Geelong Professional Organiser, Elise Purkis, has an imagination that’s hard to contain. In the following blog she connects James Bond to hoarding. What the…
In our childhood, many of us dreamt of leading the double life of a secret agent. You know, a James Bond type with exceptional powers of perception and the talent to immediately master military equipment while still retaining the ability to hand our homework in on time! Then, as we grew older, this double life became a far-flung idea. Instead, we opted for the security of 9-5 knowing bank managers would struggle to believe we could make mortgage repayments if being regularly shot at by the sadistic henchmen of megalomaniacs.
Conversely, hoarders are often forced to lead double lives due to shame. They are frequently solitary figures since maintaining a relationship is nearly impossible in the hoard of old newspapers, bread wrappers and fermenting socks. I mean really – whose romance meter can red-line when there are carburettors, air filters and solenoids kept between the sheets? It’s enough to give you sheets!
Family members too sometimes find they slowly disconnect from their hoarder relatives. This additional disengagement can be caused by exasperation, a feeling of overwhelming helplessness or a physical inability to find them in all the stuff. “Sam, is that you behind Magazine Mountain?”
It’s natural that people feel uncomfortable in a hoarder’s house. Where do you sit? What’s that smell? Did that pile move? Yet cutting them off will not help. So perhaps there’s another way…
Dr Randy Frost is a hoarding expert. He says hoarders must “learn how to live in and be comfortable with a cleared room.”
Combining this idea with the well-known maxim familiarity breeds contempt may provide some small steps along the road to recovery for your hoarding friend. So, try inviting your hoarder friend or family member to your place instead of going to theirs. Over time, this may give them the confidence they require to believe they can be comfortable in a cleared room while slowly disavowing their Double O status.
Thanks for reading.
Geelong Professional Organiser