Help for Hoarders

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What You Need to Know About Hoarding

Screenshot 2016-06-05 at 6.24.00 PMA hoarding disorder is described as the need to acquire an inordinate number of items and stores them in a disorganized manner. These items aren’t usually valuable, and thus, it only results in unmanageable amounts of junk.

How Does Hoarding Become a Problem?
– Once the amount of clutter begins to interfere with everyday living, then it can be an indication that the hoarding disorder has become out of control. An example of this would be the bathroom or kitchen becomes inaccessible because these places have been filled with clutter.
– The clutter has been negatively affecting the person’s quality of life or his loved ones. For instance, the hoarder becomes upset when someone tries to get rid of his clutter, or clean his mess.

Is It Treatable?
The truth is, hoarding disorders are very difficult to treat, because a lot of hoarders don’t see this as a problem at all. Then, then are those who have little awareness of how this behavior has been negatively affecting their life or the lives of others living with them. Some are aware that this isn’t normal, but they are too scared to seek for help, because they don’t want to be judged.

For those who are concerned about their loved ones hoarding unnecessary items, it’s important to encourage the person to seek for help, because you cannot simply discard his things, hoping that it would fix the problem. Doing something like this would just make everything worse, that it can even lead to mental health problems, or severe loneliness.

Why a Person Hoards
There are a number of reasons why a person becomes a hoarder. This can be a symptom of another mental disorder, but could also be the cause of severe depression or self-neglect. Based on research, those who live alone, unmarried, had a deprived childhood, or have a family history of hoarding, usually ends up becoming one.

The Difference Between Hoarding and Collecting
A lot of people collect valuable items, such as books, action figures, or stamps, and that is completely normal. The difference between a “collection” and a “hoard” is how these items are organized.

A collection is usually well-organized, and the items are pleasant to the eyes for viewing. On the other hand, a hoard is usually disorganized, and takes up a lot of room.

Signs of a Hoarding Disorder
A hoarder may exhibit some of these habits:
– Collecting things that aren’t really valuable at all. This includes carrier bags, junk mail, or items that they intend to repair or reuse.
– They find it difficult to organize and categorize items.
– It’s hard for them to make decisions.
– They struggle to perform everyday tasks, such as cleaning, cooking, and paying bills.
– They become too attached to the items, that they don’t want others to borrow or use these.

Hoarding usually starts in teenage years, and it gets more noticeable as the person ages. Usually, hoarding becomes problematic once the person becomes older.

What Can Be Done
If you or someone you know may be a hoarder, the best thing you can do is accept the fact that you are. Then, try to be open and talk to people close to you, and let them give suggestions or help you overcome the problem. Likewise, you can also consider seeking for professional help.


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Why Do People Hoard?

Screenshot 2016-06-05 at 6.21.22 PMContrary to popular belief, a hoarder is very much different from a pack rat, because the latter is a person who gets rid of “collectibles” once he realized that there’s not much space anymore, because he hates seeing them disorganized or chaotic. On the other hand, hoarder only moves his stuff into another location because he doesn’t want to throw them away, thinking that it can still be used or it has some form of sentimental value.

Hoarding is also a form of anxiety disorder, that’s described by these three notable traits, which are:
– The need to collect things, even if they are useless.
– The difficulty of throwing things away.
– Feeling distressed when they have to let go some of their things.

Why Do People Hoard?

Reason #1: Perfectionism
According to some psychology experts, people hoard because of perfectionism. Although they don’t really color-code their closets, they have that perfectionist quality that gets triggered because of certain situations. These people have the mentality that, if they fail to make this decision perfectly, then they better not do it at all. This is where hoarding comes in. They become so terrified that they’ll commit a mistake, and so, they get paralyzed and allow the unnecessary clutter to build up.

Reason #2: They Are Afraid of Throwing Something Accidentally
Hoarders would often think of ways on how they can use the items they have, or that someone might need these things, which means they have to keep in. The irony is that, more often than not, they don’t really use these objects at all, and they don’t actually get the chance to give them to someone. The result? They end up keeping the objects.

