Monthly Archives: August 2013

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Hoarding Issues – Who is a Hoarder, Are You?

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A member of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, I have a Level II Certificate as a Chronic Disorganization Specialist. I’ve taken numerous courses in the area of chronic disorganization and hoarding, and have worked with a fair number of people suffering with hoarding issues. Whether working with a team, or one-on-one with the client, hoarding resolution services are customized to the needs of the situation.

Hoarding has become part of our everyday language. When I receive calls about organizing services, people will either introduce themselves as being a “bit-of-a-hoarder”, or say that they are definitely “not-a-hoarder”. Often calls are from adult children seeking help for their parents…

Yet there has been a change in the last year or so…now I’m receiving calls from more folks who admit to being a “hoarder”. They are fed up with their situation and want to start the process of getting their house in order. I believe that this shift can be attributed to the TV shows on the topic, like A&E Hoarders, and TLC Buried Alive…which have literally opened the closet doors on hoarding to millions of people.

Are you a hoarder? Well to start with, if you are a bit messy…you are not a hoarder….as hoarding is a beyond messy, it’s a serious problem that negatively impacts a person on a day-to-day basis….not to mention the lives of those who either live with them or care about them from a distance….

The Institute for Challenging Disorganization has created a Clutter—Hoarding Scale, a useful guide that outlines the five levels of clutter. It’s regularly referred to by professional organizers who work in the area of chronic disorganization and hoarding, health professionals, family, and others. It serves as a clutter-measurement tool to determine the severity of a situation based on a clear set of criteria.

Here is a quick self-assessment questionaire, should you answer yes to more than four questions…you may have issues around hoarding:

Issues with Hoarding…Maybe? 

1. Do you not invite family, friends, neighbors, or others to your home on account of the volume of clutter?

2. Are you able to use all your rooms as intended or is there one or more you can’t use due to the amount of clutter?

3. Is the state of your home causing you emotional issues, problems, and day-to-day stress on account of clutter?

4. Do you bring home and keep free things, or shop for stuff that you can’t afford and really have no use for?

5. Would you say that you have a hard time (not doing it or procrastinating) with letting go of your personal possessions through donation, recycling, or garbage?

6. Is your inability to “declutter” your home affecting your work, relationships, or social life in the negative?

The Institute for Challenging Disorganization is a great go-to place for information on hoarding…

And for your own copy of the Institute for Chronic Disorganization Clutter—Hoarding Scale, please click this link: Clutter—Hoarding Scale.

All requests for information or consultation are welcome, no-obligation, and remain 100% confidential.