Our son came home from boarding school a week ago and he and I, working an hour or so each evening, have gotten his room almost completely organized. It won't stay that way, he is ADD like his Dad and he tends to put things away by just piling them up. But for a while at least there is space to pile them, and even room for all his books on his shelves.
I wish it were as easy with John. He is proud of himself that he has actually gotten rid of stuff--five or six boxes of books and 15 boxes of documents (I found a graduate student who wanted those and came from Atlanta to pick them up). Some of the boxes of documents were on shelves in the unfinished part of our basement, and so when the boxes went I was able to put camping equipment that was piled up on the floor away on the shelves. The floor of the central part of the basement room was actually clear! I feel a big relief of stress when I see things in order.
It lasted two days. Then John brought home boxes and boxes of stuff from his office and put them in the space I had cleared in the basement room. He plans eventually to find space in his home study for the things in the boxes, but will that ever happen? He reports he is making progress on his home study. I am encouraging him to work on it with the student we hired to help him move. Even if there isn't that much that the student can do to help, I don't think John will make any progress without someone working with him to keep him focused.
I'm a naturally fairly organized person, but a full time job and small children and my own inner journey overwhelmed me and our house has been a mess for years. In the last year I've made a lot of progress on my part. But the very most frustrating thing is getting my stuff cleared off a table or countertop or getting a room into order, only to have John pile his stuff there.
He thinks I am overreacting because he has always been somewhat that way, and usually gets things done eventually (months later). I may be overreacting to what I see as intensification of patterns that have always bothered me, such as hoarding and difficulty with organizing, because I fear it will now get completely out of hand. There are four grocery bags of cans of soup on the floor in front of the shelves in a pantry area that have been there for months (in an area I cleared out six months ago). I suppose I know that isn't important in the larger scheme of things but I get so frustrated when I get things organized and feel a reduction in stress and then John ruins my organization.
As I read messages in the Yahoo LBD spouses group, what I see is an ongoing pattern that it is hard when the person with LBD is still trying to do something for himself but can't always manage it well. It gets easier in a way when they just can't do it, but I shouldn't be looking forward to that.