Redefine Your Relationship to Your Stuff

Does your stuff tell the story of who you are?  Does your identity depend on your past accomplishments, memories from the past or stuff that is in your home and possibly taking up valuable real estate?  Does your clutter protect you from getting out, taking risks and living your life?

Identity With our Stuff

Books:  Textbooks from attending school in the past might speak to our intelligence. Books that we have read give us happy memories of wishes or dreams of how things could be. Books in general on our bookshelf show others that we are well read. Self help books not read offer us the promise of a future self who will have it all together once this book is read and the steps are followed.

Art Supplies: Do you see yourself as an amazing artist or a historian ie: scrapbooker but you just continue to acquire items as opposed to actually doing the projects

Declutter Your Life and Mind 5 Day Challenge - Redefine Your Relationship to Your Stuff Starting on Monday, November 19 Get on the mailing list http://eepurl.com/dMpNaU Click To Tweet

Attachments to Stuff 

Clothing:  Clothes that no longer fit or remind us of happier times we cannot let go of.  Or the hope for the future that we will lose/gain weight in order to fit into those clothes again.  

Baby Clothes:  Tiny baby items that reminds us of when our children were young.  That time is really so fleeting.  It goes by in a blink of the eye.  The memories are priceless and sometimes those cute little outfits are just too hard to let go of. 

Unfinished Projects:  If you look at the definition of clutter this is one of the things listed.  UFO’s (Unfinished Objects) can be about the dreams for the future.  “Someday……. I will fix this, finish this”.  If you have a plan to finish the project in a defined amount of time, great, otherwise it’s just clutter taking up space.  It is negative energy that reminds us of what we think we “should” be doing.  Don’t “should on yourself”. 

Sentimental Objects:  Memories from the past, items from family members that have passed and things that remind us of happier times can be some of the most difficult to let go of.  I am not saying to let go of everything. It becomes a problem when there is “too much”.  Perhaps you are in a position to choose the best of the best or just a few things to keep the memories.  Remember the memories of others are inside of you…..inside your heart.  

Relationship to our Stuff

Relationlships:  How does your clutter in general affect you?  Perhaps it feels very comforting and safe, like a little nest that you have created for yourself.  You have things around you that you love and this feels like your happy and safe place.  There is nothing wrong with this at all.  However……..sometimes we create a space where we know we don’t want others to come in.  This can be a way to keep relationships out of our lives.  When one has been hurt in a relationship it can feel pretty scary to think about letting a new person in. So it feels like our stuff can replace a relationship.  Our stuff is not going to hurt us like a relationship could. 

Gifts from others:  Gifts come with good intentions from others.  Once in our hands, it no longer belongs to the person who gave it to you.  It’s up to you to decide what you want to do with it.   If you don’t love it or use it, maybe it has served its purpose and it is time to let it go. 

Items we have spent a lot of money on:  I hear this a lot.  I paid so much money for that, I just can’t donate it.  It is worth a lot of money and I could get a little cash for it.  If you can do the Kijijji thing or other online avenues and it is worth your time and energy, I say go for it.  In my work I hear that a lot of individuals do not have access to a computer or the knowledge on how to do it.  You could always ask for help though.  

Can you see yourself with any of these attachments to your stuff?   Would you like to learn more about your relationship to your stuff and how it can affect your ability to move forward in your life?  Please sign up here for the Declutter Your Life and Mind 5 Day Challenge – Redefine Your Relationship with Your Stuff – starting on Monday, November 19 – here is the link to get on the list

http://eepurl.com/dMpNaU

I am sure there are a lot of other factors that contribute to our relationship with our stuff.  It can be very complex.  Please let me know your thoughts about how you relate to your stuff?  I always love to hear from you.  Happy Decluttering!!

 

Posted in De-Clutter Your Life, decluttering, Emotional Clutter, goal setting, Inspiration, mental health | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Emotional Responses to Your Stuff

When you think about your stuff what kinds of emotions come up?

If you struggle somewhat with your stuff you may think of negative emotions right away. They may include feelings of fear and anxiety, grief and loss, sadness, guilt and anger or perhaps just feeling overwhelmed with it all. Some of these feelings may come up when you are handling your possessions, you are thinking about where to put items, you are looking at the clutter or thinking about how to organize or discard items.

and

There are also positive emotions like pleasure, comfort, safety or satisfaction. For example, finding a lost treasure, (ie: something that has been missing for awhile) finding a found treasure (ie: at a thrift shop), finding a bargain, giving something away to someone who will enjoy it or even donating to a worthy cause.

