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Discussion Starter #1
I have never lived this disorganized before. Papers are in two places, yet I keep losing important ones and I can't even figure how, unless I left them at an MD appt. The long term disability started but they take out no taxes, so I really need to right away, find out if short term disability took out taxes, how much I made from them and then presume I will get this notoriously crappy LTD policy til the end of the year. I think that's the only way to figure out what should be taken out in taxes. I also have done a horrible job of keeping medical receipts and now that I am having expensive tests at the not preferred hospital, I may qualify for the medical deduction on my taxes. But tracking down all those receipts, requesting copies, OMG, it's too much. I cannot figure stuff out like this anymore and be sure it is correct. I've always done the long form for taxes, never had trouble. Now without a mortgage, I can do the 1040, except it would be stupid not to add up all the medical receipts, right? If I don't have anything else done at the non-preferred hospital before Jan 1, I am thinking of just taking the standard deduction and let this year's receipts go. But anymore tests or procedures at that hospital, I'd be a fool not to try to see if I meet the standard.

what would you guys suggest? I think I told you, I did very, very poorly on the IQ and memory tests, except for verbal. So I could very well be way in over my head, because according to those test results there is no way I should be able to do my taxes, especially if they've changed and I know I honestly could not do math like figuring out the medical cost percentage of my income. I know this may not be the best choice, but if I have no more high cost stuff this year, then I might just take the standard deduction rather than track all that stuff down. Is that really a big mistake do you think? I sure as heck will start saving every receipt from Jan 1 on so I'm never in this mess again.

my room is so bad, I truly cannot stand it. All the Christmas presents came and they are in boxes blocking the closets. I helped my mom order clothes and PJs and I'd have one thing on the receipt so I have to sort all that out. And I STILL have all those baskets of clean laundry. I need to deep clean but since I can't bend over still without falling on my face, I'm going to have to ask the cleaning lady to do it, she charges very little, what would take me a week, she can do in an hour.

I never thought in my life that if I had free time like I do now, that I would have even allowed such a mess to start. And the desire is there to fix it. But most days, I'm still in this weird fog, I fall asleep still sitting at the dinner table. At night I get some mental energy and clarity and realize I am not sure what I did that day, if I ate, etc. I cannot explain this brain thing, it is so odd.

But what I do know is that I cannot go on like this. I can't even ask a friend to just sit with me and talk me through getting organized, I am too embarrassed and frankly, too groggy. The cleaning lady has become one of the family over the years, I know she would sit with me but I can't get past being ashamed and embarrassed.

Somewhere here I made a giant to-do list of things I needed to do just in my room. I can probably double that list and more weeks will go by without getting it done.

OK,tomorrow, I am opening 3 boxes of likely Christmas presents and asking my dad to take them downstairs. I think I can do that. How the heck did I get my Christmas shopping done and for so cheap? Just my dad left. I have never had this big of a jump on Christmas. So weird.

thanks for listening, I don't worry as much if I write it down
 

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You have so much on your plate. No wonder you're confused and overwhelmed.

Friends WON'T care if you're groggy or whatever. I say bite the bullet and ask one or some of them for help. Even if all they can do is one thing, like go through the laundry or deal with the stack of Christmas stuff, at least that's one thing done. Now is no time for pride or embarrassment. You are ill, and there's nothing shameful or embarrassing about that. It's just how life is.

You know there are professional organizers but I have no idea if the fees would be prohibitive for you.
 

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First, hugs to you! Second, I agree with Ilovechocolate post!! Ask a friend to help you... no shame at all, that is what friends do when another friend needs help!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
after writing this, I decided to take care of all the packages. Put every Christmas thing in a box for my dad to put in the basement. Sorted out all my mom's orders and put them in a box in the hallway. Put all the stuff I bought to have comfortable cotton tops to wear around the house and the PJs I have not tried on in a laundry basket. I didn't finish til 2 am but it was worth it.

If I can get the room a little better, less dusty, etc, I would let someone in to help. I wouldn't even have to do that and the cleaning lady would help me. She visits all the time and knows how bad my room is and has offered. Out of everyone I know, she would not judge me at all, she is one of those amazingly kind people you are lucky to find in life. She's helping my mom slowly with her bedroom overrun with papers and has helped her with some areas of hoarding. So she doesn't officially clean until next week, she'll be here to visit sooner and if I have not made more progress by the next time I see her, I'm going to bite the bullet and ask. I would feel better if I put everything in its place before she comes and then just ask for a deep clean. So that will be my goal and if I can't do it, then she helps me. It would be awfully nice to accomplish it myself. I felt great after doing that stuff last night.

