Self-Help Tips & Techniques
TIPS: ARE YOU A PERSON WHO IS HOARDING AND /OR CLUTTERING?
Check out some useful TIPS from others who have joined the SFMHA Support Groups.
Click this link for wise TIPS 2008 - Click this link for wise TIPS 2009
Files and Financial Records
How Long to Save Important Papers and Why
Section, September, 2011
Compulsive Hoarding and 6 Tips to Help
an interview with Gerald Nestadt, M.D., M.P.H, Director of the Johns Hopkins
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Clinic and Jack Samuels, Ph.D.,
an Assistant Professor Samuels ..........says that hoarding belongs to a
syndrome which also includes:
Dr. Nestadt offers six anti-clutter strategies for compulsive hoarders:
Dealing with ADD Procrastination in ADHD Adults
Delta Star Magazine, Louisiana, February 3, 2010
Green and Clean
Clutter Reducing Tips for 2010: Cut the Paper Trail and Closet Clean-Out
......"According to Ewer, an ABC household filing system includes:
Action File: a tabletop file for daily, short-term filing. Use an action file to organize bills for payment,
papers that require responses, and information that must be filed.
Basic Files: a household's working file system. Kept in a file cart, cabinet or drawer, basic files hold
medical insurance records, credit card statements, rent receipts and bank statements. Use basic files
for routine activities like bill paying, tax files, medical information and home maintenance.
Classic Files: archives for long-term file storage. Copies of tax returns and insurance policies,
homeowners' records, medical records, and copies of legal documents belong in classic files.
Use file cabinets or records boxes to protect these items for long-term storage.
Note: original documents such as insurance policies, legal documents, or tax records should be
stored in secure facilities such as safe deposit boxes. "......
Four Key Actions -
Archives:Edit for posterity by Allen McGinnis
...on being selective about family documents
Interview of author Francois David on his Booklet called Safely Stored but Not Forgotten-a guide to
preserving personal, family and financial documents. It spells out what to save and what to chuck.
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/saturdayextra/story.html?id=3fc3fdf4-8b57-47d2-aa4d-57d006b234d4 or http://archivisticaysociedad.blogspot.com/2009/01/archives-edit-for-posterity.html
Had to Unlearn Before I Could Let go of My Clutter
Pschology Today 10/26/2004
Learn to let go and get rid of everyday junk, even if you think you might use it—someday.
As springtime commonly brings on the desire to do some top to bottom cleaning, now would be a great time to consider clearing out some of the clutter in your home. Here are a handful of tips to get in the right clutter-free frame of mind:
For all us clutter-prone
individuals, getting a handle on it can be a tough job. However, by regularly
sorting, trashing, and tidying up, clutter is an enemy that can be beat. Now get
Creating Space: The Great Closet Purge
Whether you live in a small space and need to maximize every square inch or are simply sick of rooting through clothes in lieu of breakfast every morning, a ruthless closet purge can be a liberating and enlightening experience. It’s not easy to say goodbye to the old faithfuls populating your closet, but it’s certainly worth a try. You’ll find yourself a more organized, better dressed and all-around happier woman in the end - and all it takes is an afternoon.
Where to Start:
What To Toss:
The hard part is next: putting all the clothes you’ve flung around your room back in the closet again. Be patient, employ a method to your madness – no need to color-code, but do organize by item at the very least – and eventually the smoke will clear.
Then decide what to do with your rejected trappings. Try to take care of this right away – tripping over garbage bags can get annoying, and you may be unable to resist the temptation of inviting some items back into the fold. Some charitable organizations will even pick up the clothes from your home, so reap the benefits of clothing drives if possible.
Another option is to hold a
“swap party” with your girlfriends. Enjoy a cocktail or two, and spend a
fun-filled afternoon trying on each other’s clothes. If you have a particularly
good girlfriend she might even relent when you call in a few months to beg for
your angora vest/micro mini skirt/red leather boots back – but don’t bet on it.
