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Two years of watching Hoarders did not prepare me for this shit - Drinking from the Fire Hose
and trying not to drown

Date: 2014-08-12 16:26
Subject: Two years of watching Hoarders did not prepare me for this shit
Security: Public
Location:Home and on my corner of the couch
Tags:flooding, hoarding, rl
Subject says it all.

We still haven't heard from the claims adjuster. The heating/cooling guy is here now. The hot water heater guy was here this morning but when he was here it was impossible to reach the hot water heater (and at that point it appeared to be working). It is now accessible (or will be once the heating/cooling guy leaves) but in between these two events I discovered that our enormous chest freezer had floated during the flood, flipped on to its front side, had the door fall open. I spent the last hour or so fishing mushy packages of once frozen meat and containers of Jebra's home-made chili out of the mess and hauling it all up the stairs and outside. Where we are taking photographs for the insurance claim. There's no telling, at this point, what our insurance will or will not cover. The good news is that our home equity line of credit is still active and we can borrow against it.

I've been plugging away since 9 am and honestly it barely looks like we have removed anything. I started at the side of the basement with the pantry (and peeked inside -- lots of topsy turvy stuff in there too -- but no where to pull it out to look at, clean & disinfect or anything else. So I moved forward and retrieved the cat's dishes & litter pans, scooped up as much soggy litter as I could manage, and started collecting clothes from the various spots they fell. We own an incredible number of t-shirts, kilts, and work shirts. I think *everything* needs to be washed just to be on the safe side, whether or not it was immersed in water.

Speaking of washing clothes, the washer & dryer are currently nonfunctional. We bought them at Sears so I called them up to ask what to do. Or I should say I *tried* to ask -- first I got lost in voicemail hell, then I got to a person who would only repeat things from her script. All I wanted to know was if there is a typical scenario -- fix or replace -- and all she would say was we had to talk to our insurance claims adjuster. Which annoys me because if the proper solution is to replace we'll do that even if we have to foot the majority of the bill. After that round of frustration I called the local Maytag Repair service and learned that it may be possible to just dry out the machines, not replace them. Right now we have no room to disassemble the washer & dryer nor is there room for a fan to run, not without setting it on the still very wet floor (no flooding, just so saturated with water it is refusing to dry). And I expect there are many storage boxes and bins holding water as at least 75% of the ones I've laid hands on so far did.

I have yet to enter the downstairs toilet, which perhaps strangely is also the gateway to the husband's office, nor have I tried to clear the approach to the weight room and musical instrument storage area. Or done more than put one foot into the pantry.

I keep thinking about Tiny Houses and wishing we'd done a clear out long ago. Except I also keep looking at stuff and thinking "but I still like my CDs, DVDs, and million and a half t-shirts."

This entry was originally posted at http://mrs-sweetpeach.dreamwidth.org/789540.html.
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User: maddiec24
Date: 2014-08-12 21:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
OMG, sweetie, what a nightmare. We didn't have flooding here, but people in Savannah did. I'm sure some of them are going through the same thing as you.

I'm getting concerned about our hoarding tendencies as well. The sun porch was basically empty except for a freezer, washer and dryer and a small table when we moved in. Now there's a small path to get to the washer and dryer, and a small path to get to the back door. The bedroom we moved out of, which shouldn't have anything in it considering the state of the floor, is nearly full. We need to have a giant yard sale.

I hope the claims process goes smoothly and quickly.
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Maia C
User: maiac
Date: 2014-08-12 23:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You have all my sympathy. I only have inconvenience, not major mess and serious loss. I've had to buy a ShopVac to dry out the old carpeting that's been in the basement since before I bought th house, but that carpeting probably kept the water from spreading around and causing more damage. If the ShopVac would be useful to you, you're welcome to borrow it. I hope I won't need it after tonight.
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User: sylvanwitch
Date: 2014-08-13 02:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm so sorry to hear of your flooding troubles and wish you the best of luck in recovery/replacement. My parents' house was struck with a 100-year-flood some years ago, and I still remember how terrifying it was and then how much work there was after the water receded. I hope the insurance covers everything too. The last thing you need when you're trying to clean/clear out is hassles with big bureaucracies. :-(

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User: polly_b
Date: 2014-08-14 20:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, no, I just finally got around to reading my flist after neglecting it for days - I'm so sorry! What an awful ordeal to contend with! Wishing you Godspeed with everything you have to do! Big hugs, too!
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User: lolabobs
Date: 2014-08-14 21:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm catching up on my reading and am just now seeing what a nightmare you're having. You have my sympathies and thoughts x
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User: greenlady2
Date: 2014-08-16 16:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, God. I haven't had time lately to check up on posts at LJ, so I didn't see this one until today. My extreme sympathies.

You should have full insurance coverage for this event, including the freezer spoilage. I hope so.

"...wishing we'd done a clear out long ago. Except I also keep looking at stuff and thinking "but I still like my CDs, DVDs, and million and a half t-shirts."

Just to be technical and academic about your pain: this is a natural human thing, not really hoarding, so don't feel guilty about it. If you live in a place for a long time, you're going to collect stuff.

I totally sympathize, though. We don't usually think about the stuff we're collecting until circumstances like these force us to. I'm moving at the end of the month, and I've been here 9 years, so of course I've collected stuff. A lot of this stuff I've had to throw out or donate, because it would take too long to move it all. No matter what anyone says about 'clearing the clutter', and 'you don't really need all that junk anyway', I still feel bad about getting rid of things I like, even if I'm not using them.

I hope some of your things are salvageable. Take care.

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