I think part of the problem is I am trying to fit things that were not all in my bedroom in my old house, so this new room is packed. So purge needs to happen as well as storage solutions. I bought a filing thing that hangs on the back of the door, all papers and magazines will go there. Then there will be more space on my dresser that I want to leave empty.

I went back up to my normal size when on certain anti-depressants, I had lost 32 lbs and was going to have to buy smaller clothes so my pants didn't fall down. But I was too sick to do this, so at least the majority of my clothes are my size. Not the size I want but that is the least of my concerns, lol. I ordered very inexpensive under bed storage on eBay from someone in China that looked exactly like the stuff from the US from other sellers. Big mistake- they are crap, very much smaller than size listed, and smell so bad, I wouldn't want to put anything in them. lost $11 because I'm sure shipping them back to China would be more than $11. But if I do get some kind of under bed storage, I could put all my work clothes, dresses, fancy shoes, etc there so I can get it when I need it but it's not my whole closet. I have ideas and if I get some storage stuff in place, I don't have to move stuff to the basement where it is next to impossible to get down there. When I unpacked this room when we moved, I remember thinking "this feels like a hotel room", I want that back!

thank you for all the support!
 

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Bernice, I am sorry for the feeling trapped. The feeling is all too familiar for me, though for me it is in my head emotionally not physically.

Secondly, when I moved into the studio (even my landlord stopped calling it the apartement lol) which is 350-400 sft I knew I had to downsize stuff. So I got rid of all my old books, never had that much clothing etc. Just to give you some background, before you think I am attacking you. Which I am not, just going to give my 2 cents. It doesn't sound like you 'll be working any time soon. So do you really need a full set of work cloths in your room. Yes it might be very hard to reach the cellar, but you won't be working if you can't get to the cellar, right?

Could you give me an idea of what the under the bed storage smells like? If I know what it is, I might be able to give you some hints to deal with it. Or better, to have someone healthy deal with it, Im a chemist, and this sounds like it might be time for the big work.

If you have multiple laundry baskets, could you put the clothes you were daily in the wardrobe and put the other clean stuff in the laundry baskets?

Honestly to me it sounds you are going to need to purge some clothes and send them at least to the basement, even if they are out of your reach. If your mum has hoarding tendencies, it might be in the family (we have a mild form in mine) so please watch over this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think the under the bed bags are so small and smell so bad (like an intense plastic smell) that they aren't useful. The seller emailed me back, might be able to return them on his dime, waiting to see.

I kind of wanted my work clothes accessible easily because in my job, we dressed pretty casually. So I am wearing the pants now and the occasional nicer top when I leave the house. But I do not need access to things like dresses and skirts, heeled shoes often so that can go all in the basement. And there are probably some nice tops that might be too tight right now, they could go in the basement. I liked how in this house and my town house, that with efficient storage, I was always able to keep all my clothes in my room. Most of my tops are 3/4 sleeve so they are 3 season. It was so nice not to have lug everything up, plus I could just look in the closet and know what I had already. With a good purging, I probably could get back to this if using 3 large under bed boxes.

If not, down to the basement it goes. Everyday I'll chip away one small piece at least and get that help if I need it.

My mom hoards and sometimes when I saw "great deals" on tops for work, i'd snatch them up. I'm not at all trendy so I can keep stuff and use it for years. But then work ended, so now I'm not getting the cost per wear use out of them and that bugs me. I know it's silly, but I want to use them more even though my doctors and certainly my friends and family do not care what I am wearing. Thankfully, I did not spend much on the items, $12 or less on sale or clearance is my sweet spot. I feel guilty packing away good stuff that I could see myself wearing occasionally. But dresses and skirts can go downstairs or some out the door.

I know this doesn't make sense, I know I should put all of it in the basement. And I will but want to try under bed storage first. I also am having trouble really believing I won't be working at anything in the foreseeable future. Packing away those tops in the basement feels too final.

My goal today is to clean out all the old, ratty PJs and put the new ones away. That sounds do-able.

Thank you for helping me. I don't mean to disregard advice, it's just very hard to come to terms with the finality of work.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ok, trying on clothes did not happen, my dad was not feeling well and if I tried on multiple items I'd start toppling over after a while.