I like to use the example of finding an amazing treasure at a thrift shop, feeling like you are on a high, bringing it home and then thinking “where will I put this” or looking at your finances and thinking “oh no, now what will I do for groceries for the rest of the month?”

Both the negative and positive emotions can keep us stuck in the cycle of acquiring stuff, moving stuff around aka churning (as opposed to finding a home for the item or letting it go) and difficulty discarding.  It often is about the avoidance of the uncomfortable feelings associated with taking these steps to make change.

Would you like to dive deeper? Would you like to start making some progress on decluttering and organizing your home?  We will be looking at what is underneath the clutter, emotions and feelings that come up, attachments to items, and thoughts and actions that follow.

Please join us in the Free Declutter Your Life and Mind 5 Day Challenge “Redefining Your Relationship to Your Stuff” Sign up here to get on the mailing list if you are not already on it and you will be the first to know when it goes live. Details coming soon 🙂

http://eepurl.com/dsz4PP

Please add any comments, questions, etc. Also, I would love it if you can share with a friend who might benefit from this. Thank you so much for following along.

Posted in acquiring items, chronic disorganization, compulsive acquiring, De-Clutter Your Life, difficulty Discarding, Emotional Clutter, Inspiration, mental health, Organizing | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

My Clutter Looks Like My ADHD Brain

Working with someone who has ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyper Activity Disorder), can really add an additional layer of difficulty when helping someone to declutter and organize.  

An individual with ADHD may have difficulties and challenges that cannot be seen so it can be important to be aware of the signs and symptoms.  Perhaps the person has not come forward with these or maybe they don’t even know themselves.

So, this topic has come up for the Professional Organizers Blog Carnival and my partner, Hallie agreed to let me interview her.  She said she was happy to do this, especially if it helps someone else.  

These are some of the questions that were asked of her:  

When were you first diagnosed and what led up to the diagnosis?  

“I believe I was diagnosed in 2007 when I was 43 years old.  I was in College and a Counsellor I had, recognized this in me because she personally lived with this as well.  I was struggling in many areas, conversations with others, staying focused and acting out, often very impulsively.”  

“As a child I often ended up at the office and was labelled “bad”.  In fact, my teacher wrote on my report card one year that I was a leader and not a follower and this was actually written with a negative connotation” 

What happened after you were diagnosed? 

“It was actually very helpful as I then knew why I needed to have the television off in order to study, to talk on the phone, why I interrupted others and why I was often forgetting things or feeling confused about what was going on.”  

“I was very fortunate to have good people in my life who were willing to help me.  I met a friend who became a mentor and I was also able to access counsellors.  I never went on any meds.  I learned many techniques for coping with the symptoms such as Tapping EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which I still use to this day, breathing, and just taking the time to go with the flow through those bad days.”  

What are your challenges with your stuff? 

“Clothes are easy for me because everything has its place.  Maybe, this is something I have worked on because I like to look nice.  I have a place for socks, underwear, shirts, pants, etc. so it works for me.  Even when I had to go to a laundromat, I was able to handle my laundry on a weekly basis.”  

“Other things are more chaotic for me.  Things like books, school books, paper, ugh!!, calendar scheduling (personal and professional), daily planning (I usually can only plan for that day) and stuff in my bedroom.  If I know someone is coming over and needs to stay in my room, I will clean off the whole dresser – you know, into a bag and then later when I come across this bag…….well, I just don’t want to deal with it so the whole bag goes out into the garbage.”

What about other areas that you struggle with in your life?

“I just feel that I am constantly sorting:  which pile to focus on, where is my class, what day/time is it or what assignments should I have done.  My brain is just wired differently.  What others find easy, I find more difficult.  Some days are harder than others and on those days, I really just have to ride it out.  It’s emotionally draining”  

What are your suggestions for others who may be living with this?

  • Find a Mentor or a Counsellor who you trust who can help you to understand that you think differently and to teach you some coping techniques to help you get through each day.
  • Having systems in place can really help with keeping things organized in your space as well as in your life.  
  • Tapping (EFT) can help when having a bad day
  • Recognizing that it is the ADHD and that I just have to go through it.  It has to play out.  I cannot just push it away
  • Not rushing, breathing, taking the time needed to get a task done, planning ahead
  • I have a Smart Pen for school that records my lessons.  When doing homework or studying, I am able to listen to this a second time and it really helps.

