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Help My Loved One Is Hoarding

This guest episode features Lee Shuer, a self-confessed ‘Finder Keeper’, and his wife Bec, who shares her experience living with a loved one with hoarding behaviours. Join Lily and Bonnie as they talk about Lee’s journey with hoarding; discover the catalyst for change and find out how to start a conversation with a loved one who is hoarding.

 

GUEST BIO

LEE SHUER & BECCA BELOFSKY

Lee Shuer is an artist, violinist, writer, and Space Invader in recovery.  Lee co-authored The Buried in Treasures Workshop Facilitator’s Guide with Dr. Randy Frost and published WRAP® for Reducing Clutter with Dr. Mary Ellen Copeland.

Becca Belofsky, Co-founder of Mutual Support Consulting LLC, is an international trainer, speaker, and relationship facilitator.  Committed to supporting the emotional development and social connectedness of people of all backgrounds, ages, and neurodiversities, Bec synthesizes her learning from Smith College, life and travel abroad, and her own mental health experiences to help people traverse the human condition.

Episode Transcript

BONNIE: Hello and welcome, today we will be joined by Lee Shuer and his wife Bec Belofsky to talk about living with a loved one who is invading your space.

LILY: First things first lets introduce our guests.  So Lee Shuer is an artist, violinist, writer and space invader in recovery.  Lee co-authored the Buried in treasures workshop facilitators guide with Dr Randy Frost and published Rat for reducing clutter with Dr Mary Ellen Copeland.  His interests included walks in the woods, petting cats, exploring the world with his wife Bec and asking people to stop using the word hoarder.

BONNIE: Bec Belofsky co-founder of mutual support counselling LLC is an international trainer, speaker and relationship facilitator committing to supporting the emotional development and social connectedness of people of all backgrounds, ages and neuro diversities, Bec synthesizes her learning from Smith College, life, travel and travel abroad and her own mental health experiences to help people travers the human condition.  Welcome Lee & Bec

LEE: Thank you

BEC: Thanks so much, it is great to connect the hemispheres with you

LEE: For sure

BONNIE: Yes even though we are all going through this crazy time together it is so nice to know that we can still actually join in such a way and have a great conversation.

BEC; Ah ha

BONNIE: Okay so let’s get into it.  Now Bec when you first met Lee did you know about Lee’s accumulating.

BEC: No, what I was met with was when I went to Lee’s apartment for the first time I just noticed that it was heavily decorated shall we say.  There were things everywhere and there was something about it that appealed to something that felt like home inside of me and I actually think that what I was observing was chronic disorganisation.  I didn’t know that there was a lot of keeping but I knew that things weren’t all in their homes, things didn’t have places to live specifically so I saw um kind of things piled and little pockets of clutter all around and I grew up like that too, so I thought oh this is someone who gets me, you know we get each other.  I didn’t realise where this journey would lead and what it all really meant.

BONNIE: So when was it that you actually discovered how deep the problem went.

BEC: About a year into our marriage, when we decided to move out of the apartment and into our own apartment together, it was just going to be a studio apartment, very small, we were coming from a place that we shared with room mates and it was  a very chaotic environment and that was fine the way we were living at the time, but then when we went to move and I said to Lee okay what are you bringing with you? He said oh everything, it is all mine, it is all coming with me.  What do you mean?

LILY: It’s all me baby

BEC: It’s all me baby, and I was like but wait a few other people live her with us and there are several rooms, no it all was Lee’s I found out a lot of it was and the interesting thing to me and really surprising thing was I thought he was going to leave some of it and it was pretty shocking, it was shocking to find out that it wasn’t like yeah we are going to have a tag sale, a garage sale let some things go, but it is all going to come.  It was an absolute surprise and I pushed a little, no you can’t be doing that.  Oh yeah it is all coming. So it was a surprise and a shock and it was like the first red flag, and people might say that there was something deeper going on when I was meet with an unwillingness to even consider not taking everything

LEE:  I would say I definitely knew that I had acquiring issue, um that was one of my main coping skills in terms of managing my own emotional state, so if I was feeling really down I would go out and collect and sort of manifest in things I was looking for.  I was really good at it. So I would just sort of project something out there into the universe and then I would go and find it really cheap and so I was pretty much guaranteed, I feel bad, I go out, I score, I feel great.  I go home, I feel bad so I go back out.  So it was this cycle and I knew I had a problem with collecting, um but I didn’t realise I had a problem with letting go until I tried, um so that was really not until we had moved out of that apartment and we were living together and you know I had to make some changes that I realised it was more than just about getting things.  I was about letting go to.