So I organized papers and paid pills (slowly, and triple checked that I was doing it correctly). I bought this file thing you put on a back of a door, 4 file size pockets and 2 smaller ones. The only thing is I have to get a stool out to reach the top two files, grrr. But I put receipts in one, all the medical stuff I could find in another. I have to go through the basket of papers tomorrow and then there will be not one thing on that end of the dresser, yay!

funny- I found for the second time, my parent's Christmas money from last year. I thought I put it towards nightgowns and tops but I must've paid by credit card. Have to decide if this can go in my secret (empty) slush fund to spend a bit here and there when I have the shopping bug.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ok, trying on clothes did not happen, my dad was not feeling well and if I tried on multiple items I'd start toppling over after a while.

So I organized papers and paid pills (slowly, and triple checked that I was doing it correctly). I bought this file thing you put on a back of a door, 4 file size pockets and 2 smaller ones. The only thing is I have to get a stool out to reach the top two files, grrr. But I put receipts in one, all the medical stuff I could find in another. I have to go through the basket of papers tomorrow and then there will be not one thing on that end of the dresser, yay!

funny- I found for the second time, my parent's Christmas money from last year. I thought I put it towards nightgowns and tops but I must've paid by credit card. Have to decide if this can go in my secret (empty) slush fund to spend a bit here and there when I have the shopping bug.
But a gigantic YAY for the small amount I did today! Grateful
 

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Bernice, how are you with watching videos on de-cluttering? Can you search for Kon-marie method and watch some videos for help with the clothes? Also google capsule wardrobes and Project 333. That might help you with your wardrobe at least. Clothes may not need to go in the basement or under your bed. Could be with proper organizers you could fit more in your closet. But also could be you need to simply purge old clothes...no matter how cheap they came.

I'm in a similar boat to you. I've been on various anti-psychotics over the years and my weight fluctuated by 30 to 50 lbs! I thought I had to keep everything from size 12-18 in the house. But the truth is I've been size 16/18 for the last 3 years. So I finally got rid of the older smaller stuff this summer. It starts to look dated, which doesn't help.

We do live in a four season climate. I keep out-of-season clothes under the bed in storage, as you are wanting to do. I have one bin. My closet space is 3 linear feet. I share with DH and we live in an older home where closets were an afterthought. And I get 5 linear feet of drawer space. DH gets the other half. Needless to say that's not a lot of space. I use Kon-Marie's method of folding clothes. I can fit more in that way and easily see what I have at a glance.

I have blazers and jackets that I hang in the front entry closet. It's 8' long, and shared with DH. But my jackets and blazers don't go there unless I've worn them more than once the last year. I took all my closet clothes in August and turned the hangers around on the rod. As I wore an item, I'd turn the hangers the other way. That way I could get a good idea of what I was really wearing, and what to get rid of. Several items are heading towards the donation box.

Now dealing with paper is another matter altogether. I'm with you on struggling with that! I'd never attempt to do my own taxes. Too complicated for me. I found the best organizer for me was a little cardboard brown filing box. I keep all the receipts for the year there. If I have any bills I can put them in there if I wanted to, but I don't. In our house bills come electronically in email or are put beside the phone in the kitchen as soon as they come in. They are paid after every payday - the 15th and the 30/31st - before they are overdue.

Sounds like you're doing great organizing things! Keep it up!
 

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Bernice, how are you with watching videos on de-cluttering? Can you search for Kon-marie method and watch some videos for help with the clothes? Also google capsule wardrobes and Project 333.

I'm in a similar boat to you. I've been on various anti-psychotics over the years and my weight fluctuated by 30 to 50 lbs! I thought I had to keep everything from size 12-18 in the house. But the truth is I've been size 16/18 for the last 3 years. So I finally got rid of the older smaller stuff this summer. It starts to look dated, which doesn't help.

Sounds like you're doing great organizing things! Keep it up!
I cannot explain to others how on higher doses it is REALLY hard not to gain a ton of weight. Sometimes I'd do slim fast for a month and lose like 3lbs! I felt so good 32 lbs lighter, sigh. What's that saying? Mental Health before Beauty, lol. I reached the point that keeping 6p up to 14p was stupid after many, many years of not getting that small. I brought so much into work and it was gone in seconds. But if one more person says, "you just have to try harder" while I am huge on this med, I'm afraid I will rant like a lunatic, saying, "have you taken this? No? Well, until you do, you had best shut up!", lol.

this house has more closet space than any I've had before. Mine actually has two. In one I put it all straight shelving and put bins on all the rows, it holds a lot. The other one is more traditional and, to me, it's great. But I only have floor space for one dresser and I put a skinny tall dresser in a corner. I haven't even touched under the BR sink or the linen closets. The sink needs to be decluttered underneath. Claire's linen closet and mine are virtually empty. I've never had a linen or coat closet in any other house. So the space is there to make my living area better, I just have to do all the purging first. This is just a ranch house, I'm surprised at the closet space in it, it must be just how new house are now. So I'm complaining when I should be rejoicing at having more space then ever before, lol.

