Hoarding: Addressing the Problem


With all of the exposure on reality television shows and talk shows, it would be surprising to come across anyone who hasn’t heard of hoarding. However, in an attempt to cover all bases, we’ll state that according to Hoarders.org, Frost and Hartl’s 1996 definition of hoarding is, “The acquisition of, and failure to discard a large number of possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value.”

Many hoarders who are in denial will tell you that they are merely avid collectors, but you’ll find that there are distinctive differences between the acts of hoarding and collecting. For starters, a collector is extremely proud of his possessions and loves to display them in a clean and organized manner. However, on the other side of the spectrum, a hoarder will often times be embarrassed, not allowing friends and family members to come into their homes for fear that they will see the clutter. The possessions of a hoarder are scattered around the home in an unorganized manner and take up an extensive amount of livable space.


The greatest suggestion that we could offer an individual who knows or who is someone exhibiting signs of hoarding is to bring in some professional help. This extends not only to the physical condition of the home, but to the psychological state of the hoarder as well. It’s extremely important to know when to ask for help, and when you come to the realization that you do need it, be sure to call in a professional clean-up company that is experienced and knowledgeable in the realm of hoarding , like Anubis SceneClean Inc..


Both during and after the clean-up process, it is important for a hoarder and his loved ones to keep a few things in mind, just to ensure that things don’t fall off the tracks. The goal is to restore the home to a clean and  healthy state, in a manner that isn’t going to overwhelm the resident and cause anxiety.  Here are some helpful tips to remember:

     1.   If you haven’t used the object in over a year, toss it. You may try to convince yourself that you may need it someday but if you have gone this long without needing it, chances are that you can live without it.


     2.   Get rid of the excess; you don’t need three toasters and six staplers. Many hoarders will claim that they need the extras just in case the others break. If that happens, you can certainly go out and buy yourself a new one. In the meantime however, the extras are only taking up valuable space in your home.


     3.   Keep track of what comes into your home after the cleaning has been done. If you go out and buy something new, make it a point to throw something else out in turn. You don’t want to fall back into old habits, knowingly or otherwise.


It may be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but life after hoarding is guaranteed to be much healthier not only for you, but your family as well. The fear of anyone entering your home will be gone and you will be free to live a sociable life without worry that someone will discover your secret anymore. Anubis SceneClean Inc. can help you get there. When you’re ready to take the next step, just give us a call.