Hoarding Disorder Awareness Week in the State of Washington is October 16-21, 2017 as declared by proclamation signed by Governor Jay Inslee on August 8, 2017.
It is so valuable and important that hoarding is receiving this degree of attention! It is a problem that impacts approximately 15 million people in the USA alone!
Hoarding is an issue in many other countries too and is finally becoming a much more talked about issue.
Mayo Clinic defines hoarding disorder as “a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” You can read additional information on this here.
Hoarding impacts everyone in some way.
You might be the person suffering with hoarding symptoms yourself. You might be living with someone that hoards. Your neighbor might hoard. Your friend, neighbor, classmate or co-worker may be dealing with hoarding in some way. In essence, hoarding truly is all around us, lurking in scary dark corners.
Hoarding is a health risk that can attract rodents which carry diseases.
Hoarding is a fire risk and a death risk for first responders and residents of the home.
Hoarding causes damage to buildings and can impact surrounding property values.
Cleaning up a hoarded home is expensive and often a burden a city or county gets stuck dealing with. The least expensive hoarding clean up I have seen recently was $12,000.00 and that was with a discount! The hoarding clean-up crew was dealing with rats running across their feet as they cleared the garage. They were fully suited up in their haz-mat suits as they carried stuff to the enormous dumpster in the yard.
Hoarding clean up can be a very traumatizing event for a person that hoards IF they are not ready for the clean-up or working with a mental health professional to address the actual underlying reasons the person hoards.
Living in a hoarded home and growing up that way is also a very traumatizing experience, making it difficult for anyone involved with the situation.
Hoarding at a minimum is personal self-neglect. If other’s live in the household, they are also suffering from neglect in some way. They may not have anywhere to cook, shower, wash clothes, do homework or have a place to have friends over.
Know that you are not alone in dealing with hoarding, no matter how you are being impacted by it.
Reach out, connect and be a part of the conversation.
Silence isn’t an option regarding hoarding. Speaking up is the only way to raise awareness and bring attention to this daunting subject.
Tammi Moses is the founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Homes Are For Living, LLC which is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA. She provides consultations, assessments and workshops on the issue of hoarding and inspiring others to take their adversity and use it for the greater good. She is the voice of #AKOPTH-Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard. You can connect with Tammi via Email: [email protected] on Twitter and on Facebook.