Sponsor spotlight: Inside the mind of a compulsive hoarder during the COVID-19 pandemic

Many of us have seen the TV show Hoarders, or heard about a neighbor or relative who is hoarding behind closed doors. Perhaps you personally struggle with hoarding and find the notion of parting with your acquired possessions difficult or impossible. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals have been isolated, processing grief and wading through uncertainty. For those managing a hoarding disorder, times like these are a significant trigger.

One of the first things we must understand about individuals struggling with this mental health disorder is that many don’t seek support. It’s either because they don’t recognize the problem or because they worry about the perceived shame and stigma connected to hoarding. Like many other mental health issues, hoarding has real effects on individuals and their loved ones. Emotional distress, financial toll, safety hazards and even health issues come into play. Educating ourselves as a community about hoarding can go a long way to support those in need.

Think back to the start of the pandemic when local stores were running out of toilet paper, disinfectants, bottled water, canned food, etc. Now imagine being inside the mind of a hoarder while so many people are panic shopping and shelves are running bare. Combine these stressors with the isolation of being stuck at home and the ease of online shopping in the 21st century. You now have a perfect storm.

Friends and family may have the best intentions and try cleaning the home of a hoarder only to have to the mess come back worse. There are several approaches that mental health professionals administer to treat a hoarder. Each approach aims at discovering the root cause of the individuals hoarding disorder.

Families may feel embarrassed to reach out for help when their loved one moves out or passes away. Ginny’s Girls Estate Services has experience working in the homes of hoarders and we understand the compassion required to reach a successful outcome. From homes with vast collections to hoarder homes where contents physically block doorways and access points, Ginny’s has done it all. While we are not mental health professionals, we can help facilitate in the sorting and liquidation phase of a hoarder’s transition.

Don’t hesitate to give us a call about our range of services! We are currently the only company in the Puget Sound area offering estate sales, clean-outs, move management, and personal property valuations.

— By Jamie Roberts, Ginny’s Girls Estate Services


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