Hoarding

Hoarding clutter is not a new phenomenon, in the 1800’s believing that homes need to be a place where you want to be, William Morris is quoted as saying “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”.

bulletIs your home somewhere you love return to at the end of the day?
bulletDo you stop people coming to your home?
bulletDo you spend as much time as possible away from home?
bulletDo you feel anxious or depressed as soon as you open the front door?

The build up of clutter begins with stuff not being stored effectively and becoming an irritation that takes time and energy to clear. Hording is a whole other level of compulsive and addictive behaviour that affects the way people want to live their life. ‘Stuff’ can restrict living space and prevent a house from being a home but more that that stuff is also ‘emotional clutter’ that chokes up lives. People cling to possessions and find it difficult or impossible to let go of things that adversely affect their well being, such as too many clothes, shoes and bags; items from past relationships or ‘inherited’ from deceased relatives; letters, pictures, books and magazines that will never be studied again.

Are You A Hoarder?

Do you:
bulletSave items that you don’t like or need?
bulletFeel completely overwhelmed by the clutter?
bulletIgnore the hoard even though it is causing problems?
bulletExperience a mounting tension in your home?
bulletLie about the extent of your hoarding?
bulletSuffer physical ill health as a result of this behaviour?
bulletFeel depressed because of the clutter?
bulletFind paperwork overwhelming?
bulletSpend too much time looking for things?

If you have answered yes to these questions you may be a hoarder, the problem isn’t always obvious until the habit or obsession has adversely affected your environment or relationships.

We don’t set out to clutter our living or working spaces, it’s something that happens over time. It’s an accumulation of items that have been purchased; impulse buys; sales bargains; received gifts; items that have been donated; family heirlooms that are no longer needed or wanted. But somehow these things fill drawers, cupboards, corners of rooms, whole rooms, the attic, hall and stairs and spill out into the garage and garden. The job can be too big to handle alone or you might not know where to start.

What Can I Do To Help Myself?

bulletWrite a list of consequences to you and others (include feelings of guilt, disgust, disappointment, destruction, social and relational restrictions) and consider what you can do about it.

bulletNotice and compliment yourself when you actively stop yourself from adding to the problem.

bulletEnlist trusted members of your family or friends to help. If you choose this option, asking for help is often the hardest part, once you have asked most people will be willing to help. Breakdown the tasks into manageable chunks of activity.

Seeking Professional Help

Don’t allow your guilt and need for secrecy to stop you from seeking treatment, sometimes it’s less painful to call in an impartial expert to help, you deserve to be happier, less stressed and free. If this seems like you don’t have to suffer a moment longer, you can access help by calling me, Dawn Haworth, on 07818 840 841 or email dawn@lifedesignsandmore.co.uk.

What Sort of Issues have People Brought To Therapy?

bulletBags and boxes piled high
bulletBereavement
bulletChildren leaving home
bulletCompulsive hoarding
bulletDirty and un-cleanable corners
bulletDisorganised storage
bulletDownsizing the family home
bulletInability to let things go
bulletMoving house
bulletOut of control collecting
bulletOverwhelming paperwork
bulletSeparation or divorce
bulletShopaholic
bulletUnwanted possessions