LEE:  Yeah I definitely realised that I had a problem with acquiring things and I was bringing too much in.  Originally it was really I think appealing to other people to see the kinds of things I was acquiring.  I was collecting everything under the surface and I would end up either at an op shop or at a tag sale or just see something by the side of the road.  I think the best example, and usually it wasn’t anything specific that I was looking for but at about 3 in the morning one night I looked a friend and I said you know what? I want to find a sit down side arcade cabinet, that’s what I want to find.  The next day I went out, driving around in the afternoon and there was a guy in his driveway with one and it was the last thing he hadn’t sold at his tag sale and I ended up buying it for $5.  So it was like I would want something and get it, but I think that in addition to going out and finding things I was producing a lot of audio and video recordings and art and writing and all of that was being saved too and anything I saw in my environment that had some kind of symbolic meaning that would also come home and stay because in a way it was like this really cryptic, very dimensional journal that I was the only one that could read the entries.

BONNIE: Mmmm

LEE: So there was a lot going on

LILY: That’s a really interesting way to describe it as like a 3D journal.

BONNIE:  That’s often what happens when you are uncovering the layers of the piles is it is like a timeline of life.  You can look back and you go oh this is the stuff from 3 years ago.  Oh this is the stuff from 5 years ago, that kind of thing.  So yeah it is like the 3D journal thing.  That is really interesting.

LILY: Up

BEC: What was unusual to me about it, is that when Lee was doing artwork he wouldn’t just keep the final draft, he would keep all the copies that lead to it and I would want to move the ones that didn’t result in the final product but there was still an attachment to that and that was all left over.

LILY: The process of it

BEC: Yeah

BONNIE: Oh that’s interesting

LILY: It is

BONNIE: We are going to have to unpack that more fully on another episode I think, that whole the creative process and not wanting to let go of things that contribute to that.  I think that is a big thing for a lot of artists and a lot of creative.

LILY: So Bec you said you weren’t really aware of this, you and Lee are married so what kind of happened when you found out.

BEC: Well, we got married and about a year into our being together we were going to move into our own apartment, we had been sharing with roommates and friends.  So it came to the point we were going to move into a space that was much smaller and I was super excited and I was like Hey what are you bringing? And the answer was What am I bringing, I am bringing everything you see.  And so that was a huge surprise for me and um it was a real reckoning but at the time we were newly weds, he said he was bringing everything what could I do about it? So, I just thought all right we will see what is going to happen, I have no control over this process, we will get there and then we will figure it out.

BONNIE: Wow, Okay so Lee how are you going now and do you ever fall off the wagon?

LEE: I think there was a time when if I probably had fallen of the wagon, I would have just landed on a back up wagon.  Cause I had more than one just in case, right but you know it is interesting because for me some people do measure a recovery as moving forward or falling off the wagon and I see it more as a resilience process and if I fall off just like running and hopping back on and that really is about self awareness and recognising that I am not on it, so to speak.  Um so it is really just recognising whether or not I am doing is adding to the physical quarter.  So a lot of this conversation and I think a lot of conversation about hoarding disorder is about what is above the surface. So you know you can fall off the wagon on the inside and not contribute to the clutter, but this all goes together so in my own experience falling off the wagon, it might work different than it feels, but what I do recognise that the things I am doing if it is getting disorganised and that is an indicator to me that, that’s a warning sign that something inside isn’t quite aligned, so sometimes I see myself on the outside before I recognise myself on the inside, it is all connected

BONNIE:  So what is it that you did, when you discovered that you had this collecting problem? What is it that happened to make you to change your behaviours?

