Support for Families
The impact hoarding has on families can be substantial and include safety and long-lasting psychological effects. Family members often struggle with depression and anxiety associated with the clutter. Additionally, family members often struggle with guilt associated with the conditions of the home and being unable to help. If you have a family member that is struggling with issues of clutter, hoarding behavior, or hoarding disorder, it is likely that you have made many attempts to help them clean up, de-clutter, or get organized. You’ve probably read lots of articles or books on how to get organized, de-clutter, or help someone with hoarding behavior or hoarding disorder. Additionally, you are likely overwhelmed, frustrated, and possibly angry that your family member won’t accept or doesn’t appreciate your help and doesn’t see the impact clutter is having on themselves and the family.
The first step to moving forward is to accept that it is normal to be frustrated and angry with your family member and that you deserve compassion and understanding too. Next is being able to understand what isn’t working for you and your family member. The great majority of information available on organizing and decluttering is not geared towards someone struggling with excessive clutter, hoarding behavior, or hoarding disorder. As such, it does not take into account the mental health aspect such as strong emotional attachments, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, or ADD/ADHD. It doesn’t provide alternatives for someone who struggles with difficulty making decisions, categorizing, or organizing. Additionally, the topic of trauma and loss and how this relates to your issue with clutter are not taken into account when suggesting ‘easy fixes’.
Just like any other family struggling with mental health issues, learning to effectively cope and set healthy boundaries that benefit your well-being, is difficult to do on your own. The most successful family members are those that have professional guidance and the support of others who share their lived experience. That being said, resources and support for families affected by hoarding disorder are few and far between.
As a member of The Clutter Movement, you will be guided by Marnie Matthews, MSW, LICSW, a trained and experienced mental health professional that specializes in all areas of clutter, hoarding behavior, hoarding disorder, and crisis case management. Under Marnie’s guidance, members will have access to the following supports and resources: