1. Education. Doing some research on hoarding is a great place to start for anyone looking into hoarding help. Hoarding is a psychological condition that involves much more than an unwillingness to throw things away. Once you’ve learned all about the causes and symptoms of hoarding, it will be easier to come up with a game plan. Educating yourself on the various types of hoarding conditions can be quite helpful, too.
2. Encouragement. Be prepared for a gentle and supportive approach when offering hoarding help to someone struggling with a compulsive collecting habit. Hoarders tend to be embarrassed by their situation, and aggressively placing blame or forcing them to throw everything away, even if it is with good intentions, might have the opposite than the desired effect. Instead, let them know that you care and that you are here to help.
3. Planning. Work together with the hoarder you are trying to help to come up with a reasonable plan of action to declutter and organize. Write everything down and set small goals that aren’t intimidating, but can be tracked easily. The more things you check off the list, the more progress will be visible, and soon recovery won’t seem so impossible or frightening.
4. Patience. Being tolerant and understanding is extremely valuable for anyone offering hoarding help. Because hoarding is a complex issue that develops overtime, expecting big changes to be made overnight will only put pressure on the person you are trying to help, and might exacerbate the situation. Even if the habits continue, or return after a short period of time, don’t give up! Understand that recovering from hoarding is a marathon, not a race, and help your hoarding loved one develop problem solving skills to sustain a clutter-free life.
5. Follow Up. After the clutter is cleared and the home is organized and clean, don’t just walk away and expect things to maintain themselves. Hoarders are used to isolation, and it’s easy to fall back into old habits when you feel like nobody is around. Make sure you check in from time to time to let your loved one know you are available if they need help, and support them in their road to recovery. Team work makes the dream work, and a good support system is the best kind of hoarding help there is!
Hoarding help is one of the most important things to a successful recovery. Finding help for hoarders does not have to be difficult. In fact, a little compassion can go a long way when helping a hoarder clean up and get rid of stuff. Here are some hoarding help tips for families and friends trying to help a hoarder recover.
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5. Follow Up