It’s common for houses to get disorganized or cluttered at times. We get it. People have gone through a lot this past year and while having a clean and organized home is a sign of things being “under control,” not having it does not mean you’re struggling with a hoarding disorder. Hoarding and clutter are certainly not the same.
Bio-One has helped many houses and properties affected by hoarding in Orange County, California. Hoarding damage is visible: there’s barely any or no space at all to walk around the rooms; the areas for normal daily activities are not functioning, and there are multiple physical, fire, and even death threats.
Hoarding and clutter are commonly associated and, sometimes, confused between one and the other because clutter can lead to hoarding disorder. Our Team at Bio-One of Orange shares the main differences you can see when a house or property is affected by hoarding or clutter.
Our experience helping families throughout Orange County is a valuable statement to spot the main difference between these two topics.
If we look it up by definition, clutter is just “filling something in a messy or disorganized way.”
Your desk can be filled with junk mail or paperwork that you haven’t had the time to organize. Maybe you’re an avid reader and often buy books, magazines, and comics with the hope of reading them soon, but you haven’t put them in the library, shelf, bin, or basket.
However, these books, magazines, junk mail, and other paperwork are in your office, living room, library, or the area where you frequently read. This kind of behavior is associated with being disorganized but not necessarily being a hoarder.
For someone who is disorganized, or deals with clutter in their house or property, these books, magazines, and paperwork are in a room associated with their use or purpose. Yes, things are disorganized, but if you take the time to classify your books and take out the junk mail, your room will probably look tidy and in harmony with the rest of the house.
For someone struggling with a hoarding disorder, it’s common to find items outside of rooms where they have a purpose. For example, hoarders will use their kitchen cabinets or bathtub to accumulate paperwork, magazines, and other materials. Consequently, they cannot use their bathtub or kitchen cabinets for the activities they’re supposed to do in these rooms, which is bathing and storing food.
If you notice you or someone you care about has been storing things in areas where they probably shouldn’t (exposing themselves to safety threats), let Bio-One of Orange help you. We will work closely with you to ensure you’re comfortable organizing and getting your life back on track.
The determining factor to separate clutter from hoarding is that the possibility of getting rid of the clutter or things that are causing your house to be unhabitable is just too much to bear. A disorganized person is not likely to struggle with parting from things. For them, the approach to the scenario is something like: “Ok, I understand that these things might cause me some trouble, so I’ll organize myself and let go of them.”
For a hoarder, letting go of the simplest items represents a stressful and impossible thing to do. Regular items have a different meaning for someone struggling with hoarding, so it’s important to face these situations with care, compassion, and understanding of their feelings and emotions.
If you want to learn more about hoarding symptoms, you can visit the ADAA - Hoarding: the basics.
We can say that the line between clutter vs. hoarding disorder is drawn at the point where clutter makes it impossible to get on with daily, regular activities; when your house or property becomes an unsafe environment to live in because of clutter, you might be dealing with a hoarding disorder.
If you’re struggling with clutter or hoarding in your house or property, Bio-One of Orange, in Orange, California, can help you get things back in order! Our Team is discrete, compassionate, and aware of the challenge that cleaning and organizing a house impacted by hoarding might be.
Bio-One of Orange offers a quick solution to life’s most difficult and unexpected situations. Locally owned, we provide top-quality, industry-leading cleaning, sanitation, and decontamination services in:
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Our technicians are ready to help you restore your home or business. Bio-One of Orange, a proud member of the Orange Chamber of Commerce, is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Contact us at 714-397-8375.