Understanding Hoarding by Jo Cooke
Compulsive hoarding can make life a misery, affecting health, well-being and lifestyle, and posing a significant risk of fire, illness, infestation and other dangers. Hoarding touches the whole family and, in extreme cases, impinges on basic freedoms, such as space in which to eat, do paperwork or even sleep. Packing with practical advice, Understanding Hoarding aims to help those with hoarding difficulties and those that live with them. It is also a useful resource for friends and professionals.
This book is an absolute Godsend to people who are hoarders and the ones they love.
The book is published by Sheldon Press and can be found on Amazon and other sites.
Our training course provides an overview of hoarding behaviours, case studies and illustrates the complexities of hoarding. We cover how to assess and plan a strategy and the need for a multi-agency approach as well as therapies and long-term solutions.
Hoarding support groups provide a necessary resource for hoarders as well as their families and those affected by hoarding. The support groups are self-help groups and have been very effective for those who are challenged by their clutter. It is free to attend. Do contact us if you would like to attend or are thinking of setting up your own support group.
We recognise that people are challenged by their clutter in many ways and each individual responds differently. Therefore based on our assessment our Home Plan packages are designed accordingly.
Clutter Image Ratings
Clutter Image Ratings (CIRS) are a way to identify the scale of hoarding. Once major advantage of the ratings are that they are impersonal, removing a personal perception and judgement of clutter. These images can be used as a way of confronting reality, as well as using them as motivational tools.
There are many publications that not only ourselves but members of our support groups and other professionals have recommended. There are several books addressing decluttering but we have concentrated on listing books specific to hoarding.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions that may address something you are wanting to find out. If however the information you require is not here please do contact us.
What people are saying…
"Jo and her team have been working with us for some time and had it not been for them we would never have thought it possible that we could move. They have literally given us our life back. We are incredibly grateful for all they have done."Sarah and Jim
"Previously my daughter and I had no access to either the kitchen or our two bedrooms, but thanks to Hoarding Disorders UK CIC we are now cooking, using the washing machine and are sleeping in our beds for the first time in over a year."Christine
"Attending the support group has not only given me the tools to help sort my home out, but also helped me comes to terms with the passing of my husband. I am also really grateful for the help and support of other group members."Jane
Jo and her team provide hoarding awareness training throughout the UK and currently work in individuals’ homes across eight counties. The team is made up over support workers, volunteers. We work collaborately with other agencies to ensure that we can deliver the best support available.More about Jo and her team
A Home Plan incorporating Life Skills are an integral part of our 8 Step Plan. The demands of working with a hoarder can be enormous and we recognise that resources, interventions and a plan of action are an important part of the practical support we provide within our 8 Step Plan. Sometimes when we start working with clients we realise that with a few additional skills and strategies in place, to help the functioning of a household can be made easier to maintain. Our services include stand alone packages suited to each individual and their families.
Our Home Plans help to make the everyday chores of running a functional, safe and healthy household less overwhelming and easier to maintain. At the same time we can provide hints and tips on how to minimise the build up of clutter.
8 Step Plan
Step 1 – Individual/Family Support Meeting
Initial Assessment – the initial assessment uses the clutter image ratings to determine the level of clutter in each room of the property. Through discussions with the individual/family and other agencies, we can devise a strategy with the person concerned to support them.
Step 2 – Clearing the emotional attachment
We signpost to relevant support which may include various therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and emotional freedom technique (EFT) as well recommending seeing their GP using the ice-breaker form.
Step 3 – Personal Identity
Who am I without my stuff – finding you again amongst your belongings – Through building up rapport and trust we help to change the mindset. Part of our work is to help people retrieve their identity which might involve returning to hobbies they enjoy, activities and social events.
Step 4 – Clearing sessions
We work with the individual/family and potentially other agencies in helping them reclaim their space through decluttering, recycling and identifying items for disposal.
Step 5 – Home Plans
Clearing the clutter alone is not enough. We work with individuals/families to create home plans suitable to their life-style and day to day life.
Step 6 – Sorting, organising and systems
We work together with the individual/families to devise a plan for being able to sustain and maintain the areas that have been addressed and organised.
Step 7 – Review with the individual/family
We meet with the individuals/families to review progress and to address any areas that are not working for them.
Step 8 – Follow up meeting
This meeting is to further ascertain any areas of concern and address any changes needed.