Reason #3: The Sense of Emotional Attachment
Some people save their belongings because they feel an emotional attachment to them. It’s completely normal to get attached to your things, since they remind you of your loved ones or happy times, but for hoarders, the attachment can get so intense. Also, instead of feeling attached to one thing, they end up getting attached to hundreds, if not thousands of things inside their home. In fact, some hoarders even feel that some of these things are like family members or friends.

Reason #4: Suffering from a Disorder
Based on research, hoarding could be a disorder present on its own, but it could also be a symptom of another disorder. OCD is the most common disorder associated with a hoarder, but those who suffer from ADHD, depression, and OCPD, may also exhibit the tendency of hoarding.

Hoarding is not similar to collecting. Collectors have a sense of pride, because they experience joy and accomplishment in displaying and talking about their collections. They make sure that their things stay organized, while hoarders don’t.

These are just some of the possible reasons why people hoard. Those who see themselves as hoarders, or knows someone who loves to hoard, it’s very important to be open and honest about it. It’s a problem that should be discussed with family members and friends in order to help the sufferer control his hoarding behavior.

How to Help The Hoarder

Screenshot 2016-06-05 at 6.22.18 PMWhen hoarding gets out of control, it can be classified as a very serious mental condition that could expose people who do it to dangerous living conditions if left unmanaged. When you love someone who hoards, the initial reaction would be to help that person overcome his problem. However, you cannot force your loved one to get better instantly. Instead, it should be done gradually, and you can start by providing a supportive environment that motivated your loved one to seek help.

Don’t Enable the Behavior
Although you cannot stop a hoarder from hoarding, what you can do is refrain from enabling that behavior. For instance, if your loved one hoards antiques, then it would be a bad idea to invite her to go to thrift stores. Likewise, if your dad is a compulsive collector, then you shouldn’t be adding to her collection at every occasion. If you want to help your loved one, don’t offer some help like storing his hoarded items. On the other hand, if you’re living with that person, then don’t allow his belongings to overtake your home.

Educate Yourself to Help
To the outside observer, hoarding isn’t really a big deal at all, but it doesn’t make any sense either. If you want to help your loved one, you should try your best to be knowledgeable about this condition, and that could be done by consulting mental health professionals, reading websites, and attending support groups for those who want to help a hoarder. As you become familiar with the loneliness, fear, and anxiety the hoarders go through, you’ll have the ability to offer empathy and support for them.

Never Take Their Possessions
If your loved one’s place is covered in unused clothes or magazines, it can be quite tempting to ‘help’ him by taking the items he keeps (hoards). The truth is, this wouldn’t be helpful at all, because it would just destroy the relationship you have with that person. Also, a lot of hoarders would experience serious emotional anxiety attacks once their possessions are taken away from them. So, if your intentions are good, doing something like this should be completely avoided.

Acknowledge Small Accomplishments
For people who have been hoarders for decades, it could be difficult to get rid of their possessions and ‘cure’ themselves right away. You can encourage your loved one to stop being a hoarder by celebrating small victories, such as throwing away some of the things he doesn’t really need, or avoiding the urge of buying new ones.

Don’t Clean Up for Them
Even though helping your loved one sort his belongings, doing everything for him wouldn’t be quite helpful at all. Also, you cannot expect the person in your life to make a progress if you’d be forcing or pressuring him to get into the treatment right away. To prevent anxiety attacks, you should let the hoarder make decisions for himself, and just be ready to support him.

Help in Finding a Treatment
You don’t have to force your loved one to seek for help, but if he shows some interest, what you can do is do some research, and find a good therapist who can help.

Hoarding Clean Up

Screenshot 2016-06-05 at 6.26.06 PMAre you a hoarder, and you have finally decided that you need some help? However, the problem is, you don’t exactly know how and where to start in order to get rid of that mess. Don’t worry, being one of the best San Francisco hoarding cleanup crew, we can give you the assurance that we’d do our best to help you. For several years, we have been providing caring and compassionate hoarding cleanup services, while we make sure that the hoarder, as well as their family wouldn’t have to worry about anything at all.

Truth be told, professional and specialty hoarding help isn’t that easy to find. First, it’s important to realize that hoarding is one of the disorders that should be taken seriously, as it can be a symptom of another disorder. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a life sentence that you have to endure.

