Color & Control:

Wise Advice

The Dangers of Hoarding

Recognized as a behaviour that becomes relatively more common and progressive with age, hoarding, and its subsequent behaviours, often catches family caregivers by surprise. Expert suggests that holding on to things is sometimes caused by loneliness and fear of isolation along with, or difficult emotions from early years.

Out of control collecting can, however, cause serious falls, barriers to mobility and challenging safety issues related to fire, infestation, and personal health and hygiene. Here are a few suggestions to help you and the hoarder in your life get “tidied up”.

1) Establish trust to avoid becoming a target of anger or the cause of anxiety or shame. Remember, these items mean something to the person who has kept them.

2) Find support and get a medical evaluation if possible. Many stressful life factors play a role maybe classified as the diagnostic criteria for OCD. 

3) Set realistic goals. Start slow. If the collecting has taken over large areas inside and outside of the house, clearing up may take a considerable amount of time. Breaking the project into small, attainable objectives will reduce the pressure and give short-term wins that you can celebrate.

4) Recycle: While it’s not always possible given the circumstances, try to be environmentally appropriate when you’re tossing and cleaning up. 

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