Helping the Hoarder: Personal or Professional Help

Hoarding issues have literally come out of the closet in the last few years. If you blinked last week, you might have missed me participating in an episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive on TLC. According the TV show it was the biggest hoard that they have cleaned out to date.

hoarding picture

Most of the time I get calls from hoarders families. They have tried and tried to help and given up. Other times, I have worked with the families to help de-hoard the home. Which is better? Enlisting the help of your friends or bringing in a professional?


When you enlist the help of your friends and family to dehoard your home, there is already a relationship there. They know you, your quirks, and how to work with you. They know what you collect, and what is precious to you.

On the flip side, they may have the bag it and tag it mentality. Your family and friends don't have the time to help you go through things. Many times, well meaning friends with just start bagging everything they deem as trash. They also maybe angry or frustrated with your lack of getting rid of things.


If you choose not the work with friends and family, you can bring in a professional organizer. Make sure that you interview them over the phone and in person. Its important that they have experience with hoarders and chronic disorganization.

You should choose someone that you feel comfortable with. Its important to develop trust in them. They have the training to help talk your through sorting out your items. They know when you are struggling and understand if you need time to decide about things. If you are comfortable, they may bring in a crew to help sort things into categories.

There is not right or wrong decision. The most important thing is that you are ready to make changes in your life.

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