If you live with someone who hoards, know a hoarder, or have a loved one that hoards, we are here to help. In this blog post, we dive into the psychology of hoarding and give tips on how to help. We won’t judge you; let’s look at why hoarding happens.
The Psychology of Hoarding and How to Help People That Hoard
Before we delve into why hoarding happens, let’s first look at hoarding in general. According to the Mayo Clinic, hoarding is the excessive collection of items and the inability to discard unneeded items. It is a mental illness categorized along with obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Experts go on to describe hoarding as the following:
Hoarding is the excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them.
Hoarding can cause distress or impairment and may also be a symptom of another psychiatric disorder.
It can be distressing to live in a home with extreme hoarding.
People with hoarding disorder have persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. Symptoms may include extreme anxiety and even aggression toward family members, friends, or anyone who touches their possessions.
Hoarding is different from collecting.
People who hoard usually have too much stuff to use or enjoy, causing great emotional distress and problems functioning normally.
Tips to Help Loved Ones Who Hoard
1 – Don’t Judge
The first thing you might want to do is to not judge them. Remember, hoarding is a mental illness. Appearing to be disorganized or a slob is not the same as hoarding. Hoarding is a mental illness that needs to be treated.
2 – Get Professional Help
The next step is to get the right type of help. This is important because excessive hoarding can have serious consequences. You are essentially creating hazardous living conditions. You can help your loved one by partnering with specialists to create a plan of action. A mental health professional is the best option. Realize, however, that your loved one must be ready to get help; otherwise, they will resist anyone trying to help them.
3 – Start by Clearing Out the Clutter
Set up some guidelines with your loved one that makes it easy for them to discard items. You want to start small, so start with a room or an area of the home that makes sense. This will help to foster a sense of accomplishment.
4 – Hire a Professional Junk Removal Company to Help
Once your loved one has made progress in sorting and discarding items, it’s time to set up an appointment with a professional junk removal company to help. Hiring a junk removal company will help to alleviate the anxiety of throwing things away that are of value. This is because junk removal companies will carefully sort through garbage, donate the items to charity, and recycle.
5 – Throw a Yard Sale
One of the best ways to organize a hoarder’s home is to host a yard sale. Yard sales are a great way to get rid of items, and it’s also a great way for hoarders to see that their items can get a good price. Encourage them to shop at the yard sale they hosted.
Hoarding is a problem that needs to be addressed. Working with your loved one will help to create a solution that works for everyone involved. The first step is to stop judging and start helping.
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