I actually like to organize when it's not this bad. But I will get it done. I haven't watched Kon-marie videos but her book is in my book bag. I keep sending it back unread because I am actually scared of the things she will make me get rid of.
 

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Yeah, well, you don't have to do everything KonMarie suggests! ;) Just take what works for where you are right now. Leave the rest. The YouTube videos might be a way to ease into her method. Here's an in-depth detailed video of a clothing purge KonMarie style. It's over 40 minutes long, but it's good.

Meds can be a pain. People who don't take them do not understand. The side effects of these meds are often worse than the disease itself, which is why so many people don't stay on their meds. I never could get the point of prescribing a medicine with a temporary side effect of suicidal tendencies, for someone who is severely depressed. Never got that. Medicine has a long ways to go when it comes to mental health issues and the brain.

As for your fogginess and vertigo (toppling over?), you might want to phone your doctor's nurse, or pharmacist and ask if it's a temporary side effect that will go away. Could be it will, in which case, for me, that meant 2-3 weeks. Or it could be you're on too strong a dose of medication. But only your doctor can tell you that.

The key is to try and stay in shape, even if you are heavier. Your heart and lungs need you to exercise, even if it's just 30 minutes a day of walking somewhere. I find if I keep up some kind of workout routine, I am more flexible and have more stamina for things like de-cluttering. :) Maybe find a mat program on YouTube you can do sitting down, so you don't topple over. Anyways, this is far beyond the original topic of this thread!

You're doing great! Just do one thing a day. If you're foggy headed, lay down and rest for a while. You might benefit from someone helping you make decisions by asking you questions about your clothes, and you do the actual purging. I find that helps keep me focused.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The falling down and unable to walk properly because I am so dizzy when not flat, finally got diagnosed as POT syndrome. It makes my heart race to over 200 and the pill to try to get a handle on that (because a pulse sustained that high can lead to a cardiac event) makes my blood pressure so low, no one can hear it. So we are trying to find a med combo that actually works for both problems and not having much luck. I'm actually not supposed to exercise for now, not even gradually upping my walking. It's too risky because exercise makes your pulse higher. He said that is a long way down the road.

Then the rest is brain stuff. There's a big bundle of vessels sitting right where cognition occurs and it's caused 2 seizures, and done so much damage to my cognition, I'm getting nervous. I had to take an IQ and a bunch of memory tests. The only thing that saved my IQ, is that verbal ability is there, especially when written. But it's embarrassing to admit just how bad I did on the rest of it. I knew I was doing terrible the first day and started to cry when I could not do what was asked of me, no matter how hard I tried. So we stopped and I came back the following week. I have lost 60 IQ points. I failed the memory tests miserably. If I have to stay like this, I can muddle through life but if I lose more IQ points, what will I do? I see neuro next week and have lots of questions. The fogginess, confusion, memory loss is supposedly the brain in combo with no BP. So I'm in that time of having to wait to get everything figured out properly. I just pray they do!
 

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Peanut, I couldn't sleep last night and there was only one book left in the library bag- Marie Kondo. I'm taking that as a sign, lol.

I have to stop reading it and thinking, "but this will take me years the way I am now, how am I going to ever get to that state?" I'm going to read it all the way through and try not to think how I will do everything she does, and instead just absorb what she has to say. At the end, I'll decide if trying is what I need to do. What I read so far I remember made sense, I just can't remember what that was and once again, I have to start a book totally over, lol!
 

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Bernice, you have a long row to hoe, as we say where I grew up. You are doing great! Don't give up hope, no matter what.

Ask your doctor if there are any brain exercises you can do to help your brain. Sometimes there are. I sure understand about the no physical exercise thing. My pacemaker is set at a top limit of 155 beats per minute, and I have to modify exercise routines all the time to keep below the kinesthiologist (sp?) recommended 135 bpm. Just standing up shoots my heart rate up 30 bpm to 120 bpm. Yes, my resting heart rate is around 80 bpm.

I have poor memory and cognition too, because of meds though. I claimed at the time that I felt my IQ drop about 30 points on meds. I write point form notes in a binder/journal specifically for note taking of things I want to remember. Then, instead of having to reread the whole book, I go to my note taking journal and read it. I always note the title and author of the book at the top of the page before taking the notes. So I can go back to the library if necessary, and find the book again.
 

