Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chronically Disorganized vs. Hoarder

One of the fundamental laws of thermodynamics is the rule of entropy, the tendency of all matter to drift toward disorder and chaos.  I have to admit that all matter in my home seems to be following this rule a little too well!  But the question is, how much disorder and chaos is too much?

That line is very personal.  My idea of clean and tidy can be totally different than yours.  However, for some people clean and tidy is a far off dream that seems unachievable.  Their homes are chronically in disorder and chaos.

People who are chronically disorganized (CD) are often late for meetings, their homes are cluttered with storage areas filled to capacity.  They often lose important documents and other items such as their wallets or keys.  They appear to have no