Do you have experience with working with someone with ADHD whether personally or professionally?  Please share in the comments below:

If you would like further inspiration and motivation to Declutter Your Life and Mind please join the Closed Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind/

 

 

Posted in Clutter, Inspiration, Organizing | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Tips For Downsizing Your Life

 

 

Are you starting to think about downsizing your life?  Here are some great tips to get you started.  I compiled these tips as I was getting ready to do a half hour talk/discussion with a group of women from a Church.  I was told that it was an older group of ladies who have collected a lot of stuff over the years.  They wanted to know how to decide what or how to get rid of things.

I asked for advice from my fellow Professional Organizers.  These are some of their suggestions edited and in my own words.

1.  Focus on one group of items at a time.  You may have a number of jackets in different closets in your home.  Instead of focusing on one closet, focus on just jackets, gather all of them and donate the ones you haven’t worn in two years. Same with paper, disposable bags, clothing, shoes, glassware, Christmas Decorations, etc. Once you have gone through specific areas, and purged what you can then you are ready to re-organize the specifics for your space.  

2.  Think about having things in your home that fit with your current life.  We are not who we used to be and so our things should make that transition too.  

3.   Having some simple systems set up for managing incoming paper, junk mail, bills, shredding, recycling, downsizing and keeping what is important is really helpful.  If it is working, there is no need to change or fix it.  

4.  It is okay to ask for help.  There does come a time when we realize we cannot do everything.  Maybe, you could use some help with the heavier work or some help with Christmas decorating.  Enlist a friend, family member, mentor or a Professional Organizer like me.   

5.  Keep only the most important things that your children or other family members will want to remember without feeling burdened or weighed down.  Include your family members and ask them what they might want now as you are going through things.  You may find that they don’t actually want your stuff.  

6.  Tell your loved ones (friends and family) that as you have become more wise,  you realize that stuff isn’t important, that connections and relationships with people are.  That is why you are downsizing.  You want to see them enjoying their lives. You want to share in their happiness, enjoyment, and appreciation for life.  

7.  It is a gift to your children and family to “do your own work”.  Being overwhelmed is not enough. Your family will be grieving you, don’t make them resent having to go through decades of stuff at the same time.  Ask for help from a Professional if needed.

8.  Sentimental items can be difficult to let go of.  Keep the best of the best, take a picture of important items that you want to remember, honour the fact that the item was appreciated and served its purpose and donate the rest.  Someone else can now get some use out of the item.  You likely are going to need to make some hard decisions as you do this work.  

9.  Having time to do this work is a blessing.  This is a process and a lot of emotions and feelings will come up.  It is important to take the time you need to do this work.  If you have a good balance in your life you will be more successful.

10.  Be kind and compassionate to yourself.  This is intense personal work and it can bring up all kinds of emotions.  Reward yourself for a job well done and pat yourself on the back. 

This group of women were such a pleasure to meet with.  They know each other well so were very chatty, insightful with a lot of wisdom and good ideas to share.  They asked a lot of  great questions too and I am sure they felt inspired and motivated to get to work.

Below are some powerful quotes from a Professional Organizer who was sharing her personal story about her mother.

The true sorrow comes mostly in thinking of the life that could have been for my parents. This lifestyle/condition steals much more than space in a closet or on a floor!”

“I believe her mind focused on “leaving quantity” rather than “living quality”.It isheart-wrenchingly painful for a child to have to filter through their parents possessions while placing the vast majority of it in the trash bin, not to mention the incredible expense. I would much rather have had fewer “things” to go through & have had memories of my parents home as one that was clean, welcoming, serving of their lifestyle and needs and happy, rather than one that was piled high and junked up with no space for life to flourish”.

These two books were shared with the group:

“They Left Us Everything” by Plum Johnson 

This book is written by a woman whose parents have both passed away and they have left behind a huge mansion of a house filled with years and a history of stuff.  The author spends a number of months going through everything, she includes her siblings (three brothers) and they spend time reminiscing about their lives.  This is based on a true story and it took place near Toronto on Lake Ontario.

and

“The Swedish Art of Death Cleaning” by Margareta Magnussen

This is a fun read.  Margareta writes about going through every area of your home and thinking about the future and what you will be leaving behind for your loved ones.  It really helps you to be thinking about your life now as well.

Do you have further resources to share to help with downsizing?  Would love to hear from you.   Please post in the comments below.

