Compulsive Hoarding Awareness
Updated: Sep 8
We have all heard of the term ‘hoarding’. We may even joke with friends and family, accusing them as ‘hoarders’, but in truth they are nowhere close to struggling as someone who actually suffers from a compulsive hoarding disorder. The disorder consists of collecting items for a long period of time and never disposing of them or donating an item no matter how long time may have passed, or if they even moved that object. Instead, it collects in their home along with the other various items the individual may not be able to part with. Eventually, their home can be filled with mountains of junk piled so high it can reach the ceiling, sometimes it can even move to someone’s front yard or even back yard.
When it is time for relocation, hoarding is a common type of behavior noticed by our relocation specialists the day they meet and interview their tenants for relocation support and before the relocation process begins. Hoarding behavior happens at all ages and becomes an obstacle at the time of relocation. Many locations are overrun with objects, making mobility difficult, as well as difficult for the tenant to detach.
On the surface, it may be hard to tell when someone is suffering from compulsive hoarding disorder. Most proof will be displayed inside their home. Some smaller signs would be noticing how they acquire objects in an excessive manner, especially items that are truly unnecessary. Those who have the compulsive hoarding disorder may have tendencies of being indecisive and lack the ability to make a decision. They may also have problems keeping up with plans they made as well as staying organized. They may even struggle to keep up with everyday tasks and may diminish relationships between friends and family.
The causes of hoarding can vary between reasons. It could be caused from a brain injury or even serotonin levels. Compulsive hoarding disorder may even be hereditary. There are other causes that may stem from bad shopping habits like excessive shopping, buying something you truly do not need. Individuals with compulsive hoarding disorder will also struggle to get rid of items and may even struggle to throw away flyers or coupons, even for items they don’t need or use.
While there is no way to truly cure compulsive hoarding, there are ways to help and lessen the issue. Usually, the individual suffering from compulsive hoarding disorder will not seek help. Friends and family should stay in touch with them in order to ensure that the individual is still okay in their living situation as it can be severely dangerous to live in a household with a hoarding problem. A health professional should be contacted in order to evaluate and recommend what should be done in order to assist the individual.
Every individual can easily experience hoarding behaviors. There are different ways to prevent hoarding behaviors such as self-knowledge, creating awareness, and learning to release fears are good ways to prevent hoarding. Think about why you feel attached to an item you no longer use or need. When hoarding some people can experience fears of lackness, so they want to accumulate more.
Don’t wait until you need to relocate to find out if you are hoarding, some bits of advice from our relocation specialists suggest are the following:
Every change of season is a perfect moment to declutter old clothes, get rid of expired food, old papers, magazines, books you no longer use or read.
Do not overshop, make a list of what you need before going out to do shopping.
Think about your lifestyle and what you need to buy and wear.
Don’t wait until the last minute to use something, make up time for your hobbies, or for reading books. Otherwise, you will start accumulating things you don’t use.
When it comes to relocating a hoarder, the situation can become pretty tricky and Relocation Specialists need to understand the situation. During the beginning of the relocation process, our Relocation Specialists will conduct a relocation survey, to have an understanding of the property and what might need special attention, such as the hoarding. The specialist will talk to the individual and learn how severe their disorder is. There is a chance that they may be willing to toss items for the relocation, or their case is extreme and simply mentioning throwing away some of their items stresses them out and causes them an overwhelming amount of anxiety.
After the evaluation with the Relocation Specialist, a plan will be created in order to figure out what the individual needs with them during their time away from their home, and what can be moved to storage for the time being. When the items are separated, movers can come in and finally get them out of their home and into their temporary home.