FAQ’s

Q. HOW ARE WE FUNDED?
A. We are funded directly by clients; through housing associations; donations from local and national charities, companies, organisations and private individuals.

Q. WHO ARE APDO?
A. APDO stands for Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers. If you are a professional organiser or declutterer then this is the industry body.

Q.  WHAT IS CHURNING?
A.  Churning is the act of moving items from one place to another without dealing with those items.

Q. IS HOARDING DISORDER A MENTAL ILLNESS?
A.  Hoarding became a recognised mental disorder and in May 2013 was included in the updated revised manual, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and abbreviated as the DSM http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/12/02/final-dsm-5-approved-by-american-psychiatric-association/

Q.  HOARDING IS EXTREME DISORGANISATION.
A.  Hoarding and disorganisation are two distinct things. Some people who hoard are in fact quite organized. Hoarding is not about the stuff—it’s about the person’s attachments to the stuff.

Q.  PEOPLE WHO HOARD DON’T MIND CLUTTER AND DIRT.
A.  Many are so bothered by it that they Just mentally block it out. When the person is no longer able to look past the mess, it might be a sign that s/he wants to change.

Q.  A WEEKEND “CLEANOUT” IS THE BEST WAY TO ADDRESS HOARDING.
A.  For many people, a forced or too-fast cleanout is just as traumatizing as involuntary surgery. Hoarding is a mental illness.  Removing or destroying items can stir up the same emotions and reactions as losing a loved one

Q.  PEOPLE WHO HOARD CAN’T STOP.
A.  As with every compulsive behaviour, most people can reduce the habit when they become committed to changing and when they receive appropriate, responsible assistance and support.

Q.  COLLECTORS ARE HOARDERS.
A.  Having a collection does not necessarily make you a hoarder.  Most collectors take pride in the objects they collect.  They take steps to keep them from harm or decay and enjoy showing them off.

Q.  YOU CAN TELL A PERSON IS HOARDER BY THE WAY THEY LOOK.
A.  This is not true.    People suffering from a hoarding disorder are often well dressed and put together.  Outside of their living environment they are often fully functioning.

Q.  PEOPLE WHO HOARD ARE UNEDUCATED.
A.  This is a myth.  People who hoard are often quite intelligent, articulate and engaged.  Some hold advanced degrees and most are aware of, and often tormented by their conditions.

Q.  PEOPLE WHO HOARD ARE POOR.
A.  Studies have shown that most hoarders have good, stable jobs and make a decent if not a good living.  Hoarding often causes financial hardship because of the associated spending habits.  These habits can lead to bankruptcy and even homelessness.

Q.  PEOPLE WHO ACQUIRE A LOT OF “STUFF” ARE HOARDERS.
A.   It is possible to be a “pack-rat” and not be a hoarder.  Excessive clutter, inability to use rooms and furniture for their intended function, interference with everyday living, and/or substantial distress are all symptoms of hoarding.  Collecting and saving things does not make one a hoarder.  As long as you have the space, it does not cause financial, emotional or physical distress to you or anyone else, and it not a safety hazard, saving and storing things for later use, “just in case” is common behaviour.

Q.  HOARDING IS A RESPONSE TO DEPRIVATION.
A.  Not necessarily although it is linked with those living through periods of deprivation.  Researchers have found that in fact trauma, stressful life events, a sense of loss, grief, separation, relationship breakdown and/or bereavement can trigger hoarding tendencies.

Q. ARE YOU LIKE THE WOMEN OFF THE TELLY?
A. We get asked this question quite a lot, especially from new clients or those thinking about getting some help.  Our approach is different.  We don’t have uniforms or turn up in a van, nor do we ping on rubber gloves or immediately suggest hiring a skip. We are very discreet and if you are worried about what the neighbours think, they will only see two visitors coming to see you.  If you are struggling through any part of the process we will stop what we are doing and use one of the therapy tools in our toolbox to help you feel less anxious and more calm.