Jogged 12.7 km today at a 7:18 /km average pace.
Finished reading the second of my library requests last night, The Secret Lives of Hoarders (©2011) by Matt Paxton. This book was skewed slightly toward providing the friends and families of hoarders insights and suggestions on how to deal with people who have a hoarding problem. The tone was lighter but more practical than the previous book, The Hoarder in You, that I recently read, with less psychological examination and more direct ways to work with a person who has hoarding or clutter issues.
The two most interesting points for me:
1. The author, who is a professional house cleaner, rates hoarders or clutterers on a five level scale he has developed over the years. He explained that in the early days of his business, “the scale that my company used was a pretty subjective one and based roughly on the number of dead cats we found in a house.” He then continues, “after years of working with clients we’ve refined our language.” I found this highly amusing, because according to his description of his current scale, I would rate myself a solid “2” on his 5-point scale (with 5 being the highest level of squalor). If someone were to carefully sort through my belongings, they would find precisely two dead cats – one a completely mummified cat carcass I discovered under a house many years ago, with the second being only a skull.
2. The author, Matt Paxton, states that in his experience as a professional cleaner, 99% of the “collections” he sees are worthless.
This last statement leaves me thinking about the things I intend to get rid of by selling on eBay. My spouse occasionally helps out one of our neighbors with filing and organizing. The neighbor pays her twenty dollars an hour for her work. When I list items to sell on eBay, at best I can process two or three items per hour, and that doesn’t necessarily include the time required to photograph the items and crop and tweak the photos, and it certainly doesn’t include the time (or space) spent storing the items or shuffling them around while I’m looking for something else. With occasional exceptions, the final “take” after paying eBay and PayPal commissions and shipping costs on any single item is often less than twenty dollars. And of course there’s always a significant portion of listed items that do not sell. Is it worthwhile, then, to keep boxes full of items that I intend to sell on eBay? I’m getting better about this in that I no longer keep items that will likely bring less than ten dollars. This is a result of rising shipping costs making the sale of inexpensive items impractical for the casual “garage sale” level seller like me. Now I’m starting to think about the rest of the items I retain for future sale.