Tag Archives: hoarding

When Children Are Hoarders

With TV shows like Hoarders still popular and everyone and their dog posting about how they “KonMari’d” their kitchen, bathroom or office space, it’s no wonder that clutter (or lack thereof) is a constant source of conversation and consternation.

In the past, I’ve blogged about children & hoarding. One post is by guest blogger and professional organizer, Janine Adams and another is a round-up on the topic. I’ve also written articles about clutter and the art of cleaning up for Esperanza magazine.

For those who aren’t familiar with this phenomenon: According to a University of Florida study by Eric A. Storch et al, “Compulsive hoarding is characterized by the accumulation of useless items, associated clutter, and difficulty discarding hoarded items, which together cause interference in functioning (Frost & Hartl, 1996).”

That’s no surprise. But, according to this study, there might be differences between adults and kids who hoard, namely: clutter may be limited to a smaller area (e.g., the child’s bedroom) and the nature of the hoarded items is more constrained because of limited resources of children.

Interestingly childhood hoarding may also be associated with the following conditions:

  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Do you or your child deal with clutter in bedrooms, cars or homes or, conversely, do you feel you need things to be constantly clean and tidy?

If you do have hoarding tendencies, don’t despair – there are treatments for both adults and children, including resources like the Centre for Mental Health & Addiction (Canada). If you wish, feel free to comment here or contact me. I’d love to hear from you.

Lisa

 

A Cluttered House is a Cluttered Mind

Recently, I took a look at my blog stats on WordPress. One of the most popular search terms for this blog is “hoarding” and one of the most popular posts is Can Children Be Hoarders?

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.

Most of us have seen shows like Hoarders on A&E. I still remember (along with many others on the planet) being utterly horrified when I watched the first true hoarder (to me) on television. It was on the Oprah show about four years ago – an older woman who lived alone with several animals in a nice, suburban area. Once we got a glimpse into her home we were treated to scenes of ancient animal feces, massive dust bunnies and piles and piles of clothing, housewares, food and lots and lots of stuff.

I grew up in a very neat, clean and organized home. I took it for granted that everyone’s home was in a similar state. Sure, my brother and I might mess up our rooms with clothing and books but the rest of our house was generally spotless. As a working mother of two, I now realize what it takes to keep a house clean and neat. There’s laundry to do, dishes to put away, food to dispose of, grass to cut, pets to care for, toys to pick up and sort, etc.

And it’s that clutter that often clutters up my mind. I’m a writer and feel like I can be most creative when the house is tidy. If I’m staring at a bowl inhabited with congealed milk and granola bar wrappers, I’m much less likely to have a creative epiphany.

My kids laugh sometimes when I tell them that we need to clean up. Why? They ask. Well, to me, clutter is as clutter does. Whether it’s scientifically proven or not, a clean, organized home makes for happier, calmer occupants. Agree?