The Real Cost of Hoarding

Have you ever thought about the real cost of hoarding?

I’m going to share a secret with you. I have been dealing with a hoarding situation that Hoardinghits home. Yes, it is a relative who has a lot of mental and emotional issues that were not addressed decades ago. And now, it has come to a point that her hoarding has affected my family in a huge way.

I’m speaking candidly and sharing just a personal story. This may not be true for all hoarders and their relatives, but there is so much that I have learned from this experience (and it is just beginning). Here are some of the lessons that have been my “ah-ha’s” so far.


Besides the fact that you should keep all of your important documents in one place (a secure, locked place), someone else should know where your important documents are located. This means things like your social security card, birth certificates, marriage certificated, Deeds to the house, Wills, Medical Directives, etc.

  •            We needed original documents listed above in order to apply for Medicaid. And, because of the hoarding situation, I spent an entire day applying for and obtaining everything listed above.


2.  Because of the age of this person she does not qualify for State assistance – and since her house is uninhabitable right now, this has caused a huge issue finding her a home that she can afford.

  •               There are so many rules and regulations – and not knowing what they are in advance I have been spending hours on the phone trying to find out who and what department to call to find her a place to live.


3. It hurts my soul to throw out so many items. As the family member of the hoarder, the one in charge of clearing out not just the cars but the outside buildings on the property, I have found so many items that were purchased “just because”. They are still in the original boxes and so much money was wasted.

Buying things and hoarding can not cure the issues (whatever they are) that a person is having. It can’t help them deal with reality or change your situation. What it does do, is causes stress for the rest of the family – who cares enough about you to do their best to help you work through the situation. I’m not a psychiatrist, but with all of the research, connections and information I am gathering, I feel like one!

A final thought for this Blog…if you have someone in this situation, please find the right person to help them through their issues. If the issues aren’t dealt with now, you (or someone else) will be dealing with the situation later. This is not something that should be ignored.

I have worked with many hoarders in the past. This is the first time to deal with it on a personal level and it is draining both personally and to the rest of my family. If you, or a relative, needs help…reach out to them now to get them help. And, if you need help going through and getting rid of the items – give us a call. I can honestly say that I’ve been there, experienced that!

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