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Thanks, peanut. My resting heart rate is never below 190 and I often do not take it during exertion like a shower because I'm scared it will be so high that I will talk myself into "you must be having a cardiac event, you're gonna die, sit down!" All in all, I'm muddling through, I just get so frustrated. But I could be much worse off, I tell myself that all the time.

My shrink, primary and the IQ psychologist said it's a life of copious reading that probably kept verbal above average. So I asked if reading would help (I had already made up "brain rehab" that consisted of daily reading and trying to follow a complicated tv show). No one would commit but they said keep doing it. So I am, I don't worry about having forgotten most of the plot, I just keep going. Hopefully, neuro can answer that next week and all my other questions like, "this ball of vessels is scaring me so how about we arrange to cut that sucker out tomorrow, ok?" I am scared of brain surgery but I am even more scared of losing more abilities.

Peanut, I think the same things about certain meds. I had been on them for a long time and I know I was not as sharp and I started forgetting stuff, we need safer drugs.
 

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190 bpm! :yikes: That's high!

My sister had a "knot" of blood vessels in her brain and had them removed. They were affecting her vision. The surgery was a great success! Though she has vision problems to this day, it doesn't affect her driving. The rest of her eyes have managed to compensate for the one area of damage in one eye. The only problem now for her is reading can be tiring as she has to work at it. Which is sad. She used to read voraciously.

I think it all depends where the knot is whether they can remove it or not, and what the collateral damage would be. Also, a lot of brain research is so new - like last 20 years or so - that the experts/specialists are just now trying to figure out how they can use the research to better their patients lives. It's a fascinating field of study and a hot topic right now.
 

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I think it all depends where the knot is whether they can remove it or not, and what the collateral damage would be. Also, a lot of brain research is so new - like last 20 years or so - that the experts/specialists are just now trying to figure out how they can use the research to better their patients lives. It's a fascinating field of study and a hot topic right now.
there is a guru here doing amazing things with microsurgery. The only catch is my insurance is set up through my hospital center, if you go to anything or any doctor affiliated with them, I pay nothing or very little. Go to the med center where the guru operates, that's the competition and I get slammed with thousands of dollars and 30% of the cost of the whole shebang. I can switch into a NYS Marketplace and get a better policy but not until 1/1. I am about to be slammed because I had to have a neuro test there.

I'm glad your sister's went ok but that does stink about reading. Has she tried large print books? I had a detached retina that could not be repaired so large print makes it so much easier.
 

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That stinks Bernice! Hopefully you can make it till 1/1 then. Not sure if DSIS uses large print books or not. She's on the other side of the continent. :) I do know she's still reading though, because they are always commenting on what a nice place their new community library is and how they visit it every week.

How's it going with Kon-marie?
 

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I read 40 pages last night, forgot everything so have been reading off and on today. I would love to live in a home that feels like she describes. But then she started talking about doing everything in one fell swoop, doing it piecemeal does not work. But I would drop dead if I tried to do my room in one session, lol. I can't follow her on that.

But so far I like it, it just scares me, that thought of giving so much away that I might need again. I'll keep reading!
 

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Aaah! I have a friend whose DH is afraid of giving things away, or even selling them, for fear they might need them in the future. I used to be like that, and still am to a certain degree. I'll try to sell things first, and if they don't sell, then I'll look around for an appropriate recipient for them. I am finding it easier to let go if I know my stuff will go to a) someone who appreciates it (the buyers), or b) someone who needs/could use it (the recipients of my donating).

What I have a hard time with is trashing things. I let the thrift stores do that, if they want to. You just never know what people might need. For example, I always make sure old clothes don't have holes or paint on them (those do go in the trash). But I give the rest to the thrift store. I was talking to a thrift store employee once and she told me they bundle up all the clothing they can't use and sell it for rags to businesses in town...making more money from it for charity.

Now I don't know if all thrift stores do this. I suspect not! It pays to phone and ask what they do with things they can't use that are donated to them. But that was enough to convince me to donate to that thrift store when I had clothes to get rid of. I knew they'll make good use of what is given to them. :)

I don't like all the clutter in my house that gets in the way of the life I want to live. Space is finite in this house, so I'm releasing some items to make room for activities I want to do here.

To that end, I think it's good if you have in mind what you want your bedroom to look like at the end of your cleaning up. Do you want a reading corner? A comfy spa like atmosphere? What are you aiming for? It can be discouraging, or motivating.

Hope you have a good night's sleep Bernice. Hang in there! :)
 
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