Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Help for Hoarders

I've been working on a few extras for my blog. The following will be in a tab at the top of the page for future reference, and I will add to it as I come across things that I think may help others in their hoarding journey. 

Although I've done come this far in my journey without outside professional help, I know that not everyone can do that. I will be listing different websites that have helped me over the last two years or that may be helpful to those who are starting on this journey.

My very favorite and most used website is Pinterest. I'm a very visual person, and Pinterest is a very visual website where you 'pin' pictures to a pinboard, much like taping pictures of your dream vacation or recipes to the refrigerator. It's like a visual favorites list. If a recipe, craft idea, piece of clothing, saying, or anything else you come across has a picture, you can pin it to your Pinterest board. You can see at a glance what you're looking for, instead of going on a futile search through all your bookmarked favorites trying to remember what website you saw way back when and trying to remember what folder you put it in. I heart this website!!

**Just found out that there is some controversy over using Pinterest. I'm so sad. I'm not sure, if I'm going to delete my account or not, but use it at your own risk. You can read about the controversy here

Cozi - I love this website! I can not only make grocery lists but to-do lists, as well. The lists can be accessed by either computer or phone. As you check things off your list that are no longer pertinent, the check mark shows up instantly. So if you are shopping at the grocery store with someone else, and you pick up the milk and check it off the list, it shows up as checked off on the other person's phone, too! I love this feature! No more calling from the produce department to the hardware department to find out, if the other person picked up the bananas, and no more showing up at the checkout stand with extra stuff, because you both thought you were supposed to get it. No more lost little paper lists for us! No doubt we will be using this website for years and years to come.

A lot of people find iDoneThis very, very helpful. It helps to keep you on track for a goal you have set by sending you an email each day. You respond to the email with what you've accomplished that day toward your goal, and it keeps a log of it for you. I find that I don't use it much, because I'm using my blog to keep track of what I get done each day, but I think it's perfect for someone wanting to work on dehoarding without keeping a public record of it. Obviously, dehoarding is but one of many, many things you could track through iDoneThis. If I ever get out of the habit of taking my medicines again, I will probably use this site to help me remember to take them regularly. I think it's an awesome idea.

FlyLady is another site a lot of people find helpful. Most people have probably already heard of or tried FlyLady by now, since she's been around for over a decade, but it's still worth listing. FlyLady is a group of local internet support groups that fall under one umbrella group. They send out hints on how to clean your house and maintain it one little section at a time. You can be emailed daily reminders and encouragement to keep you going. I wasn't ready for the number of emails when I signed up for it, (although you can sign up for it without the daily emails, if I recall correctly), and I felt completely overwhelmed by them, but I know others who absolutely swear by it. I just think I should mention it here, because it might be the perfect fit for someone out there who is looking for hints and a way to stay on track. I don't really think it's geared for someone who has hoarding problems, though. I think it's more for someone who struggles with daily upkeep in a mildly cluttered home.

The International OCD Foundation has a plethora of information on OCD and other related disorders, including hoarding. Not only can you find an online support support group, but you can find a therapist that specializes in those different disorders, as well. It's a great resource for those who are suffering from or whose loved ones struggle with disorders on the OCD spectrum.

The Yahoo group, Compulsive Hoarding Community, or H-C, is a working support group that requires members to actively work at dehoarding their homes. This is an invaluable resource for those on all levels of dehoarding, whether they have dehoarded their homes and are now maintaining a clutter-free home, or they are just beginning. It's a great place to start, if you're not sure what to do.

I will be adding other resources as time goes by. If you know of any that I may have missed or that have helped you out, please feel free to shoot me an email.

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