Most of us end up hoarding at one time or another throughout our lives to some varying degree, be it a lack of time or a lack of motivation for clearing out the clutter, we are all guilty of hoarding more than we would like and end up with those pesky wardrobe monsters.
Hoarding is not recognised as a distinct psychological disorder, however, compulsive hoarding disorder is believed to be related to, or connected with other disorders. These include bipolar disorder, social anxiety, and depression.
A good sign that someone is a Compulsive hoarder is when they can no longer use rooms in the way they are intended. They end up running out of storage space and start to store items in the garage, the loft and anywhere else they can cram things. To the point they have to be constantly on guard in case they get crushed when they open a door or move a strategically placed box. Their quality of life deteriorates to a point they are living in total disordered chaos.
Hoarding disorders are difficult to treat, even when the person is prepared to seek help, but the good news is that it can be overcome. The main treatment is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The therapist will help the person to understand what makes it difficult to throw things away and the reasons why the clutter has built up.
The majority of us are more controlled hoarders, our lives get so busy that clutter monsters start to build up and just sit there in boxes, shelves and cupboards and gather dust for a few years. The clutter monsters become mildly irritating and the intention is always there to 'have a good clear out', but that never quite happens.
Maine Trading also help the more extreme hoarders with a mild form of compulsive hoarding, they can find it very difficult to part with their much loved clutter monsters. They have already taken the important first step to contact us, so they are mentally preparing themselves to 'let go' and turn those clutter monsters into cash.
The thing that we find most helpful when dealing with these types of clients is that we have to be firm. We find, rather than boxing things up ready for us to collect and take away, they prefer us to go through their 'clutter monsters' with them. Quite often some clutter monsters never make it to the 'sell' box and end up staying put, sometimes we get a call after the pick up to bring something back.
Some of the clutter monsters are not worth selling and I have to be brutally honest and tell them, in a sensitive way. Making a joke seems to work well, it gives them a sense of calm when they start to panic at the thought of parting with that particular clutter monster. A real world view of the clutter monster's worth, sometimes, makes them see that the bin is the best place for it.
That mix of firmness shrouded in sensitivity towards the client with my already acute sixth sense for their anxiety about clearing out the clutter, usually makes things a lot easier for them to tackle that clutter. Coupled with the obvious fact that they have already let me through the door and I am there and present in their kingdom of clutter, that in itself is a massive step forward for them to get closer to their goal of 'being 'clutter free' and a few pounds richer'.
I have never yet come across an extreme compulsive hoarder, I would be the last person they would reach out to. To help someone in that situation would require a psychotherapist and a team of other people, to help them achieve their desired goal of becoming compulsive hoarding free.
The types of items Maine Trading clients decide to turn into cash are clothes that have not been worn for a year or two, or kids toys and clothes that have been outgrown, kitchen appliances sat around, unused and are taking up valuable kitchen worktop or cupboard space preventing them from buying the latest new and exciting kitchen gadget. Ornaments and furnishings that have been boxed up from the last change of decorating the house to have a more updated look, in some cases personal collections and memorabilia that have fallen out of favour.
In other cases there are those that have lost loved ones and are ready to 'let go' of possessions, or there is a house move and no room to take everything with them, or in a few cases, they really need some money and are prepared to sell as much as they can to reach their savings goal.
Having a good clear out can be so liberating for many different reasons, so here is our simple 10 step plan to help you achieve your new clutter free existence and free yourself from those clutter monsters.
Step 1) Give us a call or email and and organise a day and time you want us to come and relieve you of some of your clutter monsters.Step 2) Now you have the clock ticking for us to rock up at your door to collect those clutter monsters, get some empty cardboard boxes at the ready. You can get these from any supermarket or corner shop for free. Just ask and they will willingly give them to you, they are heading to the skip anyway. Pick up some black bin bag's whilst you are there. Or you can buy some strong cardboard boxes and bin bags on ebay
Step 3) Start clearing one room of clutter monsters at a time. Start with your own bedroom and empty the wardrobe, completely. Don't forget to have those black bin bags and the boxes at the ready to start placing things in.Step 4) Start to put the clothing back into the wardrobe, with each piece ask yourself, 'how long is it since I last wore this?'. 'If this is the first time working on this 10 step plan, then a one year time frame is a good measure, otherwise, be brave and go all out for the six months time frame'.
If the answer is more than a year ago then throw it into the 'sell box' as it will be highly unlikely that you will ever wear it again or if it has sentimental value such as 'you wore it to Aunty Betty's wedding,' then think about how much 'joy' someone else could have from that dress.Think about the 'memories' that you could be helping someone else create with that dress, for those same few hours that you spent in it.Think about that fortune you spent on buying that dress for it to sit in your wardrobe collecting dust.
Think of how you could be investing in someone else's happiness and joy at the same time as using the proceeds from selling it on to buy yourself a brand, spanking new outfit that you can make new memories in. After all, you will see it again when Aunty Betty gets those wedding photo's out at Christmas. It is as useful to you as a chocolate teapot, being stuck in that wardrobe collecting dust.
Don't be selfish, let someone else experience the joy and make their own memories in that dress, just like you did.Step 5) Make sure any item that you find in the wardrobe has not one mark, rip, tear, or button missing, misshapen arms and shrunken bodies are definitely a no no, bobbly bits can be excused as lint removers are great. However there is no need to be so hard on yourself and get rid of absolutely everything, but all items that are damaged and unwearable, make sure they go straight into the black bin bag, ready for the big black bin outside.This is the 21st century and there is no need to be wandering round like no one owns you, even if it is a Friday night and you are the only one home, sat in your comfy holey jumper, eating chocolate on the settee, in front of that weepy chick flick movie that you have seen a million times before, but never the less it always has the same affect and makes you all nostalgic. 'NO EXCUSE'. chuck it, you are 'not' a Victorian pauper..Step 6) Now stand back and marvel at your thinned out wardrobe, all ready and waiting for you to fill it with more beautiful garments, that you will only wear once or twice, (just in case people think you never change your clothes). Before you know it, a year (or six months, it depends how good at this you get) has passed you can have that longed for feeling of satisfaction you get when you free yourself from the wardrobe clutter monster that woefully plagues us all.Step 7) Grab yourself a well deserved cuppa and chuck the rubbish bag of clothes you bravely let go of, into the black bin outside, on your way to the kettle.Step 8) This step is optional. Take a good look round your room (finish your cuppa first) and see if there is another draw or cupboard with a clutter monsters bursting to get out. If there is, don't let them get away, go back to step 3 and follow the steps from there, alternatively if your clutter monster banishing skills have knackered you out, go onto step 9.Step 9) This is an important step that you must not miss out - Wait for us to knock on your door at the pre-arranged time and date, all excited to see what pet clutter monsters you have for us to transform into a tamed beast for you.
We will promptly take it away and relieve you of any more responsibility of those wardrobe clutter monsters and magically turn it into a good as gold pile of bank transfer or PayPal transaction, all for you to replace it with some juvenile monsters that will take at least six months to a year to incubate. You must not move onto Step 10 until this step 9 has been completed.Step 10) Choose your next room and go back to step 1...