Family Feud

Family Feud

It’s  easier to speak you mind, disagree, show emotion and cast your ideas on family members rather than a disinterested third party.  Comfort, security and years of built in family dynamic are the culprit.

Unintentionally you may do more harm than good by attempting to help your loved one with their hoarding challenges. Too much emotion. Unrealistic expectations. Disappointment and fear you just can’t hide even with your best poker face. 

Often, the entire relationship is focused on one area of life. Clutter. Junk. Trash.  Call it what you want, but it overtakes more than the space in the house.   Its tuns into the topic of every discussion.

There is more to your mom or dad  than the living conditions. Focus on the good characteristics,  and let a professional work on the things that need changing.

Take this example; Mary was a client and she had rooms full of unopened toys. Her intention was to give these gifts, she was lacking in implementation. Compliment her on her kindness and generosity and find a better solution.  She had the most giving soul I had ever seen. Focus on that. Support and celebrate when small changes occur.

I learned the hard way. I know how easy it is to take advantage and overstep boundaries with family. Years ago my daughter was running operations of Clutter Trucker and at this time the business felt like a child. It was all we ever talked about. It defined me and my focus was overbearing.

I lost sight of the family dynamic. Until the day she went into labor with her son!

He decided to come 2 weeks early and I wasn’t prepared!  She was dilated to 5, in pain and ready to go to the hospital. I panicked.. I don’t know how to run payroll!! You can not go to the hospital yet.  Hurled over the computer, grabbing her side every five minutes, she completed payroll before leaving!

Looking back that was ridiculous on my part! Unreasonable expectation.



 

Be Brave. Be Fearless. Be Nice.

Be Brave. Be Fearless. Be Nice.

 

This message is for my clients. I not only want to walk alongside you, help you and  represent you,  I want you to  inspire you.

I want you to read this and be brave. I want you to know that not everyone is judging you, making fun and fascinated by your ability to accumulate "stuff".

I am fortunate to see you behind the closed door and pulled back blinds and I have your back. I get to talk to you for hours on the phone and hear the pain and shame in your voice.

It is my hope that you stand up, speak up and be fearless. I hope that your neighbors, your family, your city officials will get educated, become aware and think differently about you.  

I want you to practice self compassion. Stop judging yourself. Stop talking badly about yourself. Get out of isolation and speak your mind. Be brave.

Let everyone else know that all of the helpful decluttering tips like “If you haven't used it in a year then donate it.” “ If you buy one new item, then get rid of one old item in your house”,” a cluttered house is a cluttered mind”. This is another language to someone suffering from hoarding. It is like giving someone a tylenol instead of penicillin and telling them to feel better. It’s the wrong prescription.

If you know or suspect you know a person who suffers from hoarding disorder look beyond the clutter. Get to know the person.  Get them out of the house. Give them fresh air and a good conversation. Give them a healthy fresh cooked meal. Be nice.

 

 

To Go or Not to Go....

To Go or Not to Go....

One of the most stressful situations for those who have accumulated an excess amount of stuff is eviction.  We have helped counsel and clean out a tremendous amount of clients who were faced with either getting rid of their stuff or getting rid of their home.

To someone unfamiliar with the illness of hoarding this may seem like a fairly easy and straightforward choice. Let me tell me you, for my clients it is not easy or straightforward.  As I hear the situation these clients are facing I can see and feel the pain. I hear their shaky voice, as they the pause in speaking. I watch as they cover the face with their hands in shame, embarrassment and fear.  

Tears running down,  in the midst of them trying to be strong and find a solution. Only on a few occasions has anger been the dominating emotion and usually after realizing the options ahead, the anger subsides.

Over and over I work with clients whose homes pose a fire hazard or an extreme pest control problem.  While the clients feel like they have a right to keep their belongings in the apartments, condo or homes, officials and landlords have a different agenda.

As an expert with several years of experience, I can sit down and explain the process of clean up and why it is necessary.  With all the papers, trash and boxes of stuff, if one flame of fire caught, the entire place would be engulfed in a matter of seconds. It would be extremely dangerous for the tenant, the firefighters and the entire building to escape unharmed. Just google hoarder home fire and you’ll find how often these stories make the news.  No one thinks it will happen to their home, but it does.

When bedbugs, roaches and mice take over, pest control cannot spray due to the large amounts of clutter. These little bugs will hide and multiply amidst all of the “stuff”!  Ultimately, the entire community in the building has to suffer. More often than not, my clients are forced to remove their belonging so the little pests can be killed.

It’s a hard choice, but one that has to be made for the safety and well-being of those involved.  Cleaning up your place may just add years to your life, AND make your neighbors a little bit more appreciative!

Humanizing Hoarders

Humanizing Hoarders

I stand beside my hoarders and speak for them. My mission is to educate and bring awareness to the public on this VERY common issue, that impacts those suffering with the disorder, friends and  family members, landlords, neighbors, city officials and more.

The problems manifested from hoarding are as unique as each individuals we meet. Yet the lessons we learn are universal and can be advantageous to all of us.

The truth is that someone you know is distressed by hoarding, whether you are aware or not, and the things I do and see are dirty and sometimes down right disgusting.  I won’t hide that.

I share what cleaning up another person’s poo has taught me about mind control.  I will answer questions I get asked on a regular basis, Have you ever seen dead animals? What is craziest thing I have found? How can I do what I do?

The people we help are genuine, intelligent, funny, and have a magnitude of experience that will help others. I change names to maintain privacy.  I will humanize my hoarders!