In March of 2016, Marnie Matthews, MSW, LICSW, started The Clutter Movement facebook group as a way to keep individuals that were attending groups connected to each other so that the support didn’t stop at the door on the way out. Most people struggling with issues of clutter report that staying connected with those with similar lived experiences decreases the shame, embarrassment, and isolation that is so often associated with this issue. While initially started as a local support in Danvers, MA, where Marnie’s program was located, word got out in other groups around the state and around the country. Knowing that there were many more people struggling with clutter that did not have access to physical support groups or who were not comfortable attending them, we opened up the group to anyone who was struggling with clutter. The Clutter Movement facebook group for individuals continues to grow each day and has become a global community of support.
As The Clutter Movement began to grow, an increasing number of family members of individuals struggling with clutter and hoarding behavior began to reach out for help. Overwhelmed and often frustrated, they were seeking support for themselves and guidance for helping their family member. In researching supports for the family members, we realized there was a significant gap in education and supports available to them. To address this, The Clutter Movement Family Support facebook group was formed and, just like The Clutter Movement FaceBook Group for individuals, it is now a growing global community of support.
While the Facebook groups have proven to be a great resource for support, many members found significant barriers to accessing professional education, guidance, and crisis support resources. The most common barriers are geographic issues, lack of trained professionals, costs, and most importantly, a lack of understanding and therefore trust – which goes both ways – between those struggling and those trying to help.
Recognizing the need for increased access to consultations, education, resources, and supports and the need to make this information available for everyone that may be affected by clutter and hoarding behavior, The Clutter Movement has now developed into a central hub of information and support on addressing clutter and hoarding behavior. Unlike other free sites, The Clutter Movement is managed by Marnie Matthews, MSW, LICSW, a specialist in the area of hoarding behavior and crisis case management. As a member of The Clutter Movement, individuals, families, and professionals have access to professional consultations, guidance, education, tools, support, skills and strategies training, and group work.
Issues with clutter and hoarding behavior are complicated and multi-faceted. The best outcomes are the result of a person-driven, multi-disciplinary collaborative approach. While there is plenty of free information on the internet about clutter and hoarding, The Clutter Movement is the only site that offers direct professional guidance, support, and education focused on bringing individuals, families, and professionals together to address this issue. The Clutter Movement provides membership options specifically targeted to the varying needs of individuals, families, and professionals in managing clutter and/or hoarding behavior. Individual and family group work is focused on skills and strategies training while professional group work is focused on consultations, training, and crisis case management.
Members of The Clutter Movement share the common purpose of working to decrease the misinformation and stigmas surrounding hoarding behavior and to make a powerful collective effort in bringing about sustainable change in themselves, each other, and the communities that they live in and serve.