Behind locked doors there is a hidden hoarding pandemic

Humans by nature are instinctively protective over our possessions, and rightly so as we and those around us work hard for them, but what happens when that protectiveness turns into an obsession? According to Hoarding Disorders UK, up to 5% of the UK population are hoarders as of 2020 and the trauma of the pandemic has only made this figure higher.

We all hoard something…

Firstly, you must understand the thought process behind giving up items that are perceived as valuable. We all have sentimental items that we cannot bring ourselves to get rid of, this could be a childhood toy or a late relative’s jewellery. Typically, having collections of items you are interested is a popular hobby that has dated back centuries, granted this is different to hoarding things you usually wouldn’t need, but the attachment to those specific items is still very prevalent.

But what happens when hoarding escalates to the extreme?

To help someone with a Hoarding disorder you must understand the root cause. In most cases, it is often a result of poverty, living alone, being unmarried and previous childhood trauma or neglect. It can also be a sign of many underlying mental health issues including severe depression, schizophrenia, and, surprising to some, is OCD.

So, what should you look out for if you or someone in your family are struggling? Someone who suffers from hoarding may typically find it hard to organise belongings and make decisions. To help them through this process can be difficult but the most important thing to remember is to be understanding and respectful of their belongings. A great way to help them to make progress in clearing their home is CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which predominantly teaches coping mechanisms and helps to slowly expose people suffering to overcoming their fear of discarding their sentimental belongings.

The effect of hoarding on family & friends

Hoarding behaviour not only affects the hoarder but also affects loved ones, friends and especially your significant other. The most effective way to help them to understand what you’re going through is to open up to those closest to you and be honest with how overwhelmed you are feeling. This will help you to come to a solution with your family instead of carrying the weight yourself.

What can Manor Clearance do to help?

It is more important than ever to encourage a person who is hoarding to seek help, as hoarding is on the rise and can be debilitating mentally. At Manor Clearance we have dealt with hoarding first-hand and understand the mental strain of throwing out items and the psychological distress this imposes on people struggling with hoarding disorder.

Our house clearance service can be specifically catered to someone suffering from a hoarding disorder and, no matter the length or the difficulty of the clearance, our team will be supportive and understanding throughout the process.