Do you struggle with not being able to have anyone over? Are you worried about the condition of your home and don’t know where to start? Are you becoming isolated from friends, family and neighbors? You may be struggling with hoarding disorder, a condition that has recently been recognized as its own unique mental health diagnosis.
Congratulations for reaching out and getting more information. That is a big step toward living in a way that is more consistent with who you really are. If you are living with hoarding disorder or a loved one is, you are likely under stress. You’re worried about being “found out.” There may be worries about fire risk, structural issues or infestations. Perhaps you have an order of correction and are worried that you’ll lose your home or apartment. It’s likely that your personal relationships have suffered.
How I help hoarding individuals and their loved ones:
- Recommendations re: health & safety
- Assessment of goals for organizing work (e.g. “I want to move in 4 months,” or “I want to be able to use the kitchen to cook by xyz date.”
- Creation of a plan by breaking down a goal into smaller pieces
- Helping to bring in outside resources (e.g. handyman, contractor, social worker, fire safety, antiques dealer, estate planner, realtor, stager, move manager, etc.)
- Communication with bio-recovery team (if there is bio-hazard present) to understand client’s “keep” criteria (e.g. keep all paperwork unless it is contaminated, recycle all cardboard, keep all magazines less than 6 months old, etc)
- Recommendations re: how & where to donate certain items (e.g. beds that are in good shape, a car, clothes, housewares, books, etc)
- Advocating for the client to ensure they and their things are respected; supporting them during the process.
It is an honor and privilege to work alongside my clients who hoard. I witness the shifts — in their attitudes toward stuff and attitudes toward life — as we work together on a life that fits for them. I am invested in a solution that treats the hoarding individual with dignity and respect. All of our work is confidential. Again, congratulations on reading this and getting one step closer to the life that you want.