you forget this morning in your mad rush to get out the door?

Some days it can be a challenge to be upright and functioning; let alone get out the door with everything we need for the day.

Here are a few suggestions that have helped me focus and make sure I have all my stuff for the day when I head out the door.

  • Make a list of all the things you need to have with you. It can be something as simple as a 3 x 5 card for each person in the household taped to the front door.
  • Pack your bag the night before so you don’t have to hunt for all the stuff you need in the morning.
  • If you have a multitude of things going on, have a bag for each thing you are doing.
    • During any given week I might be meeting with a client, going to Toastmasters, attending a meeting or doing an onsite assessment.
    • Generally I have a different bag for each event and keep the necessities for each thing in its respective bag.
  • Prepare your snacks, lunch and beverages for the next morning the night before.
  • Put your car keys in the same spot as soon as you come in the door. This is a very grounding thing for me and really is just one less thing I have to worry about.

I hope you will find these tips useful and would love to know how they work out for you.

Homes Are For Living, LLC is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA.  We focus on reducing clutter and restoring peace of mind for folks struggling with extreme clutter. You can connect with Tammi Moses  via Email: homesareforliving@gmail.com , on Twitter  and on Facebook.

We look forward to helping you meet your clutter free goals!

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