LILY: Well firstly what brought the awareness of it and then how did you change those behaviours.

LEE:  Bec had brought the awareness

BEC: I think I brought a little of the awareness to the table

LEE: I knew because I started getting, I think the moment that I recognised before we met, the moment I recognised that I had a problem was when um a roommates friend stayed over and had actually slept across my stuff, he aimed 2 chairs full of things across from each other and laid across the top and that’s what he sleep on that night

BONNIE: Wow

LEE: Um and so that was incredibly embarrassing.  That told me I have a problem, every time family was coming to visit, and I had to hid things, that told me I had a problem.  Every time a bank account was emptied, that told me I had a problem.  I didn’t want people to have a ride in the car, I had a problem.  But it wasn’t until Bec told me how it was impacting her life that I actually really took action even though I had tried before, it wasn’t until it was really impacting somebody else that I need to change.

LILY: Someone that you cared deeply about

LEE: Yeah

BONNIE:  And how did you bring this awareness Bec

BEC: It started out I say kind of haphazardly where first off all when we moved into this new apartment it was obviously over filled with stuff, there was the ability for things to go into homes because stuff was absolutely everywhere.  We didn’t have a functional dining room or living room or bedroom.  It was just a place where stuff was being kept.  So I was trying to talk to Lee about what are we going to do, like you need help, you are going to organise it, can we get an organiser in, this isn’t working and I was really kind of being tender footed about it a little bit in the beginning because we were kind of newly together and I had a vision that of course this is magically going to pull together, like a genie is going appear and go zoom and all the things were going to get sorted out but it didn’t work that way.  So I was nudgingly at first, you know like hey can you get a handle on this.  I would really like to be able to pay the bills at the computer table, but look at all this stuff that is there.  So I was bringing it up in ways where I was just kind of reacting. I wasn’t thoughtfully brought up at first.  I was just reflecting um my discomfort verbally and just voicing what I was experiencing and then um you know I kept pushing would you please get some help.  We need some help; in here and I started developing more of a sense of urgency about it,  it was building because I felt that things were looming everywhere I looked I couldn’t read a book in peace and it is at that point when I realised how it was affecting me emotionally and internally and practically, like I felt like Lee was able to live in that environment and function really well.  Like he was a super productive person.  It felt to me like he was able to accomplish all the things that he wanted to do but I felt like my life was severely hindered and kind of strangulated by the stuff and so when I saw the questioning about what are we going to do wasn’t getting anywhere and Lee was voicing that he wanted to do it himself.  He was fiercely independent about conquering this challenge himself but it wasn’t really getting done and then something exciting happened where we both worked for the same mental health agency in different divisions  and I never really read the company newsletter except this one time that I did and there was a little box in there and it said “Do you have too much stuff, we need people participants for this study on people who are accumulating processions and holding onto them”

LILY: Oh wow

BEC: So it was incredible because at that point I realised you know what for the first time I actually have something that I can offer Lee to start and get a level in and make some change, and so he came home from work one day and I said hey listen, look what I found, here is a phone number will you consider being in this study because you definitely have a problem with this which means we have a problem with this.

LILY: Bec when you

BEC: And that was a pivotal moment

LILY: When you did that Lee did you find yourself feeling vulnerable to being exposed, like up until that time it was almost like a private thing between you and Bec and you know maybe the people who would come to your house but going into a study did that feel like you were almost exposing yourself?