If you would like further inspiration and motivation to Declutter Your Life and Mind please join the Closed Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind/

 

Posted in De-Clutter Your Life, downsizing, families, Organizing | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

A Time For Balance and Change

I was just reading about how we are now moving into the Zodiac sign of Libra which is the balance sign.  Fall has just begun in our region so change is in the air.  This is a great time to think about how well we take care of ourselves and to look at the balance in our lives.  I know that if I do not have good balance in my life I feel a bit cranky.  I might not even know what is wrong, but I am just short with myself and my loved ones.  I start to feel that I have no control over my life.

Our strengths rely on this balance.  Balance creates a stability for us.  Sometimes, I find that some of the people I am helping think that they need to be working on their clutter all the time.  And I know that when our lives are feeling chaotic it is hard to think about more balance.  But of course we cannot be focused on the hard things all the time.

This is a thought producing quote:

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. Albert Einsteim Click To Tweet

We need Balance.  We need to look at all of the areas of our lives and think about what might be out of balance.  This gives us a clue to work on this area and tip the scales in our favour.  We know that we need to recharge before we can be productive,  creative, helpful to others or to declutter our own homes.

These are the areas that are basic to our lives.  Think of these as foundational practices for taking care of you.

  1. Spiritual Practice/Self Care
  2. Home/Relationships
  3. Body/Physical Health
  4. Emotions/Mental Health
  5. Money/Work/Volunteer
  6. Nature/Earth/Leisure
  7. ……………………………..

Check out this cube and perhaps draw one for yourself or if you have a small box that will work too.

What are the foundations for your life, your relationships, your home, your health and your work?



What kind of supports would help you in your life?  Do you need/want more honest friendships, a satisfying job, better health, etc…………..



What can I focus on in my live right now to create more stability in my life?  What areas are out of balance?

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If you would like more inspiration and tips on how to Declutter Your Life and Mind please join my closed Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind/

How has balance played a part in your life?

Posted in Organizing | 6 Comments

Setting Your Decluttering Challenges

 

Day 1 of the 5 Day Declutter Your Life and Mind Challenge

Setting Your Decluttering Challenges

So you want to start with a challenge that is realistic and doable.  Set a challenge for yourself that you know that you are able to do.  I would caution you over picking a challenge like cleaning up your whole apartment over a day or weekend or even cleaning your bedroom might be a little ambitious.  You may need to break these down into smaller manageable steps.  So, we need to start small but with something that you are going to see an immediate difference. 

We want you to be successful.   

Here are some examples of challenges:  

Cleaning off a part of the counter in your kitchen.

Organizing your clothing so that you know what you can wear or need to launder

Doing a load of laundry (or 2) even if you have to go to a laundromat

Cleaning up the garbage and getting out the recycling 

Making a phone call you have been procrastinating about

Organizing some papers….. perhaps making a few piles to look at for next time

Having a difficult conversation with a loved one

Gardening – I love this one if and when I have the time.

Pick something that is somewhat challenging for you but also realistic. Perhaps it is something that you have been procrastinating about or an area that has been causing you some stress. 

Lets look at what it means to set SMART Goals

Specific – write out clear, concise goals

Measurable – the ability to track your progress

Achievable – set achievable, yet challenging goals

Relevant – set goals that are relevant to your overall life plan

Timely – goal has a target finish time attached.  

Depending on how much time you have you can set 1 – 5 (or really whatever you think you can manage for the day considering whats going on with your life, energy, commitments, time, etc.)  It really helps to write them down.  And if you can be accountable to yourself and also to others you will be more successful.  

  1. ______________________________________________
  2. ______________________________________________
  3. ______________________________________________
  4. ______________________________________________
  5. ______________________________________________

Please share your goals in the Declutter Your Life and Mind Closed Group  https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind/

Please share any thoughts or feedback in the comments below as this is a work in progress for me. Thank you so much and Happy Decluttering

Posted in De-Clutter Your Life, decluttering, Inspiration, SMART Goals | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Awareness and Letting Go of the Clutter

Awareness and letting go of the Clutter.  Not easy to do as we tend to be on autopilot most days (myself included) but if we can start to examine what our thought process is as we do this work, we will start to see where we are stuck and how to move forward.

Awareness is a big topic in the Clearing Clutter Support Group and happens immediately with week one.

