Hoarding is a very sensitive issue. It is caused by a variety of emotions that include depression, addiction, and ocd. It can be a very challenging time for the person and their family. Everyone wants to jump in and help. There is a right way and a wrong way to handle these situations.
The Institute of Challenging Disorganization, offers classes and advice on how to best handle chronic disorganization situations. One thing they say time and time again is “Do no harm”. You don’t want to upset the person and make them feel worse! Here are a few suggestions on how to handle a hoarding situation:
1. Make sure the individual feels like they are in control. Give them suggestions on where you should begin but let them make the decision on where to start.
2. Go at their pace. We all want to dive in and make it happen. Be respectful as they will probably want to see everything before they make decisions on what to do with it.
3. Set up a work station. Have bags ready for donate, consign, recycle, sell and trash.
4. Be positive and upbeat during the process. Give them reassurance on how they are doing.
5. At the end of the work time, give them a total of bags that went out for donate, recycle, trash, and consignment. Praise them for what they got done.
This process is very challenging. Make it the best it can be for everyone! Yelling and fighting will only cause then to stop.
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