Ever walk into the home of a relative you haven’t seen in a while? Perhaps you haven’t seen their entire home while visiting? A hoarding problem just might surprise you. It could be an issue with an inability to get rid of clothing, blankets, and other items. Or the issue could be as severe as keeping trash in the home, attracting everything from roaches to mice. Instead of yelling at your relative, there’s things you can do to encourage the person to clean the house.
Have a hoarding relative? What it will take to get their home clean again
Avoid Taking Over
The best solution isn’t going into the home, and taking things that don’t belong, or that are unhealthy. Your relative will see all you want to do is get rid of their beloved stuff. You’ll likely destroy the relationship there, and possibly cause the person to hoard more items than before! Sit down with your relative. Talk about the items that can be kept,as well as those that are broken, and need to be thrown away.
Your family member might not have the tools that are needed to get the house clean. Even if you have to spend the money to hire a dumpster service, such as Peterson’s Service Corp, or buy the mops, brooms and other items that are needed to clean the house, then it would be better than the relative not having the proper tools to clean the hoard. Most dumpster companies have workers who can offer assistance with larger items if help is needed.
Organization is the Answer
When the hoard is cleared away, don’t leave the person without any kind of advice in getting the house organized. A good bit of the reason that people hoard is because they lose sight of organizing the items that they have. Offer advice on how to store the items that aren’t used during the year or ways to keep collections in a cabinet on display so that they can be seen.
If you’ve tried everything possible to help your relative with no success, then professional help might be needed. You can call in an organizer or a therapist who specializes in hoarding to get to the root of the problem. Offer a list of phone numbers and names for your relative to call when ready if this is a slow process.
Hoarding is a situation that you would think can be cleared away with a few trash bags. It’s usually not that easy as the person who hoards has underlying issues that cause the clinging to material possessions. One of the easiest things that you can do is offer support along the way to get the hoarding under control.
Author bio: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.