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On Hoarding

You’re likely familiar with the tv show Hoarders. The show reveals just how painful and destructive the disease can be, and the depth of suffering and grief that it casts on the victim as well as their family. While it can be a devastating experience to live through, there are many resources available to treat hoarding, and to manage hoarding removal.

Why Hoarding Occurs

Hoarding is a mental illness that causes the victim to have persistent difficulty getting rid of possessions due to a perceived need to save the items. Attempts to part with possessions create considerable distress and leads to decisions to save them. The resulting clutter disrupts the ability to use living spaces (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). While there is no defined cause for hoarding, some researchers point to childhood experiences of losing things, or experiencing emotional abuse or physical neglect as a root cause.

hoarder study

What is the difference between clutter and hoarding? Clutter is defined as a person’s possessions being disorganized and accumulated in living areas, though it does not impede the function of the home. Hoarding, on the other hand, refers to unorganized piles of possessions, to the extent that general daily activities are not possible.


When Hoarding Becomes a Problem

Everyone has a different threshold for when something crosses the line of being an issue versus being a problem. Legally speaking, when hoarding becomes a safety issue, there is a problem. In the most severe cases of hoarding, you will find severe structural damage of the home, major fire hazards, and most spaces in the home will be inaccessible.


Hoarding to Minimalism

The main established treatment for hoarding is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Additionally, hoarding counseling and support groups for the victim and their family available. There is hope for those living with this condition.

Tranquility, balance, minimalism

In addition to seeking mental health support, it is so important to clear out the affected home as soon as possible so that you can get back to normal living. You can search for hoarding help services near you to assist in removal. You can donate the accumulated possessions, or you may choose to hire a professional estate sale company to send the possessions on their way to new, caring owners. This option offers the benefit of earning your family money in the process. A professional estate sale company is a hoarding expert, and they will have plenty of experience in managing different levels of hoarding.

If you're in Austin, Texas or the surrounding area, Burgess Estate Sales is an excellent resource to help you decide if holding an estate sale is right for you. Get in touch with us to schedule a free consultation. Whatever you choose to do, it will be so rewarding to let go of the past and move forward with your life.

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