Are you a hoarder? Others might know you are a hoarder before you discover it yourself. It is estimated that there are between five and 14 million compulsive hoarders in the United States. An exact figure is difficult to obtain, due to the secrecy and invisibility of many hoarders.
Hoarding has finally come out of the shadows. Over the past few years, several television shows have displayed extreme examples of the many hoarders. People view it as a harmless obsession or a severe mental disorder. There is no reason for allowing stacks and piles and heaps of debris to accumulate and take over every livable space in a home.
Am I a Hoarder?
More people are beginning to ask the question, “Am I a hoarder?” If you are faced with a closet filled with unidentifiable, miscellaneous stuff, and you wonder if these are hoarding tendencies, stop and ask yourself a few revealing questions.
1) Are the counter-tops and desktops in your home visible? Hoarders use every available space to place their treasures. If you can’t prepare dinner in your kitchen because you piled three months worth of items on the counter, you might have a problem. If it is impossible to work on your computer at your desk or see the television screen over the piles of old magazines stacked in front of it, you may have an issue to confront.
2) When is that last time you threw anything away? If you are in the habit of acquiring things because you may need them at some unforeseeable time in the future, this could also be signs of hoarding.
3) Do you define your excessive possessions as your collection? Collectors seek out specific items to possess and display them in an organized, attractive manner. However, hoarders gather items randomly and stash them unconsciously anywhere they can. Distinguish between the two motives when trying to identify your behavior.
4) Can you identify a need for everything you have? If you don’t have an immediate or near term need for something, it has no sentimental value, and you have no place to keep it, there is no logical explanation for hanging on to it other than having a hoarding tendency.
5) Do friends and family avoid you or make excuses not to come to your house because of the level of clutter they can expect to find there? Or, even more importantly, do you avoid inviting people to your home because of the shame or embarrassment you feel over all the debris you have? Are there rooms in your home where people cannot enter because of the amount of stuff?
6) Are you always moving piles from one location to another, trying to make room, without throwing anything away in the process? Material possessions come and go in our lives regularly. If your possessions always come and stay, you are probably dealing with some hoarding tendencies.
7) Do you have an issue parting with an item that is worn out, broken, damaged or no longer in some working order? Junk is junk, and should discard it. There is no sensible reason to keep trash.
8) Hoarding isn’t just confined to material possessions. If you own twenty-three cats, three tanks of tropical fish, a plethora of birds and a cage of gerbils, you are an animal hoarder. It is simply a different expression of the same disorder.
Hoarding is a psychological disorder. It can become a potentially life-limiting condition. Help is available on many levels. Don’t let an obsession with stuff prevent you from living a full, productive and interactive life. If you need help in removing these items from your home, Find out more about hoarding clean up services in Colorado