LEE:  It was kind of freeing actually, but I was looking forward to, I was kind of curious what they were going to ask me, because I understood that the study was about understanding peoples attachment’s to things and encouraging us to challenge that belief just to see if we could actually let something special go and not have it be the end of the world.  So I thought you know it was really specific, I have always felt like if I can do something to contribute to the greater good it is worth it even if it is uncomfortable.  So I was okay with that um it wasn’t the first thing that I had basically worked on for my own mental health recovery, um struggling with bipolar disorder and ADHD I had plenty of experience acknowledging that um I was struggling with something even if I didn’t have a problem about certain parts of the behaviour as other people I recognised the bigger picture that even though I think I can do it all myself maybe I could use some advise and support.  So that, I was open to it and the reason I think I say it was a relief is because I knew I needed the help.  Um

BONNIE: Yeah

LEE: On a certain level.  There was just like there was a point where it was like a yes/no life changing moment and I said yes and life did change, so I am glad that we found that and Bec had the courage to ask me such a difficult question

BONNIE: Yeah

LEE:  It is probably harder for you and me in that one.

BEC: Another exciting feature of that was I had studied with Randy Frost at Smiths College and of course his speciality is hoarding disorder so I felt like all roads that we could take would lead back to him and he was my favourite Professor so that was just another magical piece of the puzzle, like I felt like we are going to be in good hands I know the person who is at the helm of helping people here and I know he is a good person.

BONNIE: Have you got a photo of you standing next to Randy because I have meet Randy and I have meet you and he is so tall and you are so little and cute and I can just imagine the distinction between the two of you

BEC:  Yes our hugs are very cute I am sure

BONNIE:  So was this study with Randy Frost the one that Lee took?

BEC:  It actually wasn’t, it was with another author of Buried in treasures, David Tolin.

BONNIE: Ok and this is what started the process of you helping them do the workshop facilitators guide and that sort of thing

LEE: There were several steps between the two.  I had absolutely no idea that this would actually become more a part of my life than something I did for a few hours, you know.  Um it was really, you know I joined the local what was called the hoarding task force at the time as a mental health worker.  Um so I had not disclosed that I had a clutter challenge, that was, the study was in 2005 I joined the task force in 2007, in 2008 I self disclosed to the group that I had too much stuff and a year later Randy acquired funding from Smith College to see if a support group, a peer support group could be helpful and it was going to be based on this book Buried in treasures and I said I will run them all and as I ran week one I wrote up the plan for week 2, I did week 2, worked the plan for week 3 and eventually that became the facilitators guide.

BONNIE:  Wow that’s amazing, that sounds like me doing all of my high school assignments the night before.

LEE:  Oh yeah, but the interesting thing I was running them in 3 towns so I would write it for the first one, I would improve it for the second and the third I would have the more refined so the folks in the third evening were luckier than the first night because I wasn’t winging it anymore I had a little practice but I had to learn it all before I could share it and this was all new to me.  I went from not letting anything go to having to actually demonstrate and encourage and inspire people to believe that they could let things go.  So it was a steep learning curve for me.

BONNIE: Yeah what a challenge.  It is amazing

BEC: It was pretty amazing and inspirational for me to be watching this process evolve and um seeing that Lee was really diving into working on it and helping others, it was huge, it felt, the whole thing has felt like there is some magical quality about it, how each brick in the path has laid it has been amazing.

BONNIE: That’s really cool

LILY: I think it is probably time to take a little break and I think it is probably time for a clutter confession.

BONNIE: Ok so this is where we put you guys in the hot seat and we would like you to share with us your clutter confessions

CLUTTER CONFESSIONS

BEC:  All right do you want to share yours?

LEE: Ok so I was actually trying to think what do I have that is unconventionally mine and I think that is probably part of the problems that I think everything I have is normal but I thought there is one thing I have that is really unusual and I haven’t been able to let it go because I don’t even know who and I don’t even remember out of everything I have actually everything about how and where I got stuff, these I have no idea

LILY: This is building anticipation

BONNIE:  I know I am like salivating

LEE:  Ok I have

BONNIE: Oh they are rosaries

LEE:  Thousands and thousands and thousands of rosary beads, they are not just rosaries but there are materials to make more of them.  They are all on material so and somebody went to through the process of like individually knotting every single one, they are really intricate

BONNIE & LILY:  Wow

LEE:  I have tons of them

BONNIE: Are you even catholic

LEE: No and I think, here’s the thing my mum went to see a musical called Nunscence and she answered some trivia question and she got a set of glow in the dark rosary beads and they said are you catholic and she said tonight I am.  So I thought well I am not though but what I saw was art supplies, I saw a lot

