Helping hoarders isn’t always an easy task nor is it any easier for the hoarder. If you are a hoarder looking to help yourself or a loved one who wants to help a hoarder, than this is a good place to start. Why should you have a house cleaned? What are the consequences of hoarding cleanup? How should you approach a hoarder about cleaning up?
If you haven’t read already the Do’s and Don’ts of hoarding clean up than I would advise you read them at: Hoarding Do’s and Don’ts
Hoarders have certain symptoms like any disorder which just happen to be clear and precise because you can see their home to know that they hoard items of no value. Hoarding is a definition of buying and saving items in excess and in mass. In the hoarders mind, they may know that they want to throw things out but helping them throw them out is the task. They feel overwhelmed and can’t make decisions because when they have something in their hand they want to keep it. If an item has no financial, sentimental or useful value, they don’t realize this perception. Thinking about hoarders opinions and thoughts is important to the well being of the hoarder.
Helping a hoarder you have to try to think like a hoarder. Pick up an item and say “What value can this item hold?” It has to hold value in the hoarder’s mind, for example an old newspaper that is lying on the floor and has no value. In the hoarders mind, they can never read that paper again or purchase it. What if they want to read it again? The convincing part is to let them know that they can read and obtain better information from the Internet or the local library can provide them with this information and in most cases the same article. These items have no value to the hoarder in reality because they can’t be found or they cannot remember where they placed the item.
At Address Our Mess we’ve developed a program that helps the hoarders and the family of the hoarder and we can offer much more than just a cleaning. First, the hoarder needs to be open for a cleaning and fresh start from all the materials that have no use to them. Once the house is cleaned, they need to develop a daily routine to keep it clean. Sometimes having drawers for each type of item and once that drawer gets filled than something must be emptied to keep the new stuff otherwise the new stuff must be thrown away. This limits the collection of stuff and always offers storage. Other hoarders may need, the one for one rule; every time something is purchased something must be given away. Helping hoarders is learning about hoarding, the further educated the individual the better they can learn about the situation and the reasons behind the hoarding situation.
When talking about hoarding to the hoarder or someone for advice, we recommend using compassion and helping the person understand what is causing the unhealthy environment in the home. Don't always think about throwing items away but also think about preventing further items from entering the home or pile.
These are a few of the issues that can arise when speaking about hoarding, please browse our site for other useful topics and information. Call Address Our Mess when you are ready to hire a hoarding cleanup company.