We offer help for hoarders living in San Francisco, and we do understand that hoarding and severe clutter could cause a huge embarrassment for the hoarder, as well as his family members. Don’t think much about it; we have been to several hoarding homes, and so, we’re already used to it. Let’s just say, nothing you have would surprise us anymore. We’re here not to judge, but make your situation better. Our main goal is to help you regain control of your home, as we organize your things the way they should be.

Professional Help for Hoarders
Our company was developed with a purpose of providing compassionate help for hoarders. Our team of hoarding experts has the knowledge and they are highly trained in the hoarding disorder. They also know how to keep hoarders comfortable while they are doing the necessary tasks. Hoarding help should be compassionate and discreet, so as not to stress the people involved. Also, it’s not your neighbors’ business why we’re in your place, and our unmarked, plain white vans, wouldn’t give them any idea who we really are.

We want you to feel that we’re very sincere with our job, and the plan we’re going to make is very customized, and this would be based on your hoarding level. That’s why we can ensure that the hoarding cleanup process would go smoothly, and it wouldn’t cause any anxiety to the hoarder. No need to be ashamed, allow us to hold your hand and help you overcome your hoarding disorder.

More Than Just a Disposal Service
Our hoarding cleanup help is more than just a regular disposal service. We’d help in sorting through your contents in order to save the ones that are really important and valuable, while disposing the things that aren’t really needed at all. We’ll work by your side to make sure that your home is cleaned, and it wouldn’t cause you additional frustration, anxiety, or stress. That’s what we’re here for. To clean your home, in a way you cannot, but to ensure that everything you need wouldn’t be thrown away.

Lastly, if can’t professionally help you, we’ll do our best to refer you to a legitimate company that can.

You Can Stop Hoarding For Good!

If you’ve been a hoarder all your life, changing your ways can definitely be a challenge and very unpleasant. Although most hoarders aren’t really like what you see on TV shows, there’s no doubt that the possessions in your home can easily get out of hand if left unmanaged.
That said, allow us to discuss some of the most effective ways on how to stop hoarding for good.

1. Do You Think It’s Useful?
One of the best ways to stop hoarding is to refrain from bringing new objects into your place. Wherein, every time you get the urge to shop, try to think for a moment, and ask yourself if you really need that item; if you’ll have a use for it; or if you already have one. There’s a huge chance that you don’t really need it, and it would just sit in your cabinet or cupboard for several months.

2. Learn to Say NO
A lot of hoarders tend to have their home as a place where someone else’s junk can be stored. If you always get the offer from people– usually friends and family– who are giving away their unwanted goods, it’s better to turn down these offers. You don’t have to feel obliged to accept the gift, because it’s not your problem if they want to throw them away. Also, just think about it; if they have decided to throw the item away, that means it’s not really as useful as what you think.

3. Why Do You Hoard?
It’s very important to look at the reasons why you decided to hoard. Is it because you have the tendency to shop whenever you’re bored? Similarly, does having possessions around make you feel a little happier? Whatever motivates you for hoarding, you have to discover what these are, and try to deal with them.

4. How Much Have You Been Spending?
If you really want to stop being a hoarder, this tip can be very effective and helpful for you. Try to determine how much you have been spending on your possessions for the past few years, or assess the value of the goods you have in your room.

You don’t have to come up with a precise figure, but it’d probably surprise you once you discover how much you have been spending on these things.

5. Accept Help
If you really want to stop hoarding, but you’re finding it hard to make that happen, then it’s probably the right time to ask your friend for help.

Choose someone who can be quite tough, and would inspire you to throw something out whenever you have to, without feeling guilty at all.

6. Organize
Lastly, you have to get your possessions organized, and this is where a friend can also be helpful. Learn how to store your belongings properly in order to make it easier for you to find them and keep everything tidy.

When your possessions are in place, your home would look a lot better, and eventually, you’ll be able to let go of your hoarding impulses as you’d have to maintain your room organized.


This post is sponsored by our friends at in Richmond, Ca. Fantastic Crime Scene and Hoarding Clean up, family owned company.

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