Here is a great story about how to recognize and help a hoarder. Also some of the problems that could occur if the home is not cleaned.
How to Identify Hoarding and Find Professional Help
First, take some time to learn about the disorder. Hoarding is a serious condition that can have emotional, social, financial and even physical effects on a person. The behaviors and situations below are hallmark signs of compulsive hoarding:
- Avoids throwing away possessions that have no value to them or anyone else.
- Experiences mild to severe anxiety about getting rid of anything.
- Repeatedly adding to the hoard without recognition that there is a problem.
- Rooms in their home can no longer be used for their intended purpose.
- Possessions are negatively impacting their safety, health or hygiene.
Hoarding tendencies can vary in severity, but if you recognize more than one of these symptoms in your loved one, you need to find professional assistance before moving forward.
The International OCD Foundation can help you find a local therapist who specializes in hoarding disorder.
Helping a Hoarder Clean Up and Organize Their Home
Once you’ve brought in professional help and addressed the underlying issues of their hoarding tendencies, you can start helping your loved one clean their home.
Assess the situation and decide if you can take this on without a professional organizer. Gauge the severity of the hoard, as well as how many people will help you with the cleanup. You should also consider your loved one’s personal progress. A professional organizer can be a huge help if your resources allow.
“A trained professional organizer with hands on experience working with large amounts of clutter will be able to provide sorting and organizing help as well as be able to provide structure to the clean out process,” says Rachel Seavey, Professional Organizer at Collector Care.
If you decide to work with an organizing professional, they can guide you through the process. If not, use the steps below to get started.