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Recent Demographics Show Hoarding Affects 2-5% of Population

Most people know of a home in their neighborhood where the home is obviously overflowing with clutter.  Some homes begin not functioning and contents spills out into the yard.  Who does not know someone who is suffering from this kind of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?  Most people have no idea where to turn to for help.

Over 10 million people in the US have clinically significant hoarding.
The average age at treatment is 50.  They tend to be single and have a high rate of divorce.  They tend to live alone and there is usually a family history of hoarding.  Onset usually occurs in childhood but does not become severe until adulthood.

Hoarding was the focus for the recent National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD) Conference held last week in St. Louis, MO.

Over one hundred professional organizers joined to learn more about the disposition and acquisition cycles involved in hoarding. Leading experts joined together in St. Louis to present the latest research and techniques on this subject. 

Nationally recognized expert and key note speaker Gail Steketee, MSW, PhD, presented ground breaking material on hoarding, including new methods of study and models to explain hoarder’s behavior. “Hoarding is a remarkably prevalent problem with recent estimates that approximately 2-5% of adults are affected by serious hoarding problems that make their homes difficult to use. In its most severe forms, hoarding causes falls, respiratory and other health problems, and even fire and loss of life.

Although a few researchers have spent nearly 10 years studying it, this work is still in its infancy and we have a great deal more to learn about the causes of hoarding and the best methods for effectively intervening in this very persistent problem.” says Dr. Steketee.  Dr. Steketee, recognized NSGCD as “a remarkable group of professional organizers who are dedicated to gaining a good understanding of the disorganization they work with so they can provide help that truly makes a difference.”

NSGCD member and conference attendee Ellen Delap, CPO®, Level II Chronic Disorganization Specialist says “Our hoarding clients are fragile and vulnerable.  It is vital that we have the focused training to encourage them to continue through an often painful process of change.”  Kit Anderson, President of NSGCD points out that “NSGCD is the premier source for education about chronic disorganization. Hoarding is just one of the situations we are trained to handle. We also specialize in helping clients with ADHD and other challenges find organizing solutions to meet their unique needs.”

What is Hoarding?

Hoarding is usually considered a subtype of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Like other compulsive behaviors, hoarding is an effort to manage the anxiety raised by obsessive doubts. There are varying levels of hoarding behavior. A diagnosis of OCD of the hoarding type is made when there is significant distress or disruption to feelings of self-worth, interpersonal relationships, education, occupation, housing, finances, legal issues, or health as a result of hoarding behavior.

About Professional-Organizer.com

Professional-Organizer.com© helps you make time and space for what’s important to you! Working one on one with our clients, together we streamline your environment, create effective strategies for an organized lifestyle and help you prioritize organization in your daily routine. We empower and affirm our clients in their quest for organizing! Owner Ellen Delap, CPO®  has received certificates of study in ADD and chronic disorganization.  For more information visit www.professional-organizer.com or call 281-360-3928.