Safety For Seniors and Others
Home Safety Check List
Check List of items for
Dysfunctional Thought Record
One of the tools many people have found useful in working on OCD including hoarding problems is a Dysfunctional Thought Record or DTR. Here is one you can try out. Instructions for the DTR follows.
To use the DTR begin by writing a brief description of the events that have upset you or caused concern. This can be an external event such as something
that happens to you, a conversation, or action of another person, coming into contact with a trigger for obsessions or a thought or image coming to mind. It may simply be thinking about something.
Next jump to the emotional reaction column and identify your emotional reaction to the situation. Rate how strong your emotional reaction is. I suggest using a scale of 0%-100%. The emotional response can be described in a few words. For example you might be describe your reaction as "fear" and rate it 90% and "sad" and rate it 50%.
Next go back to the automatic thought column note what is going through your mind that is causing you to be upset about the situation in the first column. This is often very difficult for people at first and you may need to practice this several times before it becomes comfortable.
In the distortion column list what distortion you identify in the automatic thoughts. You can use distortions listed in David Burns’ book Feeling Good or use the simplified list of distortions described in my books and in the section below.
In the next column write alternative thoughts about the event that do not have the distortions imbedded in them. Review evidence that supports the automatic thought and the alternative you have come up with. Develop a plan for how to deal with the emotions and the thoughts about the situation.
In the outcome column note what happens to the emotional reaction when the alternative thoughts are considered.
Other authors have described a number of distortions in automatic thoughts and often suggest that you identify them as a first step in learning to change them. Although I agree that this is helpful I think the list of ten or more distortions is sometimes confusing and the different distortions often can be used to describe the same thought. To simplify things I have described just three distortions that I think represent the most common problems.
The first type of distortion is making predictions with out evidence. This often takes the form of "what if" thinking. People make predictions about things that are going to happen or problems that will arise and also predict the inability to deal with the problem. Developing an alternative for this type of distorted thought can include reviewing what evidence you do have to support the prediction.
The second type of distortion is thinking in absolutes. This may also be called black and white thinking and and "should" statements. This can take forms like if something is not perfect it is no good, or thinking I "should never" make mistakes.
The third type of distortion can be thought of as jumping to conclusions with out evidence. This distortion occurs we do things like say since I feel that way it must be true. One of the most effective things to do when trying to develop alternatives for this type of distorted thought is review what evidence you have for the conclusion. Could you present this evidence to an objective judge and expect them to agree or are you simply insisting it is true because you think it should be true.
You can use these directions and work on your own DTRs or thought records. You may want to look at the samples on this web site or at examples in one of the books by Dr. David Burns.
Disclaimer: This in no way should
be used in place of psychological/psychiatric care or evaluation.
Take a piece of paper and draw a
vertical line down the middle of the page. On one side write all the
advantages of hoarding and on the other side write all the disadvantages of
hoarding. This may seem overly simple or you may say that you can find no
advantages to hoarding. An example of what a made up client might say with
prompting in a physician's office.
Now do the same thing with the disadvantages. These are usually easier and more straight forward. Most likely there are disadvantages or you would not even be looking at this website. After exhausting this list of advantages and disadvantages (you might enlist others you feel comfortable with to brainstorm with you to make sure you haven't forgotten any), you are ready to rate the disadvantages compared to advantages. If you were balancing the two on a scale, given not just the quantity but the severity and quality of the listed points, which would be stronger the disadvantages or the advantages.? 50/50 70/30 or 5/95? Be brutally honest using your intellect and emotions.
If the disadvantages of hoarding
out weight the advantages..... congratulations you are ready to change and most
likely will with proper effort, time, and support. If in being rigorously
truthful you find the advantages outweigh the disadvantages don't despair... you
have discovered a very helpful insight which will steer you on the proper path
to recovery. You have discovered that the hoarding is your solution to a
life problem. Now your task is not to tackle the problem of hoarding
but to first to find a new solution to your true problem. Good luck.