What do you do if your house is destroyed? The clock is ticking, and there is no time to waste. You’re about to lose everything, and it’s about to get expensive. Here’s what you need to know before the panic sets in. Reaction time is key and may be the link to your survival.
So, have you ever felt like your house is floating away along with your confidence to maintain it?
Major Water Damage
Well, we had this question on my YouTube show Ask A House Cleaner today:
I live in a two-story townhouse with an attic. Three days ago, my dining room ceiling burst open and water poured out. This continued for several hours, and no one knew why or how to stop it.
I have water damage in the attic, the master bedroom, the bath, the hall and the stairs. The dining room ceiling fell. Half the house is damaged. I don’t know what to do. The restoration company says they’ll do everything. Everything includes tearing down the ceiling and walls and putting up carpets, maybe floors, and removing everything from the attic.
She Needs Help
I don’t have the space to empty the water damaged rooms. I had too many personal belongings before this happened, and I have a little marketplace business that helps the depression more than the pocketbook. The professionals know what they need to do, but I don’t.
My therapist and my psychiatrist are wonderful and supportive, but they can’t give me the practical advice I need. I need advice on how to manage so I can get through this without any more panic attacks and reduced anxiety.
First, I’m so sorry to hear you’re in this situation. Thank you for writing in with this question. And there are tons of benefits of therapy, so I love that you already have a therapist and psychiatrist working with you. Let me share a story that might also help you.
I Cut My Finger
Let’s go back to a time when I was renovating my house. I was by myself. It was on a Saturday and my car was in the shop. While I was renovating my house, I had a caulking gun with one of those little barrels of caulking in it.
I went to cut off the top of it so I could use it in the caulking gun. I had a box cutter and as I was holding it, I went to cut it. Instead of cutting it away from me, I cut it towards me. It slid into my finger and it cut my finger all the way down to the bone
My Finger Was a Mess
Needless to say, I had a small problem. My finger was a mess, and I couldn’t stop the bleeding. So, I’m trying to apply pressure with my other hand above my heart so more blood is not pumping straight to my finger.
“What am I supposed to do with this?” I thought. I don’t have a vehicle. I can’t run down to the doctor. If I call for help, my husband who’s 30 minutes away can’t come help me immediately. I’m going to have to call the ambulance. But how expensive would that be?
What Do I Do?
So, there I was, now starting to go into shock. I realize I have just a few minutes of clarity left. But then I start thinking how I need my hands for everything I do for a living. If I lose my finger, and it’s kind of just hanging there by the bone, I’m in serious trouble. What resources do I have available to me at this exact moment in time?
As I look around, I see a box of band-aids. But that is going to be useless because my finger is just barely holding on.
I Needed to Act Fast
Then I see, right there in my cleaning caddy, some super glue. I said, “What would happen if I super glue my finger?”
Well, I don’t have time to think this through. I’m losing a lot of blood fast. So, the thing that I did is I did exactly what I knew I should do, which is try to stop the bleeding. The quickest way I know how to do that is the super glue.
Now, if I touch my finger, it hurts so bad. But I don’t have time to worry about the hurt. I have to deal with the immediacy of the situation.
I Super Glued My Finger
So, when they come to each person’s house on the team, they just go in and they knock out the dishes every time. But what that also means is they need to show up prepared.
They’re going to be throwing away a lot of paper cups, plates and bowls, and big gulp cups and soda cans. So, they need to bring garbage bags. They start bringing the supplies with them because that’s their job. And they end up knowing that specialty.
My Finger Was Okay
When I got to the hospital, they said, “We can do a check to make sure that everything is okay. But it looks like you’ve seamed everything back together again where you cut it. We don’t think you cut any tendons. Can you move your finger?”
I said, “I can, but man, does it hurt.” They said, “You know what, we’re going to leave it as is. We’re going to leave it with your super glue on there and we’re going to call this a good deal. We’ll check it in a couple of days. It’s probably going to be black and blue.”
So, they sent me home.
We Don’t Have the Luxury to Stop
Now, in the immediacy of a situation, we don’t have the luxury to stop. When your ceiling drops out, and your whole house is water damaged, it’s like you’re bleeding out. You can’t stop and wonder how to renovate your home in a meaningful way that restores my marketplace.
We don’t have that luxury. What we’re saying in this moment is, “I’m going to bleed out. I don’t have a car. Help is too far away. I have to take immediate action.”
What is the Most Immediate Problem?
So, what we do know is this. If we don’t get rid of the water damage immediately, it will continue to spread and damage even more stuff. It means all the stuff that’s already damaged is going to start rotting and fall apart. Then you’re going to get mold damage.
So, instead of just water damage now, you have mold damage, and that’s twice as expensive. It might even ruin the value of your home.
Reaction Time is Key
We got to do this immediately, okay? There are times in our lives where we have the luxury of taking out time to sort through our belongings. Then there are other times where we’re just reacting. We’re going to fix the problem immediately, then we can come back.
There Will Always Be New things to Have
It might help to realize that new things will always come into your life that you will come to cherish too. So even if you lose the things you are sentimental about now, it’s okay. That doesn’t mean you will never have anything again.
Too often, we end up holding on to stuff for dear life because we think it’s the last of whatever it is we’re going to have. In reality, there’s a plethora of stuff around you.
Almost Everything is Replaceable
Almost everything you own is replaceable. The exception might be some photographs or heirlooms belonging to a relative. So, just stop for a second and ask yourself, “What is the immediacy of the situation? What do I need to deal with right now?”
Listen to the Professionals
There are professionals who know what to do. My suggestion is to take a step back, and let the professionals do what they do best. They’ve dealt with this all day, every day. They know the quickest, fastest, most inexpensive way to get you back on your feet.
Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hoardingworld
Reclaim Your Life From Hoarding: Practical Strategies for Decluttering Your Home – https://amzn.to/35R1zIU
Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things – https://amzn.to/2SXEeme
Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding – https://amzn.to/364zyxT
Treatment for Hoarding Disorder: Therapist Guide – https://amzn.to/3jdbUqn
Treatment for Hoarding Disorder: Workbook – https://amzn.to/3wUQse7