I have now been to Sandras about seven times with each visit lasting between 2 to 3 1/2 hours. We know that we've made good progress but to anyone else they would not be able to see it. While that is very disappointing she is very motivated to keep going.
I don't want to take away from the people that have helped her in the past. I had one person come up and speak to me yesterday and tell me what she dealt with to help Sandra. There was quite a mess and she did clean up a lot of trash so that I did have a better environment to work in than what I would have if she had not helped. Those helps were quick and dirty and very short term to help Sandra get back into her home after her rehab. But now we're going for the long-term goal of getting through everything and trying to really clean up the clutter. It didn't get like this in a day and it won't get better in a day either.
On my last visit I managed to get her hallway totally cleaned out except for her decorative tissue box. It sits on a pedestal. I teased her that we would have to put a spotlight on that to highlight it. It makes me laugh every time I encounter a tissue box. I think there's at least one in every room, sometimes two. I'm thankful for those because I find myself with a drippy runny nose from dust. It took me two or three visits to clear the hallway with one visit focusing on getting everything to one side of the hall so that there was less of a trip hazard. She proudly exclaimed that she felt like she was in a hotel with her wide open hallway. That made me smile.
On one visit I managed to clear out the clutter from in front of both of her bedroom closet's. There's no telling the last time she was able to get in there to hang up her clothes. But now that she can get in there she has been hanging her things up. We just need to sort her clothes out and get her to let go of some of the things that she no longer wears to make room for everything. Her closets are full with other things as well both at the top and the bottom but I'm not going to worry about those right now. I'm currently excavating the pile of things on the floor at the foot of her bed so that she can get to her dresser and put things away properly. When I was last there she and I agreed that we really need to focus on finishing one room and that her bedroom was the most doable. We are going to focus on that room before digging deeper into some of the other rooms. Last time I was there I left a few things stacked on her bed in hopes that she would work on it when I wasn't there. She said she was not able to get through everything so she just climbed in bed with the stacks. I really did not want to do that to her so I may have to rethink that strategy. I saw her last night at the quilt guild meeting and she was proudly wearing a pair of the pants that I had found. She's been hanging her things up instead of hanging them on doors around the house. I can really see the difference. She told me that she's trying to develop good habits to keep our good work in evidence.
On other visits I managed to get the doorway opened up to both her long arm room and her sewing room. It's just a goat path for now but at least we can get in there when it's time to work on those rooms. I am putting things in there as she directs me and if I have space for it.
I've tried to work on the kitchen a little bit more since the second visit. She stages a lot of things in there to go out to storage or to trash. I can see that things are piling up a little bit and I just think that's an indication of not having a place to put things. I'll have to pick at it here and there as we go to try and keep it from getting really piled up like it was before.
I was supposed to go over there today but she asked me to wait because the stacks of paper have really piled up that she needs to sort through and she wants to try and get ahead of me. I may still go over there and work on areas where there is no paper to try and keep making progress and give her a little company.
Her cat Mr. Lucky is 16 years old. He has not been too happy with me in the house moving things around. Every time I go into her bedroom he gives me a hateful glare and has even growled at me. He's always begging for Sandra's attention but from what I've heard that's a normal thing. Sandra has said that he's a little bit more unsettled than usual. I really don't have a lot of cat experience but I know that he's a little hard of hearing and probably has a vision problem. I'm moving his landmarks which is probably making him upset. I'll keep trying to make friends with Mr. Lucky.
So that's the update. I've been chauffeuring her donation pile in my car and will be dropping it off today. I'll update you as we accomplish our milestones. If you're curious feel free to ask. I'll pass your well wishes on to Sandra in her endeavors.