Spring Cleaning, Hoarding and Decluttering

Last August I wrote a post on hoarding “The UK a Nation of Hoarders” and following on from this and the last post “Smaller UK Homes” I thought that it might be worth revisiting the hoarding subject again, especially as we are now officially into Spring and Spring Cleaning is just around the corner!
In my original post I wrote –
“I personally don’t think that we are becoming a nation of hoarders, although without doubt mental health issues are on the increase, but again this is partly due to people being more open and accepting of the fact that mental health is important and we are recognising cases of stress and depression more than we ever have.
I believe there are so many connecting factors, size of homes, size of family, age at which adults now move into their own properties, age of first time house purchase, cost of living… that they all have an influence over our needs to store at an out of house storage facility.”
Well, looking again at the figures for possible hoarders 2% - 5% of the population – that could actually mean over 1.2 million people just in the UK. This is a very significant number as it doesn’t just affect the sufferer but also their family and close friends and possibly to a wider extend their community.
Several websites that I have looked at while researching for this blog now have a Clutter Index Rating - which is a series of Photographs of a room at progressively increasing stages of clutter. Used for determining the severity of the condition in an individual.
Information for help and advice can be found on any of the following websites –
Help for Hoarders– This website was set up by Jasmine Harman, known for presenting Channel 4s “A Place in the Sun” and also for “My Hoarder Mum and Me” which showed the heart wrenching efforts of Jasmine to help her hoarder mum.
Hoarding UK - a national not-for profit organisation supporting people impacted by hoarding behaviour
Mind - Explains hoarding, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support
NHS - Explanations of the condition and treatments available.

Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard Boxes

The types of items which seem to more often contribute to a hoarders clutter are things such as - Old Clothes, Magazines, CD/Video/DVD, Post, Pens, Old notes, Bills, Newspapers, Receipts, Cardboard boxes, Beads, Fabric, Pins, Rags, Old Medication, Canned Food.
Source: Pertusa et al, 2008




Now back to Spring and that once a yearly so named Spring Clean; I have put a list together of ideas of places and things which might need a clean, a tidy and decluttering whilst flinging open the windows and letting that fresh air in –

1/ Sort out wardrobes and clothing
2/ Tidy book shelves – they gather more than books and ornaments
3/ Kitchen utensils and work surfaces
4/ Garden sheds – gardening equipment and BBQ
5/ Children’s toys – anything which they have grown out of
6/ Living room furniture – sideboards/magazine racks/ tables and cupboards
7/ Bathrooms – Old bottles of lotions and potions
8/ Personal papers
9/ Leisure and sports items – (golf clubs)
10/ Allow yourself enough time, no point starting something if you only have 5 mins, make sure you can complete the task once you start it.

Image courtesy of yodiyim at FreeDigitalPhotos.net