I arrived and we sat down for our usual little chat before starting.
"I'm tired, I think I've been pushing myself a bit too hard"
"Do you want to make this a 'short' day?" I asked.
"Maybe, let's see how it goes. I want to go back to my bedroom. We haven't been there since the first time you came"
We started by moving the bags we'd packed for charity down to the front hall.
"I've organised some boxes so we could pack up more videos. I think I can pack the videos up but I probably won't be able to get rid of them completely for a while yet. We may finish the house before I'll be ready to let them go."
This was our second go at packing up old video tapes. We'd done the oldest ones in the fourth visit. There were a few special ones that she was trying to find which was difficult because all the boxes look the same because they are the films and programs she had recorded herself. These special ones were the 'lifesavers' when she was ill, the ones to watch late at night when sleep won't come. Everyone knows about 'comfort eating'. These videos fulfilled the same function for Stella. These 'old friends' like bald teddy bears are not things that she wants to throw away, just because they are an out-dated technology.
Starting next to the door, we worked our way around the room clearing and organising surfaces armed with a duster. Books were put away, bric-brac was cleaned and re-displayed. More bags of paper were carried down to the ground floor for the preliminary sort.
"Getting rid of the envelopes and the junk mail is easy and I'm much more comfortable doing it. It's amazing how much goes without needing a lot of thought or making decisions "
Papers that make it through the first sorting are containerised into boxes. Loose paper looks confusing . A neat box of paper is much more approachable.
Stella had a big smile as we both admired the clear space around her bed and in the middle of the floor.