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How to Deal with Hoarders: What Not To Do

Helping a hoarder can be challenging. Here’s what you should avoid if you want them to recover successfully.

Unless you’re an experienced professional, you probably don’t know how to deal with hoarders in a healthy or productive way. Your main focus might be what to do to get a hoarder to clean their home, but you should be just as concerned about what not to do.

Hoarding is a serious issue that can affect anyone. It impacts millions of Americans each year.

While it’s normal for some people to keep things they don’t use.

When hoarding becomes a problem where you live, it can lead to a variety of issues:

  • Increased risk of injury and falling
  • Structural damage to the home
  • Mold and respiratory infections
  • Health and safety issues
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Fire Hazards

 

If you suspect someone close to you has become a hoarder, it’s normal for you to want to intervene. But make sure you learn as much as you can about the disorder first.

Here are some tips on how best to approach the situation.


Don’t rush to confront the person about the issue of hoarding.

Hoarding is a serious mental health issue, and confronting the person about it too soon will only make the situation worse. They may isolate themselves from you completely and continue the hoarding behavior without proper accommodations.

Express your concerns gently and give them some time to accept that they need help. Be careful not to judge them as it can further harm their self-esteem and make them defensive.


Don’t try to force them to clean or throw things away.

Trying to force a hoarder to clean before they are ready can be disastrous. It causes them stress and embarrassment, making it more difficult for them to accept help and possibly triggering another hoarding episode.

You must resist the temptation no matter how good your intentions may be. Unfortunately, in some situations, you won’t have time to waste.

If the hoarder is facing fines or eviction, or if the home has become uninhabitable, it can be much harder for you to exercise patience.

Be as encouraging as possible and look for solutions that the person you are trying to help can agree on. But never make a decision about their belongings without their consent.


Don’t delve into the hoarder’s private space without their permission.

Don’t delve into the hoarder’s private space without their permission.

The hoarder will be very attached to their belongings and may be distrustful of others. If you violate their boundaries, they will be less likely to accept help or change.

 

How to Help a Hoarder

Hoarding is a serious issue, especially when it becomes too much for one person to handle. It can have serious implications if not treated.

But forcing them to do anything will backfire in the long run.

If you’re dealing with someone who is a hoarder, be patient and try to help them.

It’s important to remember that hoarders are not just lazy or messy. They’re simply dealing with a problem that can be difficult to overcome. Exercise patience and get professional help.

Working with professional hoarding cleaning services can help you get back on track.

At Home Clean Home, we understand how delicate helping a hoarder can be. Our experts are rigorously trained to know how to deal with the situation safely and effectively.

We work closely with you and your loved one to deliver long-lasting results.

Call today for a risk-free assessment: 718 691 5652

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