We were recently at four different properties where hoarding was a lifestyle. What caught my attention was the Owner’s reactions and comments. It wasn’t only the Owner, there were family member enablers associated with the properties.
I will not share actual photos of the properties as I believe that that would violate their privacy. Thus any photos associated with this post have been taken from the internet.
A recurring theme with each of these properties was the “owner’s” ultimate reaction. We heard the following statements:
- “I’m not a hoarder, I just haven’t put things away for 10 years.”
- “I’m not a hoarder, I’m a collector.”
Sadly, family members, while struggling with the emotions of cleaning up also shared comments such as:
- “He/She is going to kill me for throwing this out!”
- “I boxed that stuff up 2 years ago, and nothing was done with it.”
- “He/she thinks it is valuable.”
Emotionally is was difficult to even enter these houses. It was even more difficult to deal with the emotions while we cleaned the properties out. I shall not editorialize about my personal emotions at these properties. It is a sad and difficult situation. I will however offer this reaction. As adult children to the elderly, take action immediately before a home degenerates into a health hazard. It’s difficult, yet be forceful and stop the hoarding before it gets out of hand. Take responsibility and be proactive to prevent health hazards.