TIPS 2009
for people who hoard -  from people who hoard
SFMHA Support Group Representatives*


MORE TIPS FROM 2009 CONFERENCE ON HOARDING AND CLUTTERING
Self  Directed Recovery Session
Tips from members of the Support Group*

What really helps a person with severe hoarding issues is to be approached in a non- judgmental manner.  One should understand that many people who hoard have a thinking process that makes multiple ways of categorizing and so over-categorize.  Each item can be placed in a unique category by itself, thus the indecision of how to group things takes too much time and becomes exhausting! It is easy to become overwhelmed. Below are four people's suggestions to help this problem.

IMPORTANT PAPER PROBLEMS

SUGGESTION 1
       The most important first thing to do to keep from losing critical papers is to put them
      
immediately upon opening mail into two brightly colored (Green) labeled folders.
       
     a) Bills to pay
            
b) Taxes - anything receipts, forms, papers that will be needed at tax time 

SUGGESTION 2
      
Use labeled folders (12)for each month, for any event you might want to attend.

SUGGESTION 3
 
Consider Emergencies and what critical papers  would be important to rescue.
 Put these together.
 Use a Tote Bag or something easy to carry all the valued files out in a hurry.    
 Keep those files in there all the time.
 Know where it is all the time.

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EMPTYING THE STORAGE UNIT (S)

Ÿ  Storage Lockers have many draw backs:
Expensive; Late Fees; Subject to facility moving you without your knowledge; Travel expenses going to and from locker; Auctioning of your goods if overdue on bills; Consider Time, Energy, and Cost of the locker and your time.

Ÿ  A Helper is wonderful to have when working on the locker. When selecting a person to help, be sure they are empathetic, validating and strong

Ÿ  Preparation
Have an Alarm Clock- wake up early. Friend / helper should do so also.
Bring your medicine if needed and Head and mask covering for dust if needed.
Proper clothes
Chair to sit while sorting / Music/radio
Gloves - Nitril type are good
Cell phone for emergency
A long stick grabber used by the handicapped
10 Gallon Garbage Bags- ties /  Boxes
Alternative to storing favorite old clothes, etc. is to save just a small piece of fabric.
Take pictures of favorite items. Donate, Toss.

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WORKING ON GOALS

Reducing Clutter by breaking the big projects into small tasks

Because one needs time and energy to reduce clutter and we are living in a high stress
environment with little time available, it might be wise to look at project management
models as follows.

Visualize end result of goal completed
Picture the end product - what you want the table, room, bed to look like.

Work backwards  from that picture by picturing how to do it in small tasks.

Work by committing daily time to small chunks: 15 minutes  per session are usually feasible. See if you can do the next 15 minute chunk as you get into the swing of it.

Clear in sections until the end goal is reached; Tidying as you go; Not bringing in more items.

Sometimes these are serial tasks; sometimes parallel tasks. ( See handouts )

Finish the series or all parallel tasks.

Project is complete. Done!

Move on to the next Goal/Tasks

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PHOTOS CAN REVEAL PROGRESS

Take photos before and after.

Document the real fruit of your effort to declutter /dehoard.  The before, middle and after.

 Digital Photography is useful to document what you did have. Store it on computer and
therefore don’t have to keep the items. May need to convert images to current system.

Take photos of your treasured items to replace the item.

Title the images properly.    Maintain a computer back up system, always.

Eco friendly Tips
When environment is on your mind, don’t think you have to save everything in your own environment. Join a group that is working on environmental issues.  Volunteer.  Some people like to donate items to non profits that don’t sell the items but give them away. Some people build up strength to resist acquiring by practicing going by thrift store without going in.

 

*The notes were taken from the session Self  Directed Recovery Session - Tips from members of the SFMHA Support Group at the 12th annual Conference on Hoarding and Cluttering 11/5/2009 SF.
Please excuse any errors in note taking. Editor/LM


Check Support Group Section on this web site

 


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