Do you know anyone in your family who hoards things because they believe they might use at some point in the future? As inconsequential as it may sound, hoarding is a serious disorder that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Extreme hoarding poses a serious threat to a person’s health and property.
However, it is important that you draw a clear distinction between a messy house and a hoarding problem. An overstuffed closet or a cluttered drawer doesn’t define the hoarding problem – even though it can be present at the house of a hoarder.
Here are some tips that can help you identify whether a person has a hoarding problem.
- The person doesn’t throw out or give away items and keeps them for a long period – sometimes beyond their actual life.
- The person’s house is unclean and has a revolting stench.
- The items in the house have encroached upon every available living space to the extent that the house doesn’t have any useable space.
How to Start the Cleanup Work
There is no denying that a hoarding problem must be dealt with in a timely manner. Besides health risks, hoarding is also one of the main reasons for the estrangement of the hoarder from their families. People who have a relative, a friend, or a family member who is a hoarder often find themselves at a crossroads, uncertain how to deal with the problem.
Here are some tips for people who want to carry out hoarder cleanup at the earliest.
1. Connect With the Hoarder
It is important to fully understand the mental state of the hoarder and offer your unconditional support to them. Making fun of them or talking to them in a condescending manner is not an appropriate way to tackle the situation.
2. Keep It Low
A person may be ready to get rid of the junk in their house, but they may appreciate if no neighbor or family member is involved. If you are the one who has convinced them for the cleanup, you should make sure that their wishes are respected. Many people don’t like the judgmental eyes of their relatives or friends or want others to become aware of their situation.
3. Encourage Donations
If there are items in usable condition, the best way to part with them is to donate them. The person who possesses those items will also be on board with this decision as they’d know that their lovable items will be used by people in need. This way, they won’t necessarily have a hard time letting go of their possessions.
4. Call an Expert
You cannot possibly carry out the cleanup process on your own. In cases of extreme hoarding, it is advisable to hire the services of a professional who knows how to dispose of items efficiently.
You might be surprised to know how common the hoarding problem is in America. People with hoarding disorder need unconditional support of their family or friends who can help them tackle the situation in a supportive way.