Are you a hoarder?

They say you should always “declutter” when selling your home?

When I was selling my own home after the death of my husband, I wondered if I was a hoarder!

They say that hoarding is often a coping mechanism.

Apparently if we are bereaved , or perhaps it could be triggered when the kids leave home and we suffer empty nest syndrome.

It is probably a combination of many things, and we are often unconscious of doing it – it is a distraction from thinking of something difficult like loss or a change in our lives, so much like some people will comfort- eat as a distraction to just get through the day!

How do you tackle hoarding when selling?

If you are preparing your own home for sale, or perhaps you could be helping an aged parent ready their home for sale, then the best possible way to address the situation is with understanding and sensitivity.

Everyone treasures different things. I know I still have my children’s first letters that they ever wrote, and no doubt I will keep them till I die.

It is when there are some big items that take up a lot of space, or piles and piles of old magazines, or newspapers, or old parts for machines no longer in use that a problem becomes bigger.

Do you then pay for storage for these things or do you just address the situation head on?

Clearing everything out will often make a situation worse for an anxious person

If they are digging their heels in it will make the situation worse – They might then seek out more items to hoard to replace the ones that they have lost.

As well as hoarding, there are some that suffer from chronic disorganisation.

It all just gets too much for these people. However, they might welcome the help although will not admit it.

Sadly, those with a hoarding disorder will often be stereotyped as unclean and lazy when it is often not the case.

They are extremely attached to their possessions and do not know why and it can be traumatic for them, and when approached to rid themselves of their hoarding it can cause a subconscious reaction to such a loss.

Hoarding should be tackled with empathy and care

Let them have a support network, and let them work with people they trust.

Make sure that nothing is done without their permission.

Getting them to make the decisions ultimately helps them cope in the long-term.

If they are aware of the problem, then you can then work on it and declutter the home ready for sale.

“The life changing magic of tidying up”

© 2020

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