This guest post is from Angela Pearse, a blogger for Zumper who frequently combines travel…
If you know someone who is a hoarder, then you know that their living conditions are not easy to manage. Depending on the severity of their hoarding, they may just have to much stuff to store in their closets shelves or they may have piles of knick-knacks and garbage collecting in every corner of their home. Having all of these items piled around the house can be enough of a headache, but what about packing all of these items up for a move? What can you do to successfully help a hoarder move?
How To Help A Hoarder Move: Making A Hoarder’s Move to A New Home Easier
While hoarding is a challenge in of itself, moving a hoarder from one home to another can be especially tricky. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of considerations to make when helping a hoarder move.
Step One: Understand the Situation
To others, hoarding seems like a bizarre, but ultimately fixable issue whereby a person collects anything and everything they can. As such, you may think that now is the perfect time to throw away the useless junk that they have and give them a fresh start.
Unfortunately, hoarding is more than just a bad habit. Although many people classify hoarding as a part of the obsessive-compulsive disorder, it’s also intricately tied to anxiety and stress. There are a few different kinds of hoarding. While hoarders have a stronger attachment to physical items than most people, the extent of the attachment can vary. For example, some hoarders can’t throw away garbage, while others simply collect useless junk while throwing away trash and other refuse.
Step Two: Be Positive and Accommodating
During a move is not the time to force your will upon the hoarder and force him or her to throw everything away. Since many hoarders feel overwhelming anxiety and stress at the thought of removing items from their possession, this could create significant difficulties, compounding the stress of the move.
Instead, talk to the person and try to determine the severity of their hoarding. In some cases, a hoarder recognizes the issues present and are willing to let others help remove the clutter. Other times, even attempting to talk about tossing items can lead to conflict. Any moves to get rid of excess belongings should be approached with delicacy and consideration.
Step Three: Formulate a Moving Strategy
Since there is so much stuff that has to be moved, it can be more than a little overwhelming for everyone involved. In fact, many hoarders choose not to move because the idea of doing so creates so much stress and anxiety. As such, if your hoarder is okay with relocating to begin with, you’re likely going to experience fewer obstacles along the way.
When figuring out how to move all of the “stuff,” it’s helpful to talk to the hoarder and see which items have the most emotional attachment. Ask questions like “when will you need this later?” or “what’s this for?” Doing so can help you control the situation without making it seem like you’re dominating the preparation. In many cases, it’s important to let the person make a final decision about what goes in which box, and don’t try to take anything away until he or she is ready.
Above all, give yourself and the hoarder enough time to process everything. Trying to move it all in a single weekend is just going to be excruciating, so get the ball rolling as soon as possible.
Step Four: Help Remove Clutter Whenever Possible
In the end, being able to take a lot of the junk out of the hoarder’s life will be good, but you have to approach it in the right way. Talk about the stress relief that comes from having a decluttered home, and how good he or she will feel with less stuff.
What you also have to remember is that you’re focusing on a long-term solution. Even if you got rid of everything he or she owns right now, what’s stopping it from happening again with the new place? If you see it as a severe enough problem, you may want to seek therapy or professional guidance to help the hoard make a fresh start and continue on the clutter-free path.
Step Five: Call Movers
While you could try and move everything yourself, chances are that it’s far too much to handle on your own. Instead, place as much as you can into boxes and call the moving van. Professional movers will not only help you with the physical labor of moving, but also help reduce stress by giving you and the hoarder less to worry about.
Make the Move Easy
On the Go Moving & Storage provides reliable moving and packing services, and has the experience you need in moving large amounts of belongings carefully from one home to the next. We’ll make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible – contact us today to find out how we can help you move.