Hoarding; Should Professional Organizing be a medically approved treatment

Hoarding Disorder has been approved as a separate category for the DSM-5(diagnostic statistical manual of mental disorders). It will stand on its own vs being listed under OCD. It is being defined as "People with persistent difficulity discarding or parting with possessions regardless of their actual value."

With that being said, should Professional Organizing be considered a medical treatment for the hoarders? While I wholeheartendly agree that its essential that a hoarder seek treatment from a therapist, they also need help getting their home de-hoarded.

I have seen time and time again well meaning friends and family wanting to help. Sometimes this does more harm then good. They don't understand the behavioral aspects of hoarding. They can't understand why their relative is holding on to things the rest of us deam "trash".

As a professional organizer, I practice the "do no harm" policy. I have been trained to know when a client isn't ready or needs to move on to another category. I understand their body language and slow down my speed to match theirs. I let them feel in control and together we decide how to approach the project.

Its my opinion, that professional organizing should be considered a medically acceptable/necessary treatment for hoarders. I feel that we should be approved and covered by insurance.

Yes, I also agree that this would require some regulation. I don't have any problem with the insurance companies setting what they determine as approved cost for treatment. I don't have a problem with filling out paperwork.

I feel as long as an organizer is a member of Napo(national association of professional organizers) and the Institute of Challenging Disorganization, they should be able to take insurance. Most of us that work with hoarders, have extensive education on the subject.

While I have worked with a multitude of hoarders that have the funds to clear out their home, there are a lot of people that don't. An average organizer charges $40 to $120 per hour. I can't tell you how many people have called me in the last nine years that don't have the funds to reclaim their space. I have bent over backwards trying to help them. I have cut my rates at times and put people on payment plans. I have had to tighten my budget to accomodate their needs.

Statistics show that approximately 1.2 million Americans suffer from hoarding isses. According to the ICD, their are 7 different levels of hoarding.

Hoarding puts all of us at risk. If you live next to a severe hoarder, you are at risk for mold, rodents, bacteria, and much more. Many of these homes are fire hazards.

We need to give these people the resources they need to clear out their homes and reclaim their lives!!!

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