Ray: We’re discussing hoarding in the ProdPod series…and I have Professional Organizer Sally Reinholdt here to define hoarding and how it’s classified.
Sally: Hoarding is considered compulsive if it meets three criteria. First there is accumulation accompanied by great difficulty in discarding items that most people would consider useless or of limited value. The second criteria is that the clutter is to the point that the intended use of living spaces is severely limited or not possible. The third and last criteria is that the cluttering in combination with the acquiring and difficulty discarding causes significant impairment and distress.
Sally: The Institute for Challenging Disorganization classifies hoarding with a clutter measurement tool called the Clutter-Hoarding Scale. Homes are classified from Level I through Level V. A standard household is considered to be a Level I. Level II homes can have some narrowing of household pathways and inadequate housekeeping. Level III to Level V homes present increasingly serious situations. Clutter can be present outside as well as inside the home, there can be insect and rodent infestation and generally unsanitary conditions. Individuals working with hoarders in these types of situations need to have backgrounds ranging from but not limited to mental health and financial counseling to professional organizing, pest control and project management.
Ray: If you believe you might have hoarding issues, click on the link in the show notes here on ProdPod.net to download the Clutter-Hoarding Scale [ http://goo.gl/dy9xWf ] tool to see where you fall in the scale.
In the next episode we’ll cover how hoarding is treated and managed.