Putting a dent in over forty years of accumulated stuff.
Alex’s wife Ilene was a talented artist who passed away two years before he contacted me. She was a hoarder and the apartment was filled with items she had accumulated over a span of forty years. As a commercial artist, she collected materials she may need to reference when a client called with a specific illustration request. Her art in later years comprised of found objects which further added to the piles.
Hoarding is something that is best handled by professionals who are specifically trained to help someone who struggles with hoarding, but since Alex’s wife was no longer in the picture I felt confident taking the project on.
Ilene’s studio was located in the back of the apartment and my main goal when working with Alex was to clear enough space in the room so he could continue the project on his own. Although he was still relatively mobile, he required a cane to get around and I wanted to make sure the room was a safe environment without any tripping hazards. At the time I started there was no way to enter the room without climbing onto a mountain of stuff. The budget was limited for this project and a project of this size could add up very quickly. The first session was spent figuring out the categories of items. Every session after that was spent categorizing items and consolidating the trash for a scheduled trash pick-up date. It took eight weeks but after working together during a consistently scheduled time slot every week, Alex felt confident that he could safely move the project forward on his own.