Hoarding Support

Hoarding is a condition that has had little support in recent years. It has even been under appreciated or misunderstood by some people.

People hoard for different reasons: they collect things excessively, are bad at organizing or they simply just can’t let go.

When Jennifer Morris’ sister died, her mother began to hoard her clothing.

“If she can keep a portion of them, or a reminder of them, my sister will still be there,” Morris said. “So she can still have a piece of it.”

Morris joined around 20 others Tuesday night for a presentation by certified professional organizer, Elizabeth Tawney Gross, titled “Hoarders: How to Help, Not Harm.”

“That’s probably why most of you are here,” Tawney Gross said. “Because someone’s hoarding is impacting you.”

Those present gathered at the Esther Bone Memorial Library in Rio Rancho. They listened to Tawney Gross explain the nuances of hoarding and the best way to handle it.

Too much stuff

“All of us probably have too much stuff,” Tawney Gross said. “I have too much stuff, but I don’t have too much stuff that I can’t live in my house. That’s the difference, the amount and whether it keeps you from living.”

Hoarding is now recognized by the DSM-V, the standard U.S. classification of mental disorders, Tawney Gross said. Research has found those affected have different brain activity associated with decision making.

“They can’t make decisions in the same way that you and I make decisions,” she said, comparing hoarding to an addiction. “You can’t make an alcoholic stop drinking, you can’t make a smoker stop smoking.”

Read on to find out more about Tawney Gross’ story as well as the mental illnesses that hoarders can suffer, accounts that people have given of hoarding that they’ve witnessed and how criticism isn’t always helpful.



Remember, if you or someone you know is suffering from hoarding, you can contact us at www.facebook.com/CloudsEndCIC for help.

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