Are you familiar with the show “Hoarders”? This reality show was first aired on August 17, 2009. And for 6 seasons, it served as an eye-opener to most of us about the devastating effects of hoarding on the lives of both the victims and their loved ones.
Amidst all the clutter and mess, we really can’t blame the victim because they're suffering from a mental condition that causes them to collect items excessively, including things that can already be considered garbage.
The best way to deal with this condition is to provide proper treatment intervention for the victim and to help the hoarder get rid of the mess inside their home.
1. Understand The Condition
The first step in decluttering a hoarder’s home is to gently approach them and show a sincere expression of support by listening to them without judgment or discrimination.
As often shown in the TV series, hoarders tend to resist when they think you are throwing away things that they hold valuable.
So expect some form of retaliation from them.
What’s important is that you are now able to establish a rapport so you can make them realize how hoarding can lead to deplorable living conditions, can make them ill, and even cause a rift in their relationships with their loved ones.
2. Suggest Their Need To Ask Assistance
Proper communication is essential when dealing with a hoarder to establish trust. And once this is achieved, don’t hesitate to suggest their need to ask assistance in dealing with the hoarding issue.
By asking assistance, we mean their need to undergo hoarding treatment and the need to purge the hoard.
As previously mentioned, hoarders will still retaliate at this point as they don’t admit that there is an issue in the first place. So you need to be very patient until they are willing to work out the problem with you.
3. Plan Out The Decluttering Process With The Hoarder
Make sure to get the hoarder is involved in the decluttering process by letting them sort out the salvageable things from trash.
As shown in the reality show, hoarders will show some struggle with letting go of some stuff. So make it a point to set a firm criterion as to what things are to be discarded and what things will be kept.
4. Expect A Long Period Of Organization
Our natural tendency to declutter a hoarder’s home is to get done with it as quickly as possible.
But this is not the case when dealing with a hoarder as it will only derail the decluttering process if you do it.
Instead, you have to work with the hoarder and let him or her dictate the pace of the cleanout.
5. Enforce Certain Techniques/Systems That Will Prevent Them To Hoard In The Future
And finally, the effort to declutter a hoarder’s home does not end there as you also need to implement techniques that will help the victim to maintain a clutter-free home.
This applies to every person who needs organization from my clients who are already organized and just need more efficiency and those who are level 4,5,6 and above hoarders.
These strategies must include ongoing support as part of their hoarding treatment so they won’t succumb to the urge of hoarding as much as possible.
If you need help getting started, don't hesitate to contact us! We provide organization and purging for the initial clean-out as well as our Rejuvenation Subscription (our month-to-month organizing keep up service!)
Clutterless Home Solutions