Technically hoarding has a very specific definition. The Mayo Clinic states this:
“Hoarding disorder is 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.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hoarding-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20356056)
This is a very broad overview of what hoarding is and is a great starting point to define hoarding issues.
Hoarding impacts people in many negative ways and one of those ways is when you can no longer use a space for its original intended purpose.
For example, if you start to use your shower as your closet, you can no longer use the shower for personal hygiene purposes. Often the reason clothes begin to appear in a shower is because the bedroom is no longer accessible, therefore one cannot access the closet either.
It is necessary to address the issue of hoarding with empathy and extreme awareness that most people with a hoarding issue are in complete denial.
However denial doesn’t mean we should let it fester in silence.
Safety is a major factor in hoarding! If you are trying to figure out how to start a conversation about hoarding; start with “I am concerned about your safety…”
Although initially the person may not even want to hear a thing you say, it is still a move in the right direction, as you are planting a seed that you see the person AND the hoarding issue.
There are millions of people that suffer with hoarding issues, including the #YLITH and the #AKOPTH that are trying to navigate living in the hoard or dealing with parents that hoard.
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.