Many people will have come to this page scared that they are hoarders. They have been watching the TV programmes that have become so pervasive. They have seen articles in magazines with photos that look like their homes. Both the TV programmes and the articles diagnose hoarder households. Real hardcore hoarders are much rarer than people think.
Actually the quantities of clutter and stuff don't tell us very much. What really matters are the people. We have found that there are lots of reasons, some are detailed below, why someone's house can end up looking like a hoard. If you are here, if you want help, we can work with you.
How did you grow up?
We also see people who had a hoarder parent. The parent could neither teach them nor provide a good example of how to live with belongings. Because the children don't learn how to order a house, they live in houses that look like hoards and are afraid that they too are hoarders. Often all these clients need is someone to show them 'How to do it'. Some people grow up in households where there is someone doing everything for them so they don't learn how to do it for themselves. How to organise a household is one of those life skills like boiling eggs, doing laundry or opening a bank account that everyone needs. Sorting and putting things away are taught to reception age children. They generally enjoy it. Parents can encourage the same patterns at home and help their children to learn how and when to throw things away. Some of our clients involve their children in giving outgrown toys to charity. Others do car boot sales with their children where new toys are bought with the proceeds from old ones. There are people who have hoarding inclinations and the first signs showed when they were very young, between the ages of 5 and 15. This is where support from parents and the establishment of good habits can make a huge difference to the rest of their lives.
It may be that you are still worried and think that you are the only one who has a house full of mess and clutter and none of the explanations above apply to you. That's not true - it's just that it's a secret that is kept behind closed doors.
There are many, many people in the same situation who suffer alone, in private. Most are intelligent, professional and well-educated people.
Are you in the difficult situation of knowing someone who struggles with clutter?
Maybe it's a family member of friend? Perhaps they are dealing with depression or hoarding issues? This is a very common situation. Have a chat with them to let them know that there are professional and non-judgemental experts who are willing to help. Suggest that they look at the website and see for themselves how clutter clearing works. As professionals we are only able to help those who are prepared to ACCEPT OUR HELP. What we can't do is clear someone's home whilst they are away or without their permission.