Talking to a hoarder, especially when it is a close friend or loved one, can be difficult. It’s important to say the right things to them without coming off too strong. Hoarding is a serious condition that can cause mental health issues if not handled properly. Hoarding itself is a sensitive topic and is not always addressed when needed. Hoarders may be embarrassed about their condition and the state of their homes but do not know when the right time is to get the help they need. When looking out for a hoarder who is special to you, it is important to get them the help they need before their health or life becomes in danger. Learn below the do’s and don’ts of talking to a hoarder and the best way to communicate with them!
Do’s and Don’ts of Talking To A Hoarder
It’s important when helping a hoarder you know which things to say and which to avoid. Discover below the do’s and don’ts of communicating with a hoarder so you can tell the right things to get them the help they need!
Do’s of Communicating With A Hoarder:
Let them know they have help
Hoarding is a serious condition that accumulates more and more as the years go by. Hoarders need to know they are not alone and have all the help they need to overcome this difficult situation. There will be many items to clean and move out, which will be a long process. Thinking of doing it alone will cause stress and anxiety, causing them to avoid the situation. Knowing they have people willing to help and lend a hand will make them more prepared to get their life back on track and clean out their homes. Hiring a hoarding cleanup team is even better to get strong professionals to make the job easier!
Encourage they seek professional help
Let the hoarder know they can seek professional help if they are having a hard time with this. There are plenty of therapists out there who are experts in helping those who are struggling with hoarding. They will help guide them through the entire hoarding cleanup process and ensure their items will not be thrown away, just cleaned out. It’s crucial to ensure they are seeing a hoarding therapist, not just a general therapist, so they can get the care and attention they need during this challenging time.
When a hoarder hears their items could be donated to someone less fortunate, it may encourage them to get started on cleaning out their home. Many hoarders have previously bought in bulk or have excess items they will never be able to use all of. Some hoarder homes are excessively stocked up on paper goods, canned items, books, and more, and will not use it all in their lifetime. Knowing their items are not thrown out on them and can be given to someone in need may make the cleanout process easier for them.
Don’ts Of Communicating With A Hoarder
Mention anything about throwing out items
One of the worst things to bring up to a hoarder is throwing out all the items in their home. Some of those items have been with them all their life and have become a piece of comfort. When you mention getting rid of items for hoarders, don’t suggest renting a dumpster and throwing things out. Recommend renting a storage unit, organizing their items into better storage, or donating them to someone in need. Once the hoarder is ready to part with items, they should do so on their own.
Get angry with them
It may be challenging, but it is important to remain calm and patient with them as you discuss their hoarding issue and help them clean out. Please don’t lose your temper when they are not ready to part with a certain item. It may be hard for them to open up, and too much pressure on them will cause them to give up on cleaning their home. Hoarders may be very sensitive and emotional to their belongings, and getting upset if they are not ready to clean up or get rid of certain things will make them want to quit.
Make fun of them or treat them differently
Although it may not be easy to watch a loved one become a hoarder, you mustn’t treat them differently if their living conditions are something else. Hoarders do not want to feel embarrassed that their life ended up this way and are still the person you know them as deep inside. It is important not to treat a hoarder like a child or criminal for doing and acting how they are. Making fun of them will only worsen the situation and not allow them to get the help they need.
Get Help With Hoarding Cleanouts in MA’s North Shore
Flannery’s Handymen are MA’s go-to for moving and junk removal. We help hoarders clean up and clean out their homes so they can live comfortable and happy lives. If you or someone you know lives in a hoarder’s home and is looking for help, contact our team today. We look forward to helping you clean up and start a new chapter in your life!