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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Hoarders' Heaven....

Hoarders' Heaven

My joy over having a clean house was short lived after cleaning the cabinets, closets, garage and anything else that was cluttered. I soon realized that the downstairs was only a minor part of the mess driving me crazy. I think I must have an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

So you can imagine what it was like when I realized that the worst was still left to do – the attic. I call it “Hoarders' Heaven.” It was not that long ago when my daughter and I combined efforts and straightened everything out. It looked about as good as any storage area could look.

Circumstances piled up and caused all this to change. For the last several years I've not been able to climb the stairs without difficulty and certainly not carrying a box. Therefore, I trusted the men in my life to take things upstairs to the attic for me.

My son divorced and came home to stay for a while. With him came one-half of another household. I knew he was putting a few things in the attic. "Put your name on your things," I advised, "so we will know what is yours." The boxes must have multiplied. That many boxes could not possibly have gone through my house and upstairs without me noticing.

Even worse than the sheer amount of clutter is the lack of organization. When I asked for something to be taken upstairs, it was taken to the top of the stairs and abandoned. Other things were haphazardly thrown around. Without a woman's watchful eye, it has truly begun to look like a hoarders' heaven.

"What we need to do," said Honey, in one of his helpful minutes, "is get rid of the junk and finish up the attic into bedrooms.” That seemed like a great idea as we really need the extra space now, especially when the grandchildren come to visit. What he actually meant was, "YOU clean and get rid of all the clutter as I want to watch football on television.”

Still, I had great enthusiasm about the project. The first step would be to minimize the amount of junk and keep only what was reusable in the foreseeable future or has great sentimental value. My daughter and conspirator agreed and she is willing to help get rid of most of stuff, bless her heart.

I have many leftovers from prior moves, things that worked in other homes in other lives and that I thought I might use again sometime. It has become abundantly clear that those things will never be used. "If it is worth keeping, it is worth displaying," became my motto. Obviously, I can't display it all.

The idea is to store any stored furniture that can be used after the renovation, donate the rest, and have a giant garage sale with whatever is sellable. The garage sale has almost become a problem of its own as the garage is now the beneficiary of all things not worth keeping, but too good to throw away.

The scope of the project is greater than I imagined, as well as the depth of the dust, the number of deceased lady bugs, and the volume of things we didn't want and didn't know what to do with.

I have packed plastic bins, sneezed, sweated and gone up and down stairs with boxes dozens of times. My son just came in and said he is taking two days off work next week and will move all his stuff out. If I can figure out what to do with the rest of the useless items, I'll be ready to remodel.

I hope the new space will be worth all the effort involved. My only concern is that after the renovation, what will we do with our new junk?

Copyright 2014 Sheila Moss

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