It’s common for a potential client to use the word hoarder or hoarding during our initial conversation. They are either trying to assure me that they are not a hoarder or they’re concerned about becoming one.
The Institute for Challenging Disorganization created a Clutter-Hoarding Scale describing hoarding behavior levels 1-5. Refer to the scale here.
Someone who hoards keeps large quantities of things because they see value in them even when the item has no value; plastic butter containers or empty toilet paper rolls would be two examples.
Someone demonstrating hoarding behavior may keep everything because they have difficulty letting go of things; the idea of giving away or throwing away anything causes anxiety so they avoid feeling anxious by keep everything. If you’d like to learn more about hoarding behavior I suggest you visit The Institute for Challenging Disorganization, this site is full of resources, publications and facts.
Less than 5% of Americans meet the criteria for hoarding behavior. So for most of you, it’s something you should not spend another minute worrying about.
What is the cause of your clutter?
Situational disorganization. This is a term used to describe someone who becomes disorganized due to a life event. Some common life events that cause people to become disorganized are divorce, depression, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, caring for an ill family member, or moving are a few examples. Living during a pandemic with your home functioning as your office and the kid’s class room is another huge disruption many of you are dealing with right now. Any of these situations can cause a person to be overwhelmed and subsequently disorganized.
If you have rooms in your home that are full of stuff you’re not necessarily hoarding. You may have experienced one of the life events described above and not have the skill set or experience to organize that much stuff. In other words you’re overwhelmed by the task so you avoid it.
What you need is a plan on how to attack the piles and a partner to help you attack them.
Step 1 – Are you really committed to making a change? Are you ready to put in the work?
Step 2 – How will you schedule time to devote to decluttering this space?
Step 3 – Who can help you? If you choose the right partner you have a better chance of getting the job done. If you choose the wrong partner you risk stalling or getting frustrated.
Step 4 – What’s the goal? How do you want to use that space once the clutter is gone?
Step 5 – How will you decide what to keep?
Step 6 – What will you do with the things you no longer want?
Step 7 – Where will you put the things you want to keep?
If you need help with any or all of these steps I’d be happy to be your partner. I’ve been developing and executing plans like these for 16 years; I know I can help you. Call or text me today 603-821-0736.
“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.” Henry Cloud
Copyrighted Naturally Organized L.L.C. 2020
Photo by Kyle Glenn