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De-hoarding provided by Wendy

Hoarding disorder goes past being a "pack rat" or having too much clutter. But there are ways to alter your habits and regain control over your possessions, home, and life. De-hoarding is a term used to describe the practice of removing unnecessary or unwanted items from one's home.

What is hoarding, and what are its causes?

Hoarding is defined as an excessive or irrational attachment to possessions. It can be a problem for individuals and businesses because it can lead to damaged goods, wasted resources, and increased stress levels. In addition, hoarding can negatively impact the hoarder and those around them, leading to dangerous conditions such as fire hazards and health risks.

No one knows what causes hoarding, but many theories exist. Different people will have various reasons for their own experiences. It's likely to be a combination of factors like: 

  • Difficult feelings
  • Perfectionism and worrying
  • Childhood experiences
  • Trauma and loss
  • Family history or habits

The dangers of hoarding

As the number of items in your home grows, so do the health hazards. Unfortunately, despite the mess, clutter, and disorganization, some people with hoarding disorder don't always identify a problem in their behavior. Instead, it may fall on friends or family members to point out the dangers and push for you to make a change.

  • Piles of possessions can block doors, hallways, and stairways, making navigating your home harder.
  • The clutter can lead to an elevated risk of falls or tripping.
  • Crowded and cluttered stoves and heaters can turn into a fire hazard, with obstructed exits increasing the dangers.
  • As dust gathers, you may develop allergies or respiratory problems.
  • Hoarding can limit your ability to maintain basic hygiene standards.
  • As the mess spreads outside your home, into the yard, garage, or patio, it can cause health problems for your neighbors, leading to conflict, eviction, or legal trouble.
  • If you live with a partner, hoarding can fracture your relationship, potentially leading to separation.
  • Cramped living conditions can make it difficult to carry out plumbing, heating, or other repairs to your home.
  • Embarrassment about your living space can affect your social life, making it harder to invite friends or family to your home.

What is de-hoarding, and how is it done?

De-hoarding is a term that refers to the act of removing items from an environment to make room for new or more preferred items. This usually happens when someone's emotional needs conflict with their physical surroundings, and they must decide which one should take precedence.

There are many ways to de-hoard effectively: 

  • Take inventory of what you have and determine which pieces are essential. If you don't need an item, try selling it online instead of keeping it around because you think it will someday become valuable. 
  • You could put all your belongings into designated containers (purses, boxes, sacks) and take them out once a month to review how much stuff you need. This process will help you identify any patterns or trends that may exist regarding the things that tend not to stay packed away.
  • Remove unneeded furniture gradually - if something isn't being used frequently enough to justify its continued presence in the house, consider giving it away. 

Find out how Wendy can help you de-hoard!

Organizing shouldn't feel like a chore - it should be fun! And that's where my skills come in. I can take all the chaos out of your life and make everything look neat and tidy...fast!
Of course, organizing isn't just about tidying up; it's also about freeing up space so you can live more comfortably. I love working with clients to help them declutter their homes, reorganize their furniture, and shed excess weight without feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. My goal is always to relieve clutter-related stress while helping families maximize their living spaces.
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