I had the pleasure of moving yesterday to way far away from everyone I know. My mom's husband told me at the beginning of July that I needed to find a new place to live by the end of the month. My dad had previously told me that I could come live with him in his house, but I said no because it's a good 45 min drive from Metro-Detroit/all my friends. I decided that my only real option, as I'm jobless and have no income, was to move in with him. When I told him I was finally taking him up on his offer, he told me that it was fine, but "you'll have to help me clean up a little."
Now, my dad has had problems with accumulating too much stuff and not giving away stuff he doesn't need for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid and my parents were still married, our house was filled with stuff (though nowhere near "Hoarders" level.) Our house was often embarrassingly messy and very cluttered, but NEVER squalorous, i.e., the dishes were washed regularly, the house was vacuumed, dusted, etc., on a regular basis. It was a mess, but not a dirty mess, if that makes sense.
The situation in this condo, however, was the worst I have ever seen in real life. My brother in law (who was helping me unload the U-Haul) and I walked in to tell my dad we were here and ready to move stuff in, and looking around made me feel so damn upset. The living room has piles of stuff everywhere. I had to move a pile of magazines and papers just to find a place to sit on the couch. The condition his kitchen was in was astonishing, and very sad. Dirty dishes were piled all over the table and the floor, as was garbage including old food. There was clear evidence of a mouse problem, as evidenced by their shit covering the floor and even the table. I wanted to cry when I saw that. He was apologetic about the state of his home, and told me that at one point, he just kinda stopped caring.
After carrying all my stuff into my room, I sat on the bed and cried. I had no idea that my dad had been living in such a state, and it made me feel like a bad daughter because I hadn't visited his house in years. He always visited us where we lived, so even when he said his home was messy, we had no idea what he meant by that. I feel guilty because he's in his mid-60s, still works full time, his eyesight is poor, and his health is not great because he's smoked a pack (at least) a day since he was a teen. I've always promised to take care of him when he gets old/sick, and I feel like I let him down. The idea that it's time to start taking care of your parents is really scary.
Luckily, he had a large supply of cleaning products (including clorox wipes, which I usually don't like but in this situation are perfect) so I got to work this morning. He also hoards clothes, so we had to go through a huge pile of those today to fold and put away. I'll ask him to go through them so that we can take them back to the Salvation Army, which is where they came from. Luckily he is aware that he has more stuff than he needs, and is willing to sort through and box it up for donation. That's the good part. I am confident that we can sort through his stuff and get rid of what he does not need. After washing everything with bleach, of course.
The plus side of living here is that we're in the middle of agricultural country, so there are lots of farmer's markets with fresh, local produce. They grow a lot of peaches around here and i'm excited to buy some and just go nuts. We bought some cherries and blueberries, a watermelon, and zucchini today. I'm excited about the produce but I knew I had to clean before doing any food prep, so that's my mission today. Tomorrow, I'll cook him a good meal in a clean kitchen. That will feel really good.
TL;DR- I moved into my dad's "Hoarder's"-style mess, and am helping him unfuck our living space. I also hope to eat local produce.
ETA: I also fell into a juniper bush out front while looking at it. Did you know that those often have little spiky parts? My right arm is all stabbed to hell from those spikes. I'm such a nerd.