Professional Residential and Business Organizing in Cleveland, Ohio since 2003

Business Suspended Until Further Notice

Perspectives on Hoarding

I'm a hoarder, and I need to move in two weeks.       

I have hoarding tendencies and I need help!

                      I need help for my mother who I think is a hoarder.

             My landlord is going to evict me----HELP!

These are some actual requests that we have received over our 12 years in the Professional Organizing business.  Sometimes the situation has reached the level of hoarding, and other times it has not.  We also receive calls, and are surprised by the level of clutter that we see and the caller did not.  

According to Compulsive Hoaring and Acquiring by Gail Steketee & Randy Frost, hoarding is defined as:

•Accumulation & failure to discard a large number of possessions that appear to most people to be useless or of limited value
•Extensive clutter in living spaces that precludes activities for which the rooms were designed
•Significant distress or impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding

Studies suggest that 2% to 5% of the population are hoarders.  Do you think you or someone you know fits this definition? If so, we want to provide you some resources to learn more about this issue that affects not only the person who hoards, but others as well. 

First and foremost is an all day conference this month:

Perspectives on Hoarding

May 15, 2015

8 AM to 4:15 PM

Embassy Suites, Independence, OH

This is the third annual conference of The Hoarding Connection of Cuyahoga County.  This task force is led by The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County and The Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging.  We both volunteer our time with this group and support its mission to educate the community about the need for a coordinated effort of personnel, local government, mental health and social service agencies to effectively help individuals who hoard and those working with individuals who hoard.  

While this day long conference offeres CEUs for some mental health professionals, nurses and sanitation workers, it would be a worthwhile day for anyone wanting to learn more.  The morning speaker will be David Tolin, PhD, who is the co-author of the book Buried in Treasures. His session will focus on the chemistry and bio-chemistry of the disorder. The afternoon speaker is Matt Paxton, whom you may have seen on A&E's Hoarders; he is also the author of The Secret Lives of Hoarders.  He will be talking about his experiences on the television show and with his company Clutter Cleaner.  We have heard him speak and like his insight and approach that is akin to the way in which we work.  There will also be a panel discussion with local experts, including Organizing 4 U's Muffy Kaesberg.

If you are unable to attend, but are still interested in information on this condition, we would like to recommend a few books.  Digging Out, Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding & Compulsive Acquiring is the book we suggest every family member of a hoarder read.  It will help you gain insight into the mind of the hoarder, and offer approaches to begin help.  Overcoming Compusive Hoarding and Dr Tolin's Buried in Treasures both offer self-help approaches to hoarding, and provide good exercises to gain control.

As always, we are available for questions on other resources and to discuss hands-on assistance.  We hope to see you on May 15th; registration ends on May 8th and seating is limited.

                                            JoEllen & Muffy

P.S.  Over the past few weeks we have experienced some technical issues with our web site, and have not been receiving our email.  If you have recently sent an email to, or and did not receive a response, please know we were not ignoring you.  All is now corrected, and we invite you to try again.

 Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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