Hoarding Awareness Week

This week is Hoarding Awareness Week so I wanted to share a bit with you about this often misunderstood condition.

Hoarding Disorder is not a lifestyle choice and it doesn’t mean being untidy or bulk buying during lock down. The media’s desire for a quick story has meant that hoarding has been sensationalised and trivialised adding to the shame and confusion that can be attached to this condition.

People who hoard have extreme difficulty discarding items. They may feel a great responsibility to look after things or feel emotionally attached to belongings. Like many other conditions, which are more greatly discussed and understood, holding onto things starts as a self protective coping mechanism, but it can develop into a situation where the priority that the behaviour takes over other things can make daily life extremely challenging for the person doing it and for those around them.

Hoarded items can prevent rooms from being used for their intended purpose, can make people socially isolated as they stop being able to have friends or family visit. Daily tasks can become laborious, time consuming, dangerous and at times impossible.

It is thought that 2-6% of the European and US population have Hoarding Disorder and yet only 5% of those get to access professional support due to how isolated people who hoard become and the shame that they can feel about their condition. Only very recently (in 2013 and 2018) has Hoarding Disorder been recognised as a mental health condition. It is important now that as a society we learn to have more understanding and make it possible for people to get support with this.

For more information, I can highly recommend, Jo Cooke’s book Understanding Hoarding, which is now in it’s 2nd Edition.

There are organisations which can help including:

Hoarding Disorders UK https://hoardingdisordersuk.org/
Hoarding UK https://hoardinguk.org/
Clouds End https://www.cloudsend.org.uk/
Rainbow Red https://www.rainbowred.co.uk/
Help for Hoarders https://helpforhoarders.co.uk/

As a professional organiser with a special interest in hoarding I am available to discuss support and available resources if you or your loved one has difficulty discarding. As well as having a personal interest in hoarding and our relationship with our belongings, I have attended specialist training with Hoarding Disorders UK on Hoarding and on Neurodiversity and Clutter. I am also a member of APDO Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers https://www.apdo.co.uk/

w: yoursortednest.com
e: kate@yoursortednest.com
t: 07973 824383

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