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Hoarders Are Taking Over My Barn!!

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  • Hoarders Are Taking Over My Barn!!

    I need a tactful way to deal with this without causing a rift in the family. My brother and his wife moved to a new, bigger home earlier this summer and in the process had to really start to deal with the fact that the wife has a problem with hoarding. My brother did most of the packing/moving himself and threw out A LOT of stuff and purposely took it to the dump while she was at work so things didn't make their way over to the new house. Still, there is a lot that did make it to the new house that shouldn't have.

    My brother rented a storage unit where he took stuff that could be sold in a garage sale. They had a garage sale shortly after their move and while they did well, there was a ton of stuff left over. The home owners association where they live wouldn't let them store the leftovers under the carport because frankly, it looked like crap. They couldn't afford the $150 a month so when my brother asked, I agreed to let them store it in the equipment garage area of the barn but it had to be out of there before winter because I needed to be able to pull the tractor in before it snows. I was told it was going to be in there for a few weeks tops because they were going to get more stuff together for another yard sale. That never happened. Then I was told they were just going to donate everything and needed to schedule the pickup.

    It's getting real close to that time of year and I talked to his wife about it and she keeps blowing me off with some excuse as to why she can't get the stuff out of there. She says that they're going to donate it to AMVETS but honestly, most of it is total junk (moldy paperbacks and used underwear anyone?) that she REFUSES to throw out and I'm sure AMVETS will refuse to take. Personally, I'm about ready to pull the stuff out and take it to the burn barrel and light it up but I know that would cause a major meltdown. With winter coming, I need my space back. Can anyone give me some tactful ways of evicting the hoarder from my barn?

  • #2
    I don't see a tactful way to do it if she's truly a hoarder

    The disorder will not listen to tact any more than you can tactfully ask a OCD person to not go back and check the lights again.

    You're going to have to tell your brother you don't have a choice, set a deadline, and if it's still there after the deadline you are going to remove it yourself. They can either arrange a place for it to go or you will take it to the dump/donate.

    It will probably cost you some money but lesson learned.

    **teasing gently*** don't you watch Hoarders?
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

    Comment


    • #3
      I have the same problem with my brother. He did overtake a lower portion of the barn. Even though I have the room, I didn't want his crap everywhere. I left the big stuff that was covered up alone. The other crap was in my way.

      I called him and told him that since he hasn't been there to move it upstairs, I will move it on "x" day (8 days in the future) out to the lane. If it's not moved out of the lane by the next day - it goes to the front of the lane which is the trash pick up.

      I did it. He came and moved a few things and left the rest to go to the trash. Set firm boundaries and be sure they understand you will stick to them. I didn't make any excuses/stories to my brother. Simply told him I'm moving it bc he didn't and it is going to the curb. period.

      Comment


      • #4
        Set a removal date. If it's not gone by the deadline, then burn. Take marshmallows and beverage of choice to the event, and enjoy the warmth before the snow flies.
        My Equestrian Art Photography page

        Comment


        • #5
          Ummm, you have a tractor right?

          Comment


          • #6
            ^^^^ THIS^^^^
            My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"

            Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed

            Comment


            • #7
              Call a dumpster, fill it with the tractor (you do have a FEL, yes?), and send them the bill.
              "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

              ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

              Comment


              • #8
                I second everyone's replies. They aren't going to move it themselves. There is going to be drama. But it's your barn, and you need it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Get one of those PODS (Portable On Demand Storage) storage things, pile the crap in, have it deposited in their driveway for them to deal with. Send them the bill.

                  And go.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    where is the like button for the PODS idea!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      They may honestly feel relieved if you give them fair notice of a deadline and then follow through on disposal. It takes the responsibility out of their hands and they can "blame you" for a while but be secretly happy that that load of crap is taken care of.

                      I am not a hoarder by any stretch but I still occasionally will donate, for example, a broken lamp to the Salvation Army under the rationale of, "well....maybe somebody wants to fix this?" I know they will probably throw it away immediately but I would feel bad "not giving the lamp a chance" or whatever, so rather than having the whole discussion with myself and to and froing about it, I just put it in a box, drop it off, and let someone else who is less emotionally invested make the call.

                      This is probably what they are doing on a much larger scale.
                      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                      Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                      Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                      The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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                      • #12
                        It's one thing to pile on and say what dramatic hard line things we would do but OP did ask for a tactful, not tear the family apart sort of way to deal with it...take what you will of the suggestions, OP!
                        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                          I am not a hoarder by any stretch but I still occasionally will donate, for example, a broken lamp to the Salvation Army under the rationale of, "well....maybe somebody wants to fix this?" I know they will probably throw it away immediately but I would feel bad "not giving the lamp a chance" or whatever, so rather than having the whole discussion with myself and to and froing about it, I just put it in a box, drop it off, and let someone else who is less emotionally invested make the call.
                          Please do not take this in a bad way, I am just giving you info. By doing this you are causing the Sally Ann money. Everything you give that they can't use they have to pay to get rid of. I know because I have worked in the stores and every time the bin fills we (Sally Ann) have to pay to have it emptied. I now work for Habitat For Humanity and we have the same problem. People dropping off unusable stuff that we (HFH) have to pay to have it disposed of.
                          My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"

                          Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            PODS. +++

                            My mother is a hoarder. Children of hoarders are very angry people.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't watch the TV show (the idea of other people's neuroses as entertainment kind of creeps me out) but I deal with real-life hoarders occasionally through my work.

                              Here's what I've learned: hoarders really truly don't see anything wrong with having crap piled everywhere. So the hoarder is never going to do anything about the situation. No matter what dire consequence might befall him or her as a result.

