Hoarding

Biggest Challenge: I recognize myself in your hoarding article, and I want help, but have nowhere to go.

--Carol

Response from DM:

Dear Carol,

Congratulations! The fact that you are willing to recognize yourself as a potential hoarder means you are willing to address the issues. Usually, hoarding is a complex matter, and the best way to deal with it is through education. Research as much as you can about hoarding using newspapers, magazines, and the internet. Also, seek professional help from either an individual or an organization that has dealt with the specifics of hoarding. I would also recommend watching the TV series on A&E, “Hoarders,” with professional organizer Dorothy Breininger at the center, now in its 3rd season. It can be uncomfortable to witness how people have inundated themselves with material things they no longer need, or ever needed. But watching how the issues are addressed, analyzed, and how the solutions evolve is amazing.

There is also a new word, “disposophobia,” being used to describe people who cannot get rid of stuff. Severe disposophobics even go outside their homes and rent additional space for their belongings. In most cases, the value of these belongings is far less than the cost of storage. I also suggest an interesting book by Michael Schmelling, The Plan. Michael visits private residences alongside Disaster Masters, a New York-based company that deals with compulsive hoarders. He documents their visits through a series of black and white photos.

Please keep me informed of your progress. Hoarding is not a quick fix, but it is fixable. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Marion

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