Often around week three or four we ask members to bring in items from home that they know they want to let go of.  Not something that is easy but something that they are experiencing some conflict over.  They know they want to declutter but something stops them from doing so.  I really love doing this exercise in the group as there are always so many great ah ha moments.

The first participant to share brought out a bag of jewellery that was handed down to her by family members. She said it was jewellery that she wouldn’t wear and had no one else to actually pass it down to. She also had a silver pie server and spoon which would need to be cleaned with silver polish. She did not know who this came from and said that she would not use these. This participant shed a few tears as she felt the attachment to these items but also felt good about passing them on to a program that makes new items out of old jewellery and other items.  Often being able to donate to a good cause can help.

Another participant had an unopened boxed gift that had gathered a lot of dust and had been given to her from a young niece. It was a little wooden character that holds your glasses. This group member said she loved the gift because it was given to her by her niece but she won’t use it because she doesn’t wear glasses. After answering many questions she decided to repackage this gift and give it back to her niece at their next visit.

The third example was a gentleman who had a big pile of Shoppers Drug Mart gift cards. At first we all thought they were worth money but actually they had been purchased in order to receive more Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum points and they were used. Why he kept them is hard to understand, perhaps they had become invisible to him or he kept them as a reminder that he had purchased them? He did talk about how he can be lured in with marketing to try to get as many points as possible.  In the end, he was able to discard all of these into the garbage bin.

Awareness of your time, energy and emotions is key to being able to help with the letting go process Click To Tweet

Individuals become very aware of their time, energy, stuff around them, triggers, emotions and behaviours.  Taking the time to really notice what is going on with your thoughts and feelings will be helpful for you as you continue to do this work.  This is always the first step and will then help you with what you end up doing with your decluttering efforts.   Paying attention and having awareness is your key to starting this process.

If you would like more support around your decluttering efforts and/or would like to work on challenges and goals please join our closed and confidential Facebook Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind/

Please comment below with any thoughts or questions. Thank you for following along and Happy Decluttering!

 

Posted in chronic disorganization, Clutter, De-Clutter Your Life, goal setting, Inspiration, Organizing | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Do You Say Yes When You Would Rather Say No?

Saying yes to yourself sometimes means saying no to others.  There are times when you need to put yourself first because you deserve it and are worth it.   Setting limits and boundaries with others and learning how to say No will help you to stay true to yourself.  In the long run you will respect yourself and others will respect you as well.  A win/win!!

Do you ever feel like you are on auto-pilot with no time for yourself and find that you put others needs before your own?   Do you ever schedule personal time for yourself?  That can really be difficult for most of us.  We often put ourselves last on the list and just hope to get a little downtime in our day.  We might not even know what to do or what to focus on if we had the time for ourselves.  Some of us might just prefer to be busy in order to avoid some of those negative emotions that might come up.

What could you say no to in order to have more me time?

Having an awareness of emotions and feelings is so key to helping you to speak your truth. This will help you to tackle your own personal goals and challenges. Click To Tweet

If you find yourself feeling resentful about how you are spending your time, this could be a clue that your boundaries are being stepped on.  Perhaps you find yourself saying yes and then kicking yourself wishing you had said No.  If that is the case, the next time someone asks you to do something or to help with something, decide that you are going to take a bit of breathing space.  You could say something like “I will have to check my schedule or even just saying “I will get back to you on that”.  Going for a walk, meditating on it or just taking some time for yourself to think about what you really want to do might be helpful.

For myself, I find when I do yoga (most mornings) I often feel inspired with some great thoughts and ideas for my day or perhaps some future planning.  I often get some great ah ha moments during this me time. Actually, I believe that yoga gives me more time in the day.  The same can be said for meditation as it helps us to slow down and to have some breathing space.  Taking some time to breathe and regroup during your busy day can be beneficial as well.  Check out this blog post for some ideas on how to be more grounded.  

https://spaceforyou.ca/2015/03/09/3-ways-to-be-more-grounded-and-organized/

Maybe you have some personal de-cluttering or organizing goals that you have set for yourself but you just never seem to get to because other things always get in the way.  This might just be a convenient excuse stopping you from doing this work especially if the things you want or feel you have to do are hard or just not fun. You might not have even thought of it that way.  It is so easy to sabotage our own goals especially if no one else but ourselves know.  Think about how this makes you feel about yourself over time?

What could you do to honour yourself and put yourself at the top of your list? 