LILY: You could dress the cast of that show

LEE: Right

BONNIE: You could

LEE: So I felt like is that really messed up am I being sacrilegious am I being disrespectful if I use this for something it wasn’t intended for because it is really special to  people and I respect that but at the same time I am like art supplies and so I have had that for about 20 years now um I have not

BONNIE: Wow

LEE: And I have not let it go because I was like where, so yeah and it is actually and it is in a mild crate from when I was a little kid.  So I mean there is a story to every story but that is my clutter confession.

BEC: Someday I figure we are going to make people really happy with that collection that we have held onto.  We are going to find the right place.

BONNIE: Yeah I feel like I should give you a challenge since you are in lockdown and you can’t go anywhere to maybe do some goggling and email some local catholic churches and see if they would like it and maybe just keep a couple, what do you reckon Lee?

LEE: I don’t need to keep any of them, if I can find the person who is really going to appreciate them then they are all theirs, um I have now there are something’s that mean something to me and nothing to anybody else I think there are some things that you know what to other people and very little to me so this would be a really good transaction and I would like to follow through with so the milk crate is theirs.

LILY: Lee you have such a great perspective and such a great outlook I just can tell you are someone who has embraced change and growth in your life and that is just so cool.

BONNIE: Umm that’s a really cool clutter confession.  Thank you for sharing it.  Alright Bec your turn to go under the firing line

BEC: Okay mine is a whole other side of the spectrum, my is a little bit ghoulish

BONNIE: Oh I like that

BEC: So, a little bit so my mum passed several years ago and I was the person responsible for managing all of her belongings and deciding what went where and who to give things anyway I took home her dentures

BONNIE: Okay

BEC: And I brought them into our house, her dentures but they weren’t even in like a nice little tooth case.  They were in some kind of icky Ziplock bag and so I kept them, I kept them for years, her little teeth, my mums little teeth in the cupboard under the bathroom sink and I kept them in a little box with my makeup and toiletries and things like that and I kept them in there and every so often I would be grabbing a new paper towel rolls out from under there and I would bump into her teeth and then one day I thought, what on earth am I saving these for, let me think about this for a second and I thought well they could be an art project because I know things always default to, well it can always go into an art project and then I thought is that really an art project I want to do though? I don’t think I want any part of an art project that is going to use my mum’s dentures it in.  So at that moment when I realised that and I felt it was like a little creepy and a little bit of a horror movie kind of context, I thought those things gotta go but you know in reflecting upon it is funny because I realised that my mum’s dental problems became a huge issue for her and it is almost like symbolic like I was holding on to her hurt and it really changed her life when she had to get those dentures, she couldn’t eat at restaurants’ anymore, she was super embarrassed and her vanity was really challenged and so there is a lot of power in that little set of dentures that I held onto and it was very liberating to let it go and I felt less creepy too.

BONNIE:  That’s amazing, thank you so much for sharing those clutter confessions.  I love those, those are brilliant.

LILY: I am really thinking hard about that one too because I have worked for many years as a dental assistant and so like you know I am thinking of the true perspective of getting dentures is a huge change to someone’s life

BONNIE: I was actually thinking you were heading down the track of you have pocketed a few like dentures or old teeth or something like that

LILY: Let me tell you my clutter confession….

BONNIE:  You’ve got like one of these really creepy like cupboards with everybody’s teeth inside.

LILY: No, no and on that note I will say um that is you have been thinking about sending in a clutter confession to anyone who is listening please do, you just jump on over to our Facebook page and instead of sending it as a text you just send the page a voice recording and so you can just say, keep it anonymous and you can tell us exactly what weird or wacky item you are holding onto and we keep it anonymous and then we will share it on the podcast.

MUSIC

BONNIE: All right so lets get back to our questions, Bec this one is for you.  We can’t change others we can only change how we respond to others, what strategies did you put in place to help you cope with Lee’s collecting and his recovery?

