When is clutter a problem (Issues Cleaning Up Home Clutter)?
Simply put, clutter becomes an issue when it stops the individual from living the life they want to live. Many people are attached to their possessions and collect things that become close to their heart, but in some cases this sentimental compulsion becomes hoarding and hurts the life of the hoarder. It is important to have the hoarding individual acknowledge that the items that they are keeping are causing them and possibly their loved one’s harm. These items can get in the way of living the happy and healthy lifestyle that they want to live.
To Help the Hoarder Acknowledge Their Problem Ask these Questions:
- Are pathways and or doorways blocked? This can obstruct emergency exits and even serve as tripping hazards, taking down anyone who attempts to walk through.
- Is movement limited in rooms? Having difficulty turning or reaching particular parts of a room? Clutter should not reach levels where it impairs movement and places special limits.
- Are there bad smells coming from perishable decomposing matter? Items, such as food, that reach the point of decomposition can cause the growth of bacteria and attract vermin, putting the health of the residents in danger. In addition to health risks, unsavory smells may accompany the unpleasant appearance.
- Is clutter concealing an unhygienic environment or making it difficult to clean? Those decomposing items and any other mess accompanying the decomposition may be hidden by other clutter. In addition to being out of sight, some of the unhygienic matter may be inaccessible to clean due to clutter obstacles.
- Do items keep getting lost in clutter? If items keep getting lost in mounds of objects, and the search to find them is comparable to a needle in a haystack, clutter has become an issue.
- Have people stopped visiting you or do you refuse to let them in? If clutter is controlling whether people are allowed to visit or deterring these people, then it is important to recognize its overbearing presence.
Do you expect that someone in your life is a hoarder, or do you expect that you yourself are a hoarder? Read the five warning signs of hoarding below to get an idea of whether or not an individuals behaviors suggest that they have hoarding disorder (Note: This is not an official diagnosis. For an official diagnosis consult a mental health professional).
Five Warning Signs of Hoarding:
- Isolation (becoming socially withdrawn)
- Closed door policy (unwillingness to let anyone in the house), people stop visiting or are not allowed in
- Indecisive behavior (excessive attachment to belongings), pathways and doorways are blocked, limited movement in rooms caused by clutter, decomposing perishable matter causing an unhygienic environment, and items keep getting lost in clutter
- Unlivable living space (difficulty managing daily activities)
- Asking for help (If Invited Into the Home of a Hoarder Take the Opportunity to Help)
Not all clutter is bad, but when clutter reaches obstructive levels, it causes more harm than good. Make sure clutter is not limiting your life or the life of an individual that you suspect is a hoarder, understand that there are solutions. Though cleaning may not always be the most exciting task, it is helpful (and necessary). Professional cleaning services like us at Address Our Mess can make life a little easier by taking on the job. Don’t let clutter control your life; control the clutter.