The phrase 'hoarding' has been heard a great deal in recent years. In 2011, we saw a made-for-TV documentary about Richard Wallace, the 'Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder' whose cluttered home and garden were the focus of disapproval from his neighbours in a wealthy Surrey village. Since then, there have been many more programmes related to the subject, and awareness of Hoarding Disorder - and its acceptance as a genuine medical condition - has become far more widely recognised.
In May 2013 Hoarding Disorder was officially recognised in the DSM-V (the fifth edition of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).
apdo-uk recognises the complexities of hoarding disorder – a recognised mental health condition – which is a specific type of behaviour characterised by:
- compulsive acquiring and failing to throw out a large number of items that would appear to have little or no value to others;
- severe cluttering of the person's home so that it is no longer able to function as a viable living space – posing health and safety risks
- significant distress or impairment in day-to-day living (including distress in loved ones)
apdo-uk’s blog and newsletters often includes articles and information about hoarding - click here to see them all.
- A detailed description of what hoarding is, and what it is not (click here for an apdo-uk blog which helps you work out whether you’re a hoarder or a clutterbug
- a discussion forum for hoarders and their loved ones
- top tips and advice for hoarders (on how to help themselves) and their family and friends
- information on resources (how to seek medical help; websites; free downloads; therapists and hoarder’s support groups; books; declutterers; how to let go of unwanted possessions; charities; professional training)
The safety dangers of hoarding
Excessive amounts of clutter can create all manner of risks to health and safety - not only to those living in a property, but also to neighbours, the local community and the emergency services.
Practical help from professional organisers
We understand the need to provide the correct level of advice and practical support for people affected by hoarding issues, and set up apdo-uk’s Hoarding Advisory Team in 2013.
The team is made of up pioneering apdo-uk Members at the forefront of helping hoarders in the UK, and offers advice, training, support and media liaison about all aspects of hoarding, including sensitive situations such as eviction, infestations, unsanitary conditions and animal hoarding.
Whilst not all professional organisers work with hoarders, those who do - or who are interested in working with hoarders - are encouraged to undertake appropriate professional training and inform apdo-uk’s Hoarding Advisory Team accordingly.
Coming soon: More resources about hoarding and professional training.
To find out when this information becomes available, and for news updates about hoarding, please subscribe to apdo-uk's newsletter, or keep in touch via Facebook and Twitter (@apdouk), which will be updated accordingly.