BEC: I think for quite a long time I didn’t have any strategies in place and I was just living with the feeling of being buried under Lee’s belongings and I think I kindly stirred him up for much longer than I would advise people to do so.  So I am kind of a cautionary tale I think, because I did suffer with it and I didn’t take care of myself in a way that I think people should, but I highly encourage people if they are in a similar situation to not make themselves feel like they are the last place in all of this.  To really hold onto yourself and do things out of the house that make you happy, get support, tell someone, you know we lived with it as a secret, Lee never asked me to keep it a secret but I kept it a secret and that was hurtful to my inner being too.  I think it is really important to do the things that make you you.  Like if you read but you feel like you can’t really read in the environment you are living in, take that book and go outside or go to someone else’s house, or go to a coffee shop and still keep reading.  Find someone that you can talk to who will not stir the pot but instead offer support to you or just listen without judging.  Um just really keep the activities up, make space somehow to do the artwork that means something, play, have fun and talk to your partner.  There is a lot that can go into that conversation and it is really important I think to do it with compassion and not from a place of anger but I could talk to you for hours on that subject alone I think.

LILY: Oh I can imagine, and I can imagine it is hard to when you are living it and facing it every day especially in the early stages Bec when you were getting your head around all of it, it must have been really challenging to not come as you say from a place of reactivity because like it is your space, it is your home as well and like you have an emotional investment in your home but of course you have an emotional investment in Lee as well.

BEC: It was super hard and what I found myself doing was it was coming out in physical ways, like when I would get the vacuum cleaner out and I would kind of find myself like slamming it into things, you know I wasn’t putting my anger out onto Lee but I was subtly taking it out on the objects that were consuming the environment.

LILY: Feeding that frustration

BONNIE: Yeah

BEC: It was there and it couldn’t be denied.

LILY: Well Lee you have been collecting and acquiring for you know many years and then you have gone on this journey where you have started to challenge and change your behaviour, what is it like for you now, today?

LEE:  Well it has been a really amazing period of time, I have gone through stages of first I reduced the acquiring so it was sort of like I turned off the tap because even if I was trying to let something go, I was often rewarding myself with something new and so you know first it was about reducing what was coming in, then eventually letting things go.  Over the course of several years now um I have got it within the last few years to a point where I could sort of see the forest for the trees, I could actually see, I thinned out things that were less meaningful to me and I started to see patterns emerge and categories that really related to difficult traumatic things in my life that what I had around me were the things that gave me comfort and all of those things were made, produced before 1985 and what it all went back to was the first time I witnessed something that totally shattered my, my perception that you could trust that things would always go right and that’s was when the space shuttle challenger exploded, we were all watching it live in school in 1986

LILY:  Oh wow

LEE: There was a local school teacher on the challenger and it blew up and I wrote my first real poem the next day and I have recognised that things I had said and were related to things that were difficult, that was the first big realisation for me.  There were lots of reasons for other things but just in the last few months, um once we went into lockdown I have started spending hours and hours and hours sorting my things and really being able to dive really deep and made this realisation that the things I am most connected to that I have the hardest time letting go of are the things that are related to difficult situations that, like trophies that I have won and things like that, I practically don’t even care about them, but things like a letter from a family member that passed or my high school bully, there was full 2 page layout of him in the year I graduated high school and I saved that page of the newspaper, um it was almost like I realised like this was my way of containing it and owning it and controlling it and saying like I have it, so it doesn’t have me, and once I made that connection I started to let things go and now I am actually recognising the impulse to save things related to the COVID 19 pandemic

LILY: Right

LEE: And I am not saving them, so there is a lot of things like that, that because of this insight that I have gained I am not going to be repeating the cycle and asking myself 10 years from now why I have things I received in the mail or headlines and things like that.  This is a really big breakthrough and realising that the degree of intensity and person nature of the traumas is related to what I have kept and that there, there is so much there, it is really amazing and it is just like a deep breath and letting things go and feeling better

BONNIE: Bec I have got one last question for you.  How would you suggest someone who is living with someone who is space invading, how would you suggest they start a conversation with that loved one to bring up what is going on?