This is where some accountability can really be a benefit to help you to achieve your goals and to help you to make some progress with what you want for your life.  There is still time to join us on the Facebook Group “Declutter Your Life and Mind” We are just starting Week 2 of the Six Week Declutter Your Life and Mind Challenge.

https://www.facebook.com/events/226056661539690/?event_time_id=226056681539688

Thank you for following along and I welcome any comments or feedback.  Happy De-cluttering!

 

 

 

 

  

Posted in De-Clutter Your Life, Emotional Clutter, goal setting, Inspiration, Organizing, Re-organize | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Free Six Week Declutter Your Life and Mind Challenge

Weekly challenges that we set for ourselves can be the best way for us to move forward and to feel like we are accomplishing our goals and making progress.  And having that accountability to ourselves and to others is so effective for keeping us on track.

I am so pleased and excited to offer a Free Six Week Declutter Your Life and Mind Challenge to you in my new Facebook Group with the same name.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind/members/

We encourage individuals to pick challenges that are doable and realistic.  So, for example, it might not be realistic to think you are going to organize your whole house in a weekend, but perhaps you could get a couple of loads of laundry done and put away?

Is there a small challenge you could set for yourself that will make an immediate difference in your life?  Is there something or a number of things that you procrastinate about from week to week that if you were able to tackle that item you would feel so relieved and free to move on to the next thing you want to do? No challenge is too big or too small.  This work is truly life changing!

You do not have to have serious chronic disorganization issues to participate in this challenge.  In fact, I will be working right there along with you.  This Challenge is for anyone who wants to do better in their life and wants to make some positive changes.  Your challenge might be to work on physical or emotional clutter or maybe just to look at what emotions come up and what is holding you back.  You get to choose your own personal challenges that are going to work for you.

Being successful with your goals and challenges means being accountable to yourself Click To Tweet

I hope that you will be able to join us on this life changing journey.

Please comment below with any thoughts or questions and thank you for following along.  Happy Decluttering!

 

Posted in De-Clutter Your Life, Emotional Clutter, goal setting, Inspiration, Organizing | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

How to Help Your Loved One who has Hoarding Disorder? Part 2

What do you do when your loved one is not motivated to make changes to make their place safer and healthier? What will motivate them to want to make change? How can you help your loved one who has hoarding disorder?

Here are some tips that I hope will help…..

Don’t Argue with your Loved One:  Honestly, arguing is really not going to get you anywhere and it could actually be helping your loved one to make an argument for not changing.  Also, it will just cause distrust and your loved one will probably dig their heels in and not allow you to even attempt to help anymore.  Try to be aware of your language and work hard at not arguing, threatening, minimizing, judging, etc.

Respect Autonomy:  As hard as this can be we need to remember that your loved one is an adult and needs to be able to make his or her decisions and to have control over their own lives.  You are not always going to agree with how they choose to live their life or with their behaviour.  They might have very limited insight and motivation which makes it very difficult to help.  The best thing you can do is let them know that you are concerned for their health and welfare.  Harm reduction is a best practice.  Check out this post on Harm Reduction https://spaceforyou.ca/2016/07/29/how-to-practice-harm-reduction-in-hoarding/

Of course, if your loved one lives with you, you have every right to set limits and to expect that your wishes be respected.  Otherwise there could be consequences to their behaviour.  You need to be able to set boundaries and to follow up with them in a kind and consistant way.  

You will be most successful if you can have a discussion with your loved one and try to have them be a part of the decision making as much as possible.  Ask them questions like:  “What do you think would be most helpful for you to work on?”,  “Where do you suggest we start today?” Or “What will make the most difference for you today?”

Focus on Values and Goals:  Talk to your loved one about their values and goals.  Be aware that these values and goals may not be the same as your own.  Ask questions???  What are your hopes and dreams? What is most important for you to focus on in your life?  What do you want for your future? 

Ask how acquiring more stuff and/or not letting go of items helps you to achieve those goals?

Set Limits and Practice Self Care:  This is challenging work for your loved one and also for you.  You may need to set limits with your loved one.  For example letting them know you are willing to help for a certain amount of time per week or that you are only willing to work on a particular task. Also, because this can be such difficult work, it is very important to practice self care and make sure that you are relaxed and in a positive space in order to help your loved one to make progress and to be making change.  

Please remember that hoarding disorder is a serious mental illness and often it takes a team of people to be able to help an individual.  What do you think?  Do you have any tips that would help you if you were in this situation?  Please add your comments below.  Thanks for following along.

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