Hoarding is more than just having a messy home. According to the International OCD Foundation, Hoarding Disorder affects between 2 and 6% of the population. Hoarding not only impacts the physical health and safety of the hoarder but also the mental health and relationships of those around them. If you suspect that you or someone you know may be a hoarder, asking yourself these ten questions can help identify hoarding and prompt action toward solutions.
10 Essential Questions about Hoarding
- Do you have difficulty parting with possessions that most people would consider useless or worthless? This is one of the most common indicators of hoarding. Holding onto items that have no practical use or value can clutter your house and interfere with daily life.
- Do you avoid inviting people over because of the state of your home? If you worry about what others may think of your cluttered home, or dread the idea of others seeing your living space, this may be a sign of hoarding.
- Does the thought of throwing away, donating, or selling items create intense anxiety, stress, or sadness? The attachment can be so strong that even the thought of letting go of can cause physical and emotional distress.
- Do you acquire new things excessively or compulsively? Buying new items may give a temporary rush, but can quickly add to the clutter and disorganization of a home.
- Do you often lose important items like bills, important papers, or personal items like keys or wallets? Hoarders may have so much clutter that they struggle to find essential items, leading to lost opportunities and damage.
Are You Dealing With Clutter and Squalor?
- Do you have a hard time discarding items with sentimental or emotional value? Memories keep us connected to the past, but holding on to every item with personal significance can lead to a cluttered and overwhelming environment.
- Are any areas of your home entirely unusable due to clutter? If you have multiple rooms that you cannot even enter due to excessive clutter, it is a telling sign of hoarding.
- Do you hide your clutter or have difficulty organizing it? Organizing hoarded items can prove difficult, perpetuating the buildup of clutter and overwhelming stress.
- Have you had conflicts or disagreements with family or friends over your clutter or hoarding behaviors? Hoarding can impact relationships, causing tension between partners or friends and family who may be concerned about the person’s well-being.
- Have you experienced any negative consequences as a result of hoarding? Hoarding can lead to a range of problems, including the spread of mold, pests, and fires. It can also have financial effects, such as fines and citations from local municipalities.
There is Help Available for Those Struggling with Hoarding
While hoarding can seem like an overwhelming and isolating issue, it is important to know that there is help available. Seeking support from a therapist or professional organizer can provide valuable guidance and resources for managing hoarding behaviors. It may also be helpful to involve loved ones in the process, as having a strong support system can make tackling hoarding less daunting.
Bio-One of Modesto Can Help
The ten questions above can help identify if hoarding behaviors are present, but it’s just the first step. Getting support and treatment from friends, family, or professionals is crucial for the person affected and those close to them. Our team at Bio-One of Modesto is available to give the necessary care and cleanup services for hoarded homes with compassion and empathy. If you or someone you know is struggling with hoarding, seek expert help to take the first step towards a happy, healthy home.