BEC: I think it is really important to have an idea of what supports you can offer someone before you bring it up.  Because otherwise it is like racing to a red light, what are you going to do, what are you expecting of the person.  So I think it is really important to have things that the person can identify with or can be referred to, um that is really important rather than just lashing out without a positive end goal in sight and I also think you know people would be best to use “I statement” like I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the stuff how are you feeling?  Are you happy, are you able to do with the space what you want to do with it.  Kind of encouraging in that direction.  Like speaking to the practical nature of what the space can be used for is really a good idea to bring it into real life terms rather than getting caught up in all the really complicated that the emotions that can up.

LILY: So important that we acknowledge our own feelings and don’t put so much on other people, because when we really, it is really important to use that I statement.

BONNIE:  Yes

LILY: Absolutely

BONNIE: 100%.

LILY: Well on that note, so Lee if someone identifies you know in a similar situation to what you are describing what would you encourage that person to do or say if they are feeling ashamed about where they are at with their stuff

LEE:  I think that you know there is a couple of things and one of them is just you know, there is a part of my story to relate to that I have never told before because I never heard it myself, and that was just the sort of personal, the epiphanies that I have been having and going through things and rather than thinking about everything, looking at one thing and looking at it and looking at it until I can connect it to something in my life, because I am realising it is almost like if I had started here, I would have made a different kind of progress because I would have been looking at things as clues and that once I unlocked what was underneath the surface, what’s floating on the surface was just going to drift away.  So I would say that there is a lot of discovery to be made in the things that we have saved and tell the story of those things if it helps.  I enjoy documenting things before I let them go, you don’t have to admit that you have a problem before you start to get help and you don’t have to, like know how to do it before you start working on it um, I think that any progress is good progress.

BONNIE: Mmmmm

LILY: Awesome

BONNIE: That sounds very much like our tag line

LILY & BONNIE: Progress not perfection

LEE: Yes

BEC: We totally identify with that

LILY: As long as we are moving forward

LEE: Totally

BONNIE:  Yeah that’s right

LILY: We guys is has been so fabulous talking with you today and we are just so trilled for your story and thank you so much for the work that you do in sharing it.

BEC: Thanks so much, we love what you are doing

LEE: You too, yeah the conversations inspire us.

BONNIE: Ahh thank you.

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BONNIE: This week’s tidy task is like a choose your own adventure book.  If you identified with Lee’s story and you are accumulating and saving items we would like you to choose one person to share your story with, whether it is a friend, a family member or a professional.  If you are bearing the burden alone we encourage you to reach out, a burdened shared is a burden halved.    If on the other hand you have a loved one who is displaying hoarding behaviours then your tidy task this week is to make a date to raise your concern with your loved one, be non judgemental, focus on the person not the behaviour and use the I statements that Bec is talking about.

LILY: Now if neither of the above apply to you, your tidy task this week is to share this episode on social media with 3-5% of the population struggling with this secret disorder there is bound to be someone in your networks who needs to hear Lee & Bec’s story.

BONNIE: And that’s it for this week.  Thank you so much Lee & Bec for joining us and we look forward to our next conversation with you.

BEC: Thanks so much Lily and Bonnie

LILY: And if you are listening to us on Apple Podcast and you haven’t jumped on an written a rating an review yet, please we would love you to do that, it is one of the ways that we get the work out to more people and thank you so much for choosing to listen to our show

BONNIE: And remember progress not perfection.

LILY: See you later

BONNIE:  Bye

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ANNOUNCER: Hey we would love to keep the conversation going head over to the Little Home Organised Community group on Facebook, ask questions, find motivation and share your before and afters, and if you enjoyed the show please help us keep it going by hitting subscribed on apple podcast, Spotify or where ever you listen.  It is free and ensures you do not miss an episode but if you really want to share the love, leave us a rating and review. Trust me it makes all the difference in the world.