Monday, March 7, 2011

The DeClutter Project Report - Week 10

I must confess that I did no decluttering this past weekend.  I spent Sunday getting ready to go out of town later this week (more on that later) and on Saturday, I went home to visit with my mother who has recently been forced to undergo a rapid, unexpected decluttering process of her own.

A few weeks ago, on an extremely cold winter evening, a couple of pipes burst in the bathroom of the finished attic of her house.  Water leaked down to all three floors below, causing major damage to two bathrooms, a small bedroom, the kitchen, the dining room and the laundry room.  
The kitchen ceiling
Luckily, she was able to get a plumber in quickly and the insurance company reacted equally fast, bringing in a company to take away the wet items and dry out the house.  Of course, it took a couple of weeks with large, industrial-sized fans going 24/7 to dry out the floors, kitchen cupboards, walls and ceilings.  Then they had to rip out the damaged parts to have a look at the extent of the damage.  But they did an amazing job, worked quickly and have left the house in a very neat and tidy condition, all prepped and ready to go.

Here's how the dining room looks, waiting for the ceiling to be repaired, replastered and repainted:

At the moment, everything is on hold while the paperwork gets sorted and bids are entertained to do the repair work.  For now, half of her nearly a century old house sits empty, waiting to be restored to a functioning state.  The contents and furniture from the damaged rooms have been removed to be dried, cleaned and then stored until the work is done.

I have to hand it to my mom, she is really handling this well, with much patience and good humour.  Here she is, peeking through the plastic sheeting that divides one side of the house from the other to keep the dust and dirt from the damaged, soon to be under construction side from the undamaged side of the house.

So when you're looking around your home, thinking about maybe doing a little decluttering of your own, give some thought to what it might be like if you had a minor catastrophe like this take place and had to empty the contents within, say, 24 hours.  Or less than that.  Imagine being asleep and waking up, as my mother did, to the sound of running water, going downstairs to find your kitchen floor sitting under 2 inches of water, with more water continuing to run down the wall.  What would you save? What would you leave behind?

Kind of makes you want to live as minimally as possible, doesn't it?  Then again, maybe just call your insurance agent and make sure your policy covers flooding.  :)


Psychic Cottage said...

Oh no that's awful! Your Mom looks just like you or you like her I guess. I'm sure it will look just amazing when its all finished.

kate mckinnon said...

I'm sorry to hear that! But your mom is so cute.