Hey Collectors!

While the Holidays are a time of joy, fun and family, they can also be a time of stress. If you have a member of your family, or a friend, that is a Hoarder, holidays may be anything but merry. I want to share some ways you can navigate the Holidays with a Hoarder.

The reality is that a hoarder needs professional help. I have trained and become certified to work with hoarders. Most family members and friends don’t have any type of training and rarely are they able to improve the situation. However, it is important for you to stay sane during the holidays, so here are some tips if you’ll be spending the holidays with a hoarder.

  1. Let go of expectations. If you are looking for a Christmas miracle, it’s probably not going to happen. Don’t view the holidays as a time to make progress or change the habits of a hoarder. Now is usually not the time to practice any tips you saw on Hoarders or read in any books.

  2. Be less judgmental. Even if you don’t say anything, people can feel when they are being judged. Hoarding is caused by deep pain and being judgmental only adds to the pain and doesn’t do anyone any good. If you feel yourself starting to think or say something, consider going outside for a breath of fresh air.

  3. Practice empathetic listening. What may seem like an easy decision for you may be a difficult process for someone who struggles with hoarding. Be patient and stay positive. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, take a walk around the block.

  4. Have boundaries. If your family or friend begins to behave badly or revisits the same subject over and over after you have expressed your opinion or concerns, you don’t have to engage. If you don’t have a mindfulness practice, now would be a good time to start. Simply doing deep breaths can make a huge difference.
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  5. Take care of yourself. Practice good self-care. It can be heart breaking to see someone you love struggle. If you are visiting, find places you can go to if you need to get out of the house. Have a friend on stand by that you can text or call if you get really stressed. Consider hiring a professional organizer to coach you before, during or after your visit. Make sure they are certified to work with hoarders.

  6. At the end of the Holidays if you have become more concerned or believe that they might be open to receiving help, contact professional organizers in your area for help. If you don’t know where to look, city and county officials can point you in the right direction. To learn more about how Collector Care can help: http://www.collectorcare.com/services/.

Do you have any tips for dealing with a loved one that is a hoarder? Have you found different challenges because of the holidays? Share in the comments below.

Is your friend or family member ready to take the first step to deal with their hoarding? Are you looking for compassionate help that will also create progress? Collector Care offers extreme cleaning and services for hoarders.

Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email rachel@collectorcare.com to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how we can help your loved one.

Photo credit: http://momsneedtoknow.com