Approximately 5% of the U.S. population are hoarders, but that doesn’t mean that only 5% of the population is affected. The families of hoarders are often affected as well, especially those living in the same home as a hoarder?
What is Hoarding?
Hoarding is a disorder in which a person compulsively acquires objects and has a hard time detaching from them. This can create an environment in the home that is unclean and potentially hazardous. And while a hoarder’s home can be cleaned and organized, they oftentimes need counseling to deal with the root issue of the hoarding.
Hoarding Effects: Isolation
Hoarders often isolate themselves from friends and family. This can affect relationships with loved ones if the hoarder doesn’t easily leave the house or let people into the house. Letting people into the house can cause multiple issues for a hoarder. It may be embarrassing to let someone see their house in the state that it is in. And if they do let family in it can create a tense environment if family members are urging the hoarder to get rid of their stuff. Because family members may constantly be nagging the hoarder about cleaning and purging their things, this can further the need to be isolated to avoid these uncomfortable interactions. For families, they need to understand that just like with any other disorder, merely suggesting or even threatening the person to change their behavior is not enough to change it. The act of hoarding is most often a deeply rooted psychological affliction that cannot be changed overnight and may require professional intervention and counseling.
Hoarding Effects: Strained Relationships
Hoarding can cause strained relationships not only with family members outside of the home but inside of the home as well. School age children may be embarrassed to allow friends to come over to their home for fear of judgement. Children of hoarders can also suffer from bullying if others at school found out that their home was messy, unsafe, and filled with things. For children in the home there may be a constant battle between the hoarder and the child (ren) to get rid of things. Hoarders are often in denial, which can cause arguments due to anger and misunderstanding.
Hoarding Effects: Unsafe Environment
Hoarding may not only be unsafe due to the increase for accidents, but depending on the items collected, which sometimes includes animals, the environment maybe toxic to live in. Small children can hurt themselves while trying to navigate the home and can get into things that should be kept away, such as medicine or chemicals. Also, because a large percentage of hoarders keep their homes unclean this can cause other health risks for children and family members in the home.
Hoarding Effects: Aftermath
A hoarder may decide to clean up their home. This is often after receiving counseling. Once the decision is made it is important to choose a professional restoration and clean up service that specializes in cleanup for hoarders. Those with experience dealing with hoarders understand that there is more to the job than just cleaning and organizing. They will work with the families and make sure they are treating the situation delicately. Understanding the need to compromise is also important as it can be challenging for a hoarder to get rid of their things. They have created an emotional attachment to objects and it can be devastating to let things go.
Service Master offers hoarding cleanup and restoration services in the Pittsburgh area. Your family will have peace of mind knowing they have chosen a proven expert in hoarding cleanup services.