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Broaching the Topic of Hoarding with a Friend

by Vickie Dellaquila, Downsizing & Hoarding Expert
November 30, 2018

Question: What is the best way to talk to a friend about their hoarding habit without embarrassing them?

Answer: There is a great deal of shame and embarrassment associated with hoarding. When approaching a friend about a hoarding issue, it’s important to be respectful. 
Ask your friend some questions:

Is the amount of stuff in your home impacting your life in a negative way? 

Do you wish you could live a different way?  

Can I help you let go of some things if you want me to? 

Can I talk to a professional for you and asked them to call you? I am worried about the safety in your home. 

Could I help you clear some pathways in your home, so your home is safer for you? 

Can I remove paper items from around any fire sources such as a stove or furnace?

 If you’re too embarrassed to call a professional, can I help by doing for you? 

Another great resource is the Institute for challenging disorganization: https://www.challengingdisorganization.org/ 

There are professional organizers on their website who specialize in working with clients with hoarding challenges. There is also information for the public about hoarding and it might be helpful to share with your friend. 

Vickie Dellaquila is western Pennsylvania’s only Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization and owner of Organization Rules® Inc. Organization Rules provides compassionate organizing services for every stage of your life®. She is the author of Don’t Toss My Memories in the Trash: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Seniors Downsize, Organize, and Move.

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