Negative Effects of Hoarding
Hoarding is not a harmless habit. In fact, there are many ways that a hoarder can cause harm or danger to themselves simply by having a home filled with worthless belongings. Imagine a house packed with old cardboard boxes, newspapers, clothes that don’t fit, and other examples of junk. There are obvious downsides to this mess. Of course, it’s an eyesore. However, on top of that, there are tangible, immediate effects on a hoarder’s health. According to helpguide.org, these effects include:
- There is less room for the hoarder to use for themselves, creating a claustrophobic, cramped environment in their home, where they should be most comfortable.
- Hoarded belongings can create the perfect place for dust, mold, mildew, and even rodents to proliferate. This promotes disease and general unhealthiness.
- A hoard out of control can block doorways, pose a tripping hazard, or severely increase the risk of a serious house fire. Fires will spread more quickly due to the excess junk.
Do you want to learn how to help a hoarder in your life? Above everything else, it’s clear that hoarding behavior cannot be allowed to continue. The negative effects on the hoarder’s health are too serious to ignore—which is a reasonable enough cause for intervention.
How to Help a Hoarder in Denial
Hoarding often has an underlying cause in the form of a preexisting mental health condition. “About 75% of people with hoarding disorder at the same time have a mental health condition,” says webmd.com, “with 20% living with obsessive-compulsive behavior.”
In some cases, hoarding is a coping mechanism used in response to a loss or as a way to protect oneself. However, this is usually a form of denial. This denial is characteristic of many hoarding problems. A hoarder may tell themselves they are hoarding for a reason, such as to protect themselves in case of future unemployment or economic crisis. In the process, the hoarder is hurting themselves—along with any family members who may share the home with them.
To help make a positive impact to a hoarder in your life, you may want to consider a professional assessment from a hoarding specialist. A hoarding specialist is a social worker that can assess the history and behavior of the hoarder in your life to help make a plan to address the issues and clean up the hoard. With the help of a specialist, you can push a hoarder towards overcoming their denial. Then, you can lead them to the conclusion that hoarder cleanup is a step in the right direction.
How to Help a Hoarder Get Rid of Junk
The final challenge is actually removing the hoarded belongings from the household. Needless to say, this task can be daunting, especially if the junk is piled high and in every room. Juggling that alongside the hoarder’s anxiety regarding the removal of the items can even be overwhelming. You may find yourself wanting to enlist the help of a full-service junk removal company. That way, you can comfort the hoarder in your life while fully trained professionals handle the junk removal for you.
Professional junk removal companies, such as Junk Cow, take on hoarding clean out jobs frequently and know how to handle them correctly. Any junk removal experts worth their salt will recognize when they’re dealing with a hoarding situation. They will adjust their behavior accordingly, making sure to handle items with care even if they’re worthless. After all, the hoarder may be nearby, and nobody wants to cause them any more stress than necessary. Additionally, junk removal companies will happily donate excess belongings that are in good condition to a local charity such as the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. This way, the hoarder can take comfort in knowing their belongings will be safe in someone else’s hands.