safety and manageability
The hoarding syndrome has an impact on safety in the home, increasing the risk of falls and putting health in danger through poor air quality and lack of sanitation. Hoarding creates such cramped living conditions that homes are filled to capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter; many, if not all, of the rooms in the home are no longer fully functional. Access to the stove, the refrigerator and the bathroom are impaired, impacting personal hygiene and proper nutrition. Many hoarders are animal lovers but struggle with maintaining a sanitary and healthy environment for their pets.
Excessive clutter has a negative impact on our emotional and physical well-being. While hoarding can begin in childhood, it usually goes unnoticed until adulthood. People who hoard often have relatives who have also engaged in this behaviour. Over time, hoarding creates extreme social isolation and causes significant distress or impairment of work. Family members and friends have tried to help without success; relationships become fractured as the hoarder becomes more isolated by their clutter.
In many instances, hoarding is only half of the equation. Compulsive shopping is a major contributor to overwhelming clutter in the home. The inability to resist a bargain, the impulse purchase of items completely without need or purpose and collecting stuffed animals, angels or trinkets all contribute to the overall problem. Buying an item and having to re-buy the same item because the original can't be found is a common experience for someone who suffers from the hoarding syndrome. Buying but not reading the latest books on home organization, purchasing organizational bins and systems while leaving them piled unopened on top of the clutter are familiar sights when we meet with a client for the first time. We find brand new items never used with the sales tags still attached, buried under more recent purchases, also not used. Whether those items are expensive, from the dollar store or garage sales, each contributes to the chaos and puts a heavy strain on personal finances.
At Moving Forward we do not impose our personal goals on our clients. How we live or would like to see others live has no place in our agenda. We're here to listen, to assist and support our clients in creating a safe and more manageable living environment. If there is a deadline imposed by an external source (health department, property management), we work with all parties to achieve a reasonable resolution within the specified time frame.