Hoarding isn’t just a matter of having a larger than usual stamp collection or a closet full of beanie babies. It is a serious condition and it affects many people across the country. Hoarding can often increase in severity over time to the point that it becomes extremely disruptive to peoples’ lives or even downright dangerous if left unchecked.
There was a famous case in New York City that involved two brothers who died in 1947 due to hoarding. Apparently their home had so many thousands of unused books, pieces of wood, fruit and vegetable scraps and the like that it had become a serious hazard. Both brothers were found dead in the home, one of them buried under what had been a mountainous stack of old newspapers. There were so many newspapers that the weight of them appeared to have crushed and killed him. The brother who had been killed was the caretaker of the other brother, and medical experts think the second one then died of starvation a few days later.
There are different degrees of hoarding. The beginning symptoms may include getting so behind in basic household chores that the person is embarrassed when they have friends and family over. Things are getting a bit more serious when there is so much junk that it is actually beginning to restrict movement through the home. If this is beginning to sound like you or a friend or family member, it’s time to take action before things get worse.
A trusted adviser who can help the person determine what items are no longer necessary to keep around the house should be brought in to assist with sorting, then a junk removal service should be called in to haul away the items that are no longer necessary. Junk removal services can take almost anything and often times it is not even necessary to set it out for them because they can just come and remove the junk from where it is. The junk removal company can then take items to be donated or disposed of properly, as appropriate.
If hoarding continues unchecked into the more advanced stages, then the piles of junk that were just getting in the way may build up bigger and bigger until they become a falling hazard like it was for the brothers in New York City. Furthermore, as the piles grow, often there will be food items that end up on top of the piles or behind or under them, and things begin rotting. This leads to terribly unhygienic living conditions.
If you or someone you care about might be exhibiting tendencies that could lead to potentially hazardous conditions for you or them, it is important not to let conditions worsen. Sometimes deeper counseling and rehabilitation is necessary. But getting help from a friend or family and a good junk removal service company is a good start.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of hoarding and keeping all the “stuff” in check is key to preventing a tragedy for hoarders.