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”.
Is your home somewhere you love return to at the end of the day?
Do you stop people coming to your home?
Do you spend as much time as possible away from home?
Do 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?
Save items that you don’t like or need?
Feel completely overwhelmed by the clutter?
Ignore the hoard even though it is causing problems?
Experience a mounting tension in your home?
Lie about the extent of your hoarding?
Suffer physical ill health as a result of this behaviour?
Feel depressed because of the clutter?
Find paperwork overwhelming?
Spend 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?
Write 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.
Notice and compliment yourself when you actively stop yourself from adding to the problem.
Enlist 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Sort of Issues have People Brought To Therapy?
Bags and boxes piled high
Children leaving home
Dirty and un-cleanable corners
Downsizing the family home
Inability to let things go
Out of control collecting
Separation or divorce