It's hard to believe that this is the same house pictured above -but it is. We had this property cleaned out and ready for the next step in a matter of hours. It took 2.5 loads in our dump trailer, and there was still a lot of scrubbing to do with walls, floor, and even ceiling - but this home became livable again. By letting us handle the cleanout, the new owners saved a incredible amount of time and frustration.
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What You Need to Know About Hoarding
When it comes to those hoarding shows, there are typically two responses. Some people will watch the program with growing shock and horror. They wonder how people can live that way. Perhaps they feel sorry for the people on the screen, and maybe they just feel frustrated as they watch the wheels of progress turn at a snail’s pace.
However, there are also plenty of people watching these shows who are constantly nodding their heads in agreement. Perhaps they have family members who struggle with this issue and completely understand. Maybe they’re hoarders themselves, and they can easily empathize with the homeowner. Either way, one thing that these shows do very well if bring attention to a common problem. Here are some surprising facts about hoarding that most people don’t know – but the knowledge may allow you to help a friend or family member who’s struggling.
An Astounding Number
Some people hoard, and some people “collect.” However, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America defines hoarding as a “persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions.” While most people can easily discard newspapers, magazines, and household supplies, hoarders struggle with these simple steps.
It’s estimated that roughly 6 to 15 million people in our nation are hoarders, although some sources believe it could be as many as 19 million residents.
Distress and Anxiety
For most people, letting go of objects is as simple as giving it to a friend, making a run to the thrift store, or just tossing it in the trash. However, hoarders struggle with these simple tasks. They feel compelled to hold on to items for one reason or another, and getting rid of the treasures can leave them feeling genuinely distressed. It can rise to the level of a mental disorder, and it’s sometimes seen with people who are struggling with dementia.
The Fire Hazard
The hoard has the power to turn into a fire hazard, and this would be why cities sometimes get involved to force people to clean up. If windows, doors, and hallways are not readily accessible, the hoard can actually contribute to fatal accidents.
Hoarders Typically Know
Hoarders may not see anything wrong with the way they live, but they know how society looks at them. They’re embarrassed and don’t want to reveal this part of their lives to friends and even family members. It’s common to see extreme hoarding situations where the house is falling into disrepair and may not even have working water or appliances. This is because a level three, four, or five hoarder would rather live in substandard conditions that have anyone else into the home.
Perfectionism Leads to Paralysis
It may surprise you to learn that many hoarders are also perfectionists. Their fear of making a mistake causes them to do nothing instead. Worried about making the wrong decision, they wind up failing to make any choices at all, and the hoard around them can grow. One of the biggest fears is that they’ll toss something today and regret it tomorrow.
Is it a Hoard or a Collection?
The key difference between hoarders and collectors is that the latter group displays items and is happy to show them off. Hoarders are not usually interested in having you look at their items.
We often receive calls from family members who are trying to clean up a hoard. If someone in your sphere has turned to you for help, you may not know where to start. Here are a few things you should keep in mind if you’re now facing the task of helping a hoarder take the next step.
Here at JDog, we can make short work of any hoard. We’re able to come in with a team to quickly dispose of the items and get them to appropriate locations. We can determine if items are garbage or if they can be donated. We’ll also keep an eye out for valuables that need to be returned to the family. We also have programs in place to help hoarders deal with the project at a pace that may be more comfortable for them. Call us today for your free on-site estimate.