HOUSE CLUTTER & HOARDING

What is Clutter? The term “clutter” usually refers to when a person has a collection of belongings lying around their household in no particular order. A lot of people tend to equate clutter with hoarding. While clutter is related to hoarding, it is not nearly as extreme and it is easier to remedy.

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WHAT IS HOARDING

Hoarding is actually recognized as a symptom of a mental disorder. Hoarders will collect and keep things compulsively, and these collections eventually overwhelm their household. The reasons people develop into hoarders can include:

  • Depression or Anxiety. In this case, hoarding is used as a coping mechanism.

  • Perfectionism. Hoarders often fear throwing something away because it might eventually be valuable or useful.

  • Emotional Attachment. Hoarders sometimes keep things that don’t make sense to other people as a result of an obscure emotional attachment.

  • Indecisiveness. Hoarders sometimes collect things because they lack the ability to make a decision about an item’s value.

  • Trauma. Hoarding can be a symptom of personal trauma.

  • Fear of Creating Waste. Sometimes, the need to hoard stems from a desire to keep things out of the landfill.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

CLUTTER

  • Clutter is a disorganized collection of things.

  • Clutter is not simply a symptom of hoarding.

  • Clutter may consist of useless and useful items.

  • Clutter only implies that the person is untidy.

HOARDING

  • Hoarding is far more extreme than clutter.

  • Hoarding is collecting and keeping unneeded things.

  • Clutter may or not be a symptom of hoarding.

  • Hoarding may be a symptom of a mental disorder.

WHEN SHOULD I HIRE A PROFESSIONAL?

Here is where you’ll find another difference between clutter and hoarding. A person who is trying to deal with household clutter is usually more inclined to ask for help organizing their household. They seem to recognize that their disorganization has gotten to be too big of a task for them to manage on their own, and need some help putting it all in order.

A person who is dealing with a hoarding problem isn’t likely to be the one to ask for help. More often than not, they have been put under pressure to make changes by their family, friends, landlord…even their community. In rare cases, a hoarder may realize that getting rid of their own collection may be an important part of their healing and be ready to do it, but this is not the norm.

In either case, fixing the problem is a sensitive issue that requires a combination of compassion and efficiency, since the people helping may be tiptoeing around a deeper problem.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM HARBOUR CITY?

The professionals at Harbour City Environmental Services understand how important it is to feel secure and happy in the home. While we work efficiently to clear and organize your home, we also work with compassion and sensitivity, as we understand the process can be overwhelming to some.

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