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Hoarding is an anxiety disorder. It prevents people from determining the actual value of their possessions and keeps them from making decisions regarding their lives and their belongings. If your loved one in the Tampa, Florida, area has a hoarding problem, here are some tools that can help.

Support and Communication

Talk to your loved one about the hoarding situation. Put yourself in their shoes and try to connect with them. Encourage your loved one in every way and let them know you are there to help them through the whole process. Acknowledge that there is a problem and tell them about the potential dangers of excessive clutter and insanitary conditions. Make a plan together. Support their input. Agree that items are important but that each one has to have a functional purpose.

Help With Recovery

Suggest that your loved one speak with a therapist. Offer to help them sort their belongings. While helping with the items, try to remind them of the actual value of each item. Most items will have no practical or monetary worth. Encourage donation so they don’t feel as though their possessions are being devalued and thrown away.

Restore the Home to Good Condition

Assist the hoarder with the sorting, donation, and disposal of their possessions. Once the useless items have been removed, begin cleaning the home. Sanitize the home one room at a time, restoring each room to its intended use. Take your time with this process so as not to shock the hoarder and revert them to their anxious state. Set small goals and be consistent. Celebrate each victory with a reward, such as a home-cooked meal in their freshly cleaned kitchen. Help your loved one to build confidence as well as a sense of pride.

If the situation is a large, time-consuming clean up or too severe for your personal comfort, consult the compassionate professionals at Service Master Tampa Bay at 813-603-2001. We have a specially developed program for the clean-up of hoarding situations and specialists on staff to help.

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