The Basics of Hoarding

I just finished reading The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell. When I picked up the book, I had no idea that the story was about a mother and the progression from being someone who is sentimental and love things to an extreme hoarder. I thought the author did a great job of showing the life and thoughts of a hoarder, as well as their family members and loved ones. The hoarder in the story had experienced quite a few of these factors that contributed to hoarding but unfortunately never got the help she needed.

Top 3 Contributing Factors:

  • Hereditary – It has been found that a certain chromosome in one’s body can be altered, causing them to tend to hoard.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). – We usually thing of those with OCD to be very clean and tidy, but when obstacles come into that person’s life they tend to give up and become obsessive about collecting or something else they can control.
  • Traumatic Life Event – Most commonly this is a loss of a loved one (especially the loss of a child) and divorce.

Assisting a Hoarder:Empathize – It is important to take time to understand why the person is in the situation they are in. Respect their belongings as they do while trying to help them gain a better understanding of what is truly necessary.

Be Trustworthy – Hoarders tend to be paranoid and some with good reason as those who have tried to help them in the past have taken over and throw things away without their permission.

Set Goals – Find out why the hoarder want to make a change. What is their motivation? This can be something you remind them of to keep them on track as they get discouraged.

The process of overcoming a hoarding disorder can be a long one. At Practical Solutions we help clients through this process in a therapeutic way, helping them achieve their goals to live with less. If you or someone you know struggles with hoarding, please contact us for a free consultation (909)307-4862.   

Hoarder’s Show!

Our crew filmed another episode of Hoarder’s that will air this season. Go to to like us on Facebook so you will be the first to receive information about the episode and when it airs. It will be a doozy you won’t want to miss!

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