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Hoarding Help Message Boards : How to Help a Hoarder : Need advice when hoarder won't take help
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Need advice when hoarder won't take help

Posted: 13 December 2020 - 12:42 PM
Facing similar issues after having to nudge a hoarder to get their stuff out of our house. I offered them help in the future which I gave more than once but it was general like some light cleaning, take out trash.

They have a stuffed, I mean stuffed bedroom that at least needs a reorganization. I told them that's a 2-3 day project and cannot be started in the early evening(they are on grave yard shift time, they don't work mind you). The day LIGHT is really needed in that room. They say 'ok' but they want me to call them when I can/want to come over. In other words I have to call in well in advance to come over and clean and reorganize their rooms. They have no enthusiam. Prior to moving we were 15 mins away to one could over late afternoon and early evening and a few things done. Now I have to 45 minute drive which they know. I told I have no problem helping but I can't start projects at 7 at night. Her neighbors would wind up being ticked if nothing else.

Moral of story until they want and/or will readily accept help your efforts would be wasted convincing them along with what ever actual work you get done. Just like a drug addict they have to want to go rehab. If you have to convince or talk a hoarder into cleaning up or just help one session it is not worth it because they don't want the help.

Sooner or later they wind up with a deadline and under pressure to clean it up. Only with that motivation will they consider help and that will be just to keep them out of trouble, not change their ways.

Wait until he is good and ready.

Good Luck.
Posted: 10 December 2020 - 07:47 AM
Hi rose,

You can't make your father accept help - or choose your mother over his stuff, but you can present the location of the stuff as a safety issue and try to get his cooperation in making clear and safe spaces for your mother. Some things are non-negotiable - like keeping flammable away from heat sources and clear fire exit paths. Creating these zones may require the complete removal of some things, and hopefully if he sees that he will be able to identify a place to start letting go.

A counselor or family therapist can sometimes help with the conversation. I don't know what resources are available in your area, but maybe you could call senior services and ask them?
Posted: 09 December 2020 - 01:34 PM
Hello all,

My ~70 year old father has accumulated about 45 years of things, to the point where movement through the house is almost impossible. For example, he has saved every box he has come in contact with (has the box our tv came in from the early 90s) for example.

Basically I'm wondering what the options are for when a hoarder absolutely refuses to even discuss their problem. My mother and sister have both tried, but he literally leaves the house for days, turning off his phone, if the subject is mentioned. Obviously therapy is not an option. His hoarded trash needs to be removed because my mother is getting to an age it's unsafe, and she's even looking at moving out. This stuff needs to go, but all resources online say "DON'T TOUCH OR CLEAR OUT THE HOARDERS ITEMS!" We really don't know what the options are at this point though.
Hoarding Help Message Boards : How to Help a Hoarder : Need advice when hoarder won't take help

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