Hoarding Help!

Hi there. I am looking for recommendations about how to help my mother with all of her 'Stuff".  She is 74 and has a mountain of things that need to be dealt with but due to health issues, she can't manage it on her own.  She has been a hoarder for years and suffers from ADD (self-diagnosed) so can't see through the clutter herself. Now the more limited mobility of a few recent strokes and just aging in general has made this even more extreme.  She is open to parting with things but also has the standard unrealistic dreams of "if I could just get it organized then..." There is SO much stuff that even organized it would be out of hand.  I need to find someone to help her figure out how to part with a large portion of this stuff and then to find a way to reasonably  organize what remains.  There are a lot of professional organizers out there but I am looking for recommendations of people who know how to work with seniors and folks with ADD and hoarding tendencies.  Many of the services out there charge $150-$200 an hour but the amount of stuff in her house makes this too daunting to consider.  I could use one of these services if they were willing to work with her on an overall plan and then refer her to someone cheaper to do the on the ground labor.  Unfortunately, she can't do a lot of it herself because she can't lift all the heavy boxes anymore and I work and have 3 young children so need outside help.  I realize this is a bit ridiculous with all of these parameters but am hoping someone has some experience out there that I can draw on to piece something together.  Thank you!

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RE: Hoarding Help! ()

Sometimes estate auction services will work with individuals to cull extraordinary amounts of property. Perhaps look into one of those? They will keep a portion of the proceeds from selling excess. Then maybe you can have an organizer help with what remains? Good luck.

RE: Hoarding Help! ()

I highly recommend Laura Hendry as a professional organizer. She has been involved with helping "hoarders" and their families for over 20 years, including many seniors with various physical and emotional challenges. She is great with helping people part with things as well as organizing what remains. She would be willing to consult and coordinate for a lower pay rate than the $150-200 per hour that you quoted in your posting to do the work, which is her standard practice with situations like the one you reported with your mother. She is also able to bring helpers in to assist at a reasonable rate.

She helped my family with organizing to pare down our belongings to prepare to sell our house and move, getting us to a point where we could complete the process on our own. She also spent a couple sessions with my son when he was in elementary school, sorting through outdated toys and belongings, which really helped him part with stuff he had outgrown. He is now a young adult and those couple sessions were a turning point in his coming to enjoy disposing of outdated belongings, which he has done many times since, often involving a friend in the process. 

Laura can be reached at eliteorganizer [at] gmail.com or 925-642-8348. 

RE: Hoarding Help! ()

This is not a total solution, but I would recommend using the facebook buy nothing sell nothing group to offload any usable items.  It is a group that does hyper local giving and it is great because people could just come and pick up from her front porch.  If she needs the item removed, just note that she can not help lift the item.  It might give her some more comfort that she is giving to someone that can use the item right away then giving to goodwill.  

RE: Hoarding Help! ()

The mental health organization in SF has some resouces on hoarding:  https://www.mentalhealthsf.org/collecting-behaviors-hoarding-disorder/