About 1.2 million Americans are diagnosed hoarders, meaning they have a compulsive urge to stockpile belongings in abnormally high quantities. If your home is a little cluttered, you’re not a hoarder – but if you find it difficult to function in or move around your house because precarious stacks of belongings cover every surface, you should seek help.
Consider the effect hoarding has on your home, your family, and even your neighbors to jumpstart you down the road to recovery.
The inability to let go of belongings you really don’t need could pose more profound health risks than you think. First, there’s the decreased air quality from all the dust, mildew, and odors resulting from your massive stockpiling, but you can also experience:
- Poor nutrition because you can’t use the stove or fridge.
- Poor hygiene because the bathtub has become a storage area.
- Plumbing problems because clogged toilets and sinks become unusable.
- Higher risk of falling and hurting yourself or being buried by heavy clutter.
- Higher fire risk because the sheer amount of combustible items in your home could spread fire very quickly.
Financial and Housing Trouble
Even in organized homes, it’s possible to misplace bills. With your hoarding behavior, paper bills could be impossible to find in all the clutter. Non-payment of essential bills like rent, utilities, and insurance could get you into trouble.
If you hoard pets, the finances required to feed and care for your animals can easily become overwhelming. You could even lose your job if you spend too much time with your pets and miss work as a result.
Depending on your housing situation and how extreme your hoarding is, your behavior might even affect your neighbors. Pollution and odors from decaying matter could pass through apartment walls and cause your neighbors to complain. Repeat complaints could increase your risk of eviction and homelessness.
Many hoarders live alone but still have family members who care about them. Unfortunately, your hoarding could drive a wedge between you and your family. The clutter and smell might make you embarrassed to have anyone over, or your behavior might lead to arguments when a family member insists you throw something away. The rift in your relationships could lead to other mental health problems, such as isolation, depression, anxiety, and fear.
Animal Abuse and Neglect
If you hoard animals, the situation may have begun innocently enough. Perhaps at first you only wanted to save a cat or two from euthanasia, but then the number of animals you brought home simply got out of hand. If you have more animals than you can realistically care for, then they’re not happy and healthy – they’re abused and neglected.
Getting help now gives you the opportunity to give your beloved pets a clean, healthy home where they can thrive. It’s hard to say good-bye, but a cramped, unsanitary home is no way for you or your animals to live.
Get Help Restoring Your Home
Hoarding is a crippling mental health condition, but options for recovery exist. You can seek cognitive behavior therapy to help you resist your compulsive habits. You can also take medication to help you overcome your difficulty.
When you’re ready, seek cleaning and deodorizing services from Rainbow International®. Restoring homes to a clean, livable state is one of our specialties. Trust our cleanup crew to remove harmful contaminants and return your home to its original condition. This leaves you free to concentrate on obtaining the mental and emotional help you need.
To learn more about our safe, effective restoration services, please contact Rainbow International today. Need a clean home but can't find the time? Contact the service professionals at Molly Maid, part of the Neighborly brand of home services.