Why Do Hoarders Keep Trash?
To the unsuspecting person, the things that hoarders cling to might not make a lot of sense. But, it’s all a matter of perspective.
It can be tough to discover that your parent or loved one is struggling with a hoarding habit.
There is no doubt that after seeing the state of their home and the way that they live, you have a lot of questions. One of the things that upset people in your situation the most is wondering why their loved one is holding on to garbage.
Even when it comes at the expense of their own well-being, many hoarders would rather hold onto their trash than discard it.
To a normal, healthy person this may not make a lot of sense. We totally understand how frustrating it can be to see someone you care about living in this way. Of course, you are going to be shocked if you’re not used to seeing it.
But what is more important than that is that you want to help.
Most of the time, when people discover that their loved ones are hoarding it’s because of extenuating circumstances. Maybe you haven’t heard from your loved one in a while, so you decide to pay them a visit.
Now that you’re there, you are absolutely in awe of the squalor and disarray.
Or maybe you are helping a hoarder move, and you are just now realizing the severity of the situation.
This is a common example, as the damage that extreme hoarding causes to a property may lead a landlord to evict the person struggling.
In the worst of situations, the home may not even be safe to live in anymore If that’s your loved one’s situation, then they will have no choice but to leave.
Either way, before you can start cleaning up there are a few things that you will need to know.
We are here to answer all of your questions. So, let’s dive into this complex issue together.
Why Don’t Hoarders Clean Their Houses?
Hoarding is much deeper than just being messy. It’s not that they don’t want to clean their homes, in fact, many hoarders are incredibly embarrassed by their situations.
The problem is that hoarders lack the problem-solving skills they need to stay organized and make good decisions about their belongings. Even when they truly want to clean up, the thought of getting rid of stuff can be too overwhelming.
That’s because hoarding is, at the core, a psychological issue. It can be the result of trauma, depression, anxiety, or even OCD.
Many hoarders struggle with the fear of not having something when they need it.
This is the most important thing to keep in mind when trying to understand why hoarders won’t throw anything away.
To you, you are just looking at a big heaping pile of trash. It could be anything from broken tools, to spoiled food.
But to a hoarder, it is a stockpile of things that they may need one day to survive.
Hoarders hold on to things because of their extreme emotional attachment to them. You may feel like it’s just plain garbage, and some of it might be.
In severe cases, the collection of items may be blocking off rooms. Appliances may be unusable because they are broken or inaccessible. It may not make any sense to you, but your loved one has very strong reasons for being so tied to their belongings.
Before you can convince them to get rid of stuff, you have to understand this attachment on a fundamental level.
How Do You Convince a Hoarder to Let Go?
We know that you want to help your loved one get rid of stuff and be more organized. But it is simply not going to happen if you try to force things right from the beginning.
The best thing you can do is to take a bit of time to learn about the disorder and come back with a more compassionate approach. With more understanding, you will be able to show them the empathy they need to see to be comfortable accepting your help.
What is most important for you to remember is that your loved one has to want to change for themselves, or no assistance that you give them will stick.
If you try to take away their things or clean up their home without permission, it will just trigger another hoarding response. The next one may be more severe than the last.
On top of that, hoarders need to learn for themselves how to decide what to keep or throw away.
Taking complete control and doing it all yourself will not teach them how to make their own healthy choices. So, they will not be able to develop a better lifestyle in the future.
Above all else, you must remember that guilt and shame are not the way forward.
You may be concerned, astonished, or just plain frustrated. But taking those feelings out on your loved one, no matter how good your intentions may be, will only aggravate the situation.
Hoarders are incredibly sensitive about being exposed to others. Any amount of scolding or negativity will only put them on the defense and make it harder to persuade them to get rid of stuff and clean up.
Patience, kindness, and understanding are the only way to get through the situation.
Express your concerns. But do it gently, and get professional help wherever possible.
With the right approach, it is possible to convince your loved one that it’s time to get rid of some stuff. But before you begin you will need to formulate a plan.
The house is likely to be extremely messy, and it may be too much for one or two people to clean. Plus, you’re not just clearing clutter and throwing things away.
Your most important job will be supporting your loved one through the emotional distress that they will experience as they undertake this difficult process. Setting goals is one way to help you persevere when things get difficult.
But we think the best thing you can do is work with a professional hoarding cleaning service.
They will provide you with the skills, experience, and manpower necessary to clean up the home efficiently. This gives you the time and energy you need to be there for your loved one every step of the way.
Hoarding Cleanup Help
Hoarders911 is the leading hoarding cleaning company, serving New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.
Our experts have been helping hoarders recover for nearly 30 years.
We provide compassionate, judgment-free solutions for every issue that a hoarder might be facing. There is nothing we haven’t seen, and we come ready for anything.
Whether your loved one is facing eviction, dealing with property damage, or having trouble throwing things away we can help.
Many townships and ordinances don’t allow junk to pile up in the street for more than 24 hours.
Typically hoarders don’t want that kind of attention brought onto themselves, either. This can make it very difficult for them to feel motivated to throw anything away.
Quick Estimate Request
To address this problem, we provide our own, discreet junk hauling services.
After working with your loved one to clear the clutter from their home – with their express permission, of course – we will get rid of it all before anyone can even notice.
Our team will show up without uniform, with an unmarked vehicle, to haul away all the unwanted items in the blink of an eye. No one will ever even know we were there!
We understand the impact this disorder can have on hoarders and their families, and we are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help.
Speak to one of our experts today for a no-risk consultation: 718 627 5781