We are often asked this question, what is the difference between Clutter & Hoarding?
Clutter and Hoarding come in many different categories.
Clutter and Hoarding is as individual as the person.
We are often asked why do people Clutter and Hoard, there is no defined answer the reason is often as complex as the person that clutters/hoards.
We do recognise the lack of understanding regarding Clutter and Hoarding.
We recognise it as compulsive behaviour with underline mental health issues.
In some cases for Extreme Hoarding it brings comfort and security for the person in question.
This is a prime example of Hoarding. The room is not used for its intended purpose. There is no walkable floor space. Possessions are piled high.
This is a prime example of Clutter. There is walkable floor space, but no organastion regarding the items. This, if left unattened can easily become a hoard situation.
The definition and difference between Clutter & Hoarding.
Clutter: Is an accumulation of possessions that are scattered around the home. In an untidy and disorganised fashion.
The clutter can restrict some daily activities. There still remains enough space for normal living.
People who clutter tend to be less fearful of reducing their clutter or tend to feel less anxious. They are more willing to reduce their clutter.
They tend to be more concerned about the mess and are more willing to take steps to improve the situation. They wouldn't risk losing their homes or families, or financial stability or affecting their health because of the possessions.
They may feel overwhelmed, lack of motivation, lack of organastion skills and may suffer with mild depression, but can let go of things with the right support and motivation.
Hoarding: Refers to a large amount of possessions that clutter the living areas within the home, rendering living space to a minimum.
Stopping normal daily activities, such as preparing a meal or even access to toilet facilities. Severe hoarding can also cause structural damage to properties. This is also considered a fire hazard as exits points within the home can be blocked off not allowing access to exit.
People that hoard, experience intense anxiety if something is thrown away. It is a fear of loss causing great difficulty making decisions.
Hoarders often do not recognise they are living in unkempt spaces. Often moving items from one place to another not ever reducing the amount of possessions they have.
The sad results of Hoarding are:
Living in unsanitary conditions, increased fire hazard, vermin/rodent infestations and various health risks.
Unfortunately hoarders are often unaware of their living conditions and believe nothing is wrong.
Often a hoarded home will have no running hot water or central heating.
Often yearly Gas Safety Checks can not be conducted.
Leaving the person and property at risk as well as the community.
Sadly people that hoard do not recognise they have a problem.
Even if they feel embrassed or ashamed they withdraw, still acquiring more possessions.
Causing a hoarder to live in isolation. Withdrawing from close contact with family and friends.
In the U.K it is mainly a third party intervention I.e. a complaint has been made to the Local Council so the Council can intervene.
Hoarding is now a recognised mental health concern.
Finding the right cleaning service is essential, the service needs to be efficient, unjudgemental and considerate.
Helping the person overcome their anxieties and regain control over their lives, is a delicate and complicated process that requires a lot of patience, compassion and understanding.
N. Gervais Cleaning Service are specially trained and qualified not only to restore a home to a liveable standard, but to also show empathy and respect for the individuals involved to provide an effective service to help the affected person maintain a clean and liveable standard.
How can you help a person suffering with complusive Hoarding?
Do not be judgemental or dismissive. You need to earn their trust.
Do not suggest, helping to throw rubbish away. It is important to see, what you may consider rubbish, is that person's treasured possessions. Listen to what your family/friend has to say and try and understand their reasons for accumulating and keeping mounds of items.
Do not rush the person in question. Be patient and understanding. Let them know you care. Remind the person affected that hoarding is an issue they are struggling with, it's not their entire identity or way of life.
Most common error: Do not clear a person's possessions without their knowledge or permission no matter how small. This could have adverse effects. They will longer trust you, you can't force a loved one to get better, you need to find away to help them to want to get better.
Be encouraging. Show them they are not alone.
Do not give a time scale as this is added pressure. Instead highlight the dangers and drawbacks of Hoarding. Fire hazard, vermin/rodent infestations, damp, mould and even structural damage.
Do not push for more than the person is willing to do at that point of time. Ask your family/friend to consider professional help such as counselling or group therapy. This will help to overcome their anxieties and restore their self-esteem.
Britain's hidden hoarders.
Thank you for reading our blog.
If you have any questions or need more information please do not hesitate to call us. 07463277177 or go on our contact page and email us.
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