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Am I a Hoarder?

With the introduction of the Hoarder's television show, so many people are asking themselves, "Am I a Hoarder?"  The honest answer is "doubtful" although studies indicate that 7% of the population suffers from Chronic Hoarding Disorder.  I usually include tips on how to be more organized yet today I want to help you know more about the type of clutter you experience.

First of all let me say that anyone with Chronic Hoarding Disorder would require far more assistance than "loving" family members or a professional organizer alone could help.  This is a verified psychological condition that should be treated by a mental health professional.  Now that we have that out of the way, let me briefly describe some of the key outward symptoms of CHD.

Pathways…most people with CHD acquire so much stuff that they run out of places to put it, so it ends up on the floor.  Once it makes the transition to the floor, it begins to pile there, thus creating pathways to move about the home that decrease in size as time passes.

Unusable areas…as the volume of stuff increases, the usable space within the home is systematically decreasing.  This includes rooms and spaces that would typically not be considered for storage; examples include the oven, refrigerator, bath tub, and clothes dryer.

Excessive and/or unnoticed trash…Sometimes there is so much stuff that the unnecessary things are overlooked.  These can be packaging from products, plastic grocery bags, or even food and related packaging.  These things live in the space for so long that it is no longer seen or noticed.

Smell…when we live with an odor long enough we can actually become immune to it, no matter how foul or lovely.  Often folks with CHD have pets and therefore pet odors.  Factor in the food and trash and it becomes a key element to a problem that simply cannot be captured on television.

These are but a small few of the characteristics of the home of an individual with Chronic Hoarding Disorder.  Just because you have one (or even a few) of these does not mean that you are indeed a "hoarder".  There is a detailed scale for proper diagnosis that should be used by an educated professional.

I am providing you with this information to dispel any misconceptions that you suffer from CHD when you are not.  You could suffer from Chronic Disorganization or simply be a clutter bug.  No matter how you classify yourself in regards to your clutter, the important thing to keep in mind is that your space should make you feel peaceful, safe, and happy.  If the clutter in your life prevents you from feeling this way, it may be time to address it wholeheartedly.

Remember, EVERYTHING in your space should give you joy on some level.

Have a Neat Day!

Jennifer Snyder
Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts

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Categories:  Organizing Tips

About the Author

Jennifer Snyder

Jennifer Snyder

My name is Jennifer Snyder CPO, Chief Executive Organizer of Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts, a Waco-based company of Professional Organizers that is not only focused on organizing the clutter in your home or office but also clutter of the heart and mind. 

I am happy that you are taking an interest in the benefits of getting your home and life organized.  Living an organized life is for everyone!

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