Stopping Hoarding Before It Starts
You may have seen a popular cable show about people’s whose “pack-rat” behavior got far out of hand. Sadly, hoarding is much more serious than an evening TV show makes it out to be, and it can have devastating consequences on a person’s life and the life of their loved ones.
Are You a Hoarder OR Do You Just Need Some Extra Time To Declutter Your Home?
Hoarding disorder is characterized by the persistent difficulty discarding of or parting with possessions, regardless of their value. The behavior can have harmful effects—emotional, physical, social, financial, and even legal—for the person suffering from the disorder and family members. Individuals who hoard, accumulate a large number of possessions that often fill up or clutter active living areas of the home or workplace to the extent that their intended use is no longer possible.
While some people who hoard may not be particularly distressed by their behavior, their behavior can be distressing to other people, such as family members or landlords. If you think you have a real hoarding problem, reach out to a qualified therapist for.
You Are Probably Not A Hoarder
The good news is, you are probably not a hoarder, but you may have some hoarding tendencies. Here are some tips to help with these tendencies:
Don't go through your home and throw everything into the dumpster at once. This may lead to strong feelings of regret and anxiety; rather, go through one small space or collection each week.
Handle Objects Only Once
Take the time to make a decision about an item in the present so you don't have to handle it again and again each time you decide to get organized.
Scale Down Collections
If you've kept all of your childhood report cards, choose to save 1-2 and toss the rest. A great tip submitted by a reader of this site: try framing or displaying one item from a collection so it's special, and then consign, donate, or recycle the rest.
Put It In A Box
If you cannot decide to toss or keep an item, put it in a box for 6 months. If you don't open the box before then, you can let it go without regret. This is a great idea for people who hoard items like magazines, travel toiletries and newspaper clippings.
Toss Un-Used Items
Owning a book about gardening does not make you a person who gardens and buying "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and never cracking the book or trying one of the recipes doesn't mean you're a cook. Resist the urge to buy tokens of a new hobby until you are actively participating in that hobby.
It's much easier to get rid of an item if you know it's going to a good home. If donating isn't a good option for you, think seriously about consignment. This way you're getting some money back for the item.
Not every disaster to strike a home comes from the weather, or a fire started in the home. Hoarding is an increasing problem for many families that require a professional cleaning and restoration service.
Cleaning up after a hoarder is not a quick process, but at SERVPRO of Upper Darby, we try to make it as simple and empathetic as possible to everyone. If you need help returning your, or someone else’s home to a livable condition, contact us at (610) 352-0700 today.
Why Choose SERVPRO of Upper Darby?
SERVPRO of Upper Darby is locally owned and operated, and serves Wayne, Radnor Township, Villanova, St. Davids, Ardmore Park, Haverford Township, Havertown, Upper Darby, Lansdowne, East Lansdowne, Drexel Hill, Clifton Heights, and the surrounding Delaware County communities.
Our certified cleaning and restoration specialist are faster to any size disaster. Providing emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.