You've probably seen the TV show, Hoarders or Hoarding: Buried Alive. With just looking at this picture, one can not say the problem that led this room to it's status is hoarding. It could simply be a clutter problem due to having small space in the home. Or, it could be due to the obtaining of a deceased parent's belongings that need to be gone through. Dictionary.com defines hoarding as the act of a person who hoards. Hoard is defined as a supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation, future use, etc.
Read on to understand how this disorder can affect a person's life...
- Emotionally: When someone hoards, it may actually be the symptom of a mental health issue. When this issue isn't addressed, and the hoard continues, it also impacts loved ones emotionally. Those who live in the home are especially affected. Usually, the loved one wants the home to be decluttered and clean, but the hoarder isn't willing to let go of anything and admit they have a problem.
- Physically: A person's health can suffer when the hoard has created a rodent or insect problem. These animals carry disease and even the odor from them can cause serious health issues. Physical injury is also possible due to a slip or fall over the clutter.
- Socially: Oftentimes, a hoarder was once able to allow guests in their home. When it has reached an unhealthy point, friends and family often refuse to visit. Neighbors may file a complaint, fearing it will impact the neighborhood. In return, hoarders often isolate themselves- thinking everyone is against them.
- Financially: Hoarders experience a financial burden due to their uncontrollable collection. They have trouble paying their bills because they spend their money shopping. The hoard itself also prevents them from staying organized enough to pay the bills.
- Legally: When kids are in the home and being neglected due to the hoard, family service workers may be called in to remove them from the home. The members of the health or fire department may seek the help of a court judge to reprimand the hoarder, and bring the property in compliance with health and safety codes. Legal interventions may also include eviction of the individual from his/her rented home.
People who hoard typically do not understand the seriousness of their psychological disorder. They don't realize the implications of their hoarding. While a Professional Organizer can help them declutter and organize their home, they need a Mental Health Professional that specializes in hoarding to help them overcome their disorder.
If you or someone you know has a hoarding problem, feel free to give me a call and I will be happy to give you some advice, direction, and perhaps some organizing assistance in the process!
You may also visit my hoarding resources page for more reading on the subject.
Nicole Ramer, PO
Organized by Nicole