                              Soif the stuff has got to go, you're going to be the one who makes that happen. To save feelings, I think I'd give a date the stuff has to be out by - which of course the hoarder will ignore - and make clear it's not because you're a big meany but because you need the space for hay. When the date comes and goes and the stuff is still there, you fire up the burn barrel. Sorry you have to be the one to clean up after them.
                              I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                This isn't the first time my family has had to get involved in cleaning up after my sister-in-law. A few years ago their landlord needed access to their apartment to have an appraiser walk through because he was putting the property on the market as he was getting older and wanted to move away. He was appalled by the conditions inside the apartment. Stuff was piled up to the ceiling, windows couldn't be opened so no air could flow through the unit so it was moldy. It reeked of cat urine. Dirty dishes were piled up into the garden window and they left the dish washer open and the cats actually used it as a litter box. I'm talking NASTY. He told them "clean it up or you're out!" which is much more than I would have done if I were the landlord and not related to them.

                                My parents called me to ask me if I would come over with some friends and help clean. My friends and I tackled the bathroom and the bathroom alone took over 5 hours to clean and 15 contractors bags. There was still a level of filth in that apartment that could not be cleaned. It needed to be rehabbed. In the process of their move to the new house I saw a change in my brother that made me more willing to help. He was angry that his wife had so much crap and was standing up to her and finally telling her she had to get rid of stuff. Now, that their settled into their new digs, I see that they're reverting back to their old ways.

                                I called my brother this afternoon and had it out with him instead of his wife. I told him that I'm done being inconvenienced and that he has until the 20th to get the stuff off my property or I'm going to get rid of it myself. He then said "I'll get on my wife about it" to which I told him I have and she's done nothing and that I'm telling him to take care of it. He got defensive and said "How is it inconvenient?!" My reply: "Well, have you ever sat your @$$ on a frosty metal tractor seat in 35 degree weather and struggled to get a cold tractor to start first thing in the morning? And then when that frosty metal tractor seat thaws and leaves your pants wet? Pretty darn inconvenient if you ask me. My tractor is going to be in the barn next weekend whether you like it or not." He said he was going to find the number and call but couldn't make any guarantees that they could pick up by next weekend. We shall see what goes...

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Hippolyta View Post
                                  PODS. +++

                                  My mother is a hoarder. Children of hoarders are very angry people.
                                  My MIL is a hoarder. I dread having to go through their home when my ILs pass away. We have gone and helped my MIL "clean out" some things, but when we come back to the house, she's collected more.
                                  If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                                  DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                                  Originally posted by talkofthetown
                                  As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Good for you for setting a deadline. Now stick to it!
                                    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
                                    http://www.ironwood-farm.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Agreed! stick to it and don't fight about it if you want to keep the family peace. Neither one of them are really capable of making a huge change any time soon, hopefully your brother will do what he can. I don't envy him for a minute.
                                      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Belltello View Post
                                        This isn't the first time my family has had to get involved in cleaning up after my sister-in-law. A few years ago their landlord needed access to their apartment to have an appraiser walk through because he was putting the property on the market as he was getting older and wanted to move away. He was appalled by the conditions inside the apartment. Stuff was piled up to the ceiling, windows couldn't be opened so no air could flow through the unit so it was moldy. It reeked of cat urine. Dirty dishes were piled up into the garden window and they left the dish washer open and the cats actually used it as a litter box. I'm talking NASTY. He told them "clean it up or you're out!" which is much more than I would have done if I were the landlord and not related to them.

                                        My parents called me to ask me if I would come over with some friends and help clean. My friends and I tackled the bathroom and the bathroom alone took over 5 hours to clean and 15 contractors bags. There was still a level of filth in that apartment that could not be cleaned. It needed to be rehabbed. In the process of their move to the new house I saw a change in my brother that made me more willing to help. He was angry that his wife had so much crap and was standing up to her and finally telling her she had to get rid of stuff. Now, that their settled into their new digs, I see that they're reverting back to their old ways.

                                        I called my brother this afternoon and had it out with him instead of his wife. I told him that I'm done being inconvenienced and that he has until the 20th to get the stuff off my property or I'm going to get rid of it myself. He then said "I'll get on my wife about it" to which I told him I have and she's done nothing and that I'm telling him to take care of it. He got defensive and said "How is it inconvenient?!" My reply: "Well, have you ever sat your @$$ on a frosty metal tractor seat in 35 degree weather and struggled to get a cold tractor to start first thing in the morning? And then when that frosty metal tractor seat thaws and leaves your pants wet? Pretty darn inconvenient if you ask me. My tractor is going to be in the barn next weekend whether you like it or not." He said he was going to find the number and call but couldn't make any guarantees that they could pick up by next weekend. We shall see what goes...
                                        If I could make a gentle suggestion...

                                        You and your brother had an agreement, and that agreement was that you would keep their stuff for a certain period of time, period. That time has now passed, and the issue really isn't whether you really "need" the space or not; you are perfectly entitled to leave the space empty if you wish, and don't owe him an explanation on that score.

                                        I applaud you for setting a limit with your brother and encourage you to stick with it. Refuse to engage in any ensuing drama. "Bob, we agreed I would store your things until X date. When that date came and went, we discussed the fact that the stuff needed to be removed, and I extended you the courtesy of a further # of days to arrange for that. That day came and went and still, you did nothing about it. As I told you, I am simply not able to store your things beyond that date, and I had them removed, as we had discussed."

                                        Good luck. It sounds like a very challenging situation.
                                        **********
                                        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                        -PaulaEdwina

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