Addressing Hoarding Situations
The problem of hoarding has attracted more attention in recent years due to popular television shows and increased openness about the consequences of mental illness. If you have a friend or family member who is a hoarder, it is understandable that you might be concerned for them and their well-being. This applies particularly to situations when the hoarding becomes severe, and your loved one is living in an unsafe home.
What is Hoarding?
Hoarding is not merely a matter of living in a messy or cluttered home. Instead, hoarders hang on to items that are of little or no use. Even items that may have some value, such as electronics or collectible figurines, frequently are not cared for or stored appropriately. Eventually, the sheer amount of “stuff” in a home makes it difficult to move around, access appliances and may even create a fire hazard.
How to Manage It
Hoarding is often a symptom of an underlying mental health condition such as anxiety or depression. When your loved one can get treatment for their condition, they may be more open to addressing the hoarding and its consequences. If a hoarder is initially resistant to getting help, it may be possible to work with an experienced social worker or mental health professional who can intervene in the situation.
Professional Clean-Out Services
Hoarding situations can be difficult to address, particularly when the clutter and mess become so overwhelming that one person just cannot clean it out in a timely manner. Even when family and friends pitch in, there remains the problem of disposing of the items. What is cleaned out is frequently more than can be contained in standard trash containers, and it may be difficult to coordinate the pickup of usable items by charities.
Fortunately, there are cleaning and junk removal services, such as Remove My Junk, which specialize in these situations. A professional crew will come into the home and remove items as well as clean up any debris. When possible, the crew can bring usable items to local charities, sort out recyclables and then dispose of the rest in an appropriate way.
If someone you love is a hoarder, they need help. Because they may feel ashamed or overwhelmed, seeking support from professionals is one way that you can compassionately assist them to deal with their situation and get the care that they need.