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Family Members - Before You Can Help, You Must Understand! First, let me say, I am glad you found our site. We are a free service for people to find the help they need to effectively deal with a loved one affected by hoarding. First, since you may or may not be educated in hoarding let me go over some basics. Hoarding is simply defined as the accumulation of items within a home that exceeds what is needed for a normal, functioning household. Hoarding cases vary in severity, from mild clutter to severe hoarding conditions, but in all these cases the same underlying factor is true: the daily function of the household has been compromised by the accumulation of stuff.

 In our countless hours of experience, we have found that hoarding is often found to affect brilliant people. We have assisted over 10,000 hoarders with 70% or more holding past or present careers such as engineers, professors, teachers, psychologists, and even rocket scientists. Simply put, hoarders syndrome is an “intelligent syndrome.” This is important to mention because it makes the job for families that much harder. Due to the hoarder’s level of intelligence, they are able to hide the disorder and commonly they are placed into positions where they manipulate family members and loved ones so that their hoarding issues are minimized.

Additionally, hoarders are also found among the elderly who just hold on to memories or lack the physical ability to remove items like they once could. Undoubtedly, there may be countless reasons that contribute to an individual that is hoarding. Understand that your loved one most likely knows it is wrong, wants to stop, but is unable to control it. When you confront them, they will almost always become defensive and deny they have a problem. This is just human nature. Think of situations where you may have been confronted with something that you may know is wrong and may already feel guilty about. The quickest and easiest way out of facing that situation may be to become defensive or to avoid the situation altogether. Please realize that there is usually an underlying psychological disorder or disorders that accompany hoarding. When a tragedy occurs, the hoarding can develop. Some common reasons people begin hoarding are:

* Depression (by far the most common and includes the next bullet item)
* Trauma (death, divorce, abuse, rape, loss of some kind)
* OCD/ADHD
* Heredity (grew up in a hoarding home)
* Fear of becoming poor (Depression Era, or just grew up with very little)
* Fear of forgetting (items hold memories)
* Perfectionists (until they find the perfect spot for something....)
* Don’t want to be wasteful
* Head Trauma (Strokes, Head Injuries, etc.)
* Dementia
* And literally hundreds of other reasons we hear regularly.

The point we are trying to make is that "hoarders" are not simply too lazy to take out the trash. Hoarding is a complex disorder that requires much more than a good house cleaning. One thing that holds true is that unless the individual hoarder is facing eviction or city action, a forced cleanout will not “fix” the issue of hoarding. Besides, if you do clean a hoarder’s house without addressing the issue, they will just fill it up again. To truly stop someone from hoarding that has not sought help, they will need therapy/counselling, often times they may need medication, a cleanup of their residence by a company that specializes in working with hoarders, and good follow up care.

If you are unable to find help in your area, we can assist you. We have not only a database of hoarding remediation companies, but we can also refer you to counselors, therapists, support groups, etc. We can also answer many questions you1-800-HOARDERS (800-462-7337) may have. The best advice is to start by calling our 24 hour helpline so that we can get you and your loved one the help that they need. Most importantly, be patient, understanding, and compassionate towards your loved one. We will help you handle the rest!

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Hoarders.com - Our Mission

Our mission is to help those afflicted with this disorder and to provide them with the tools and skills needed to live a clutter free life. We offer understanding, trust and hope in a caring, compassionate and discreet environment, while providing the quality of care our clients expect and deserve.

From the initial contact, through cleanup and on-going support, our desire is to help our clients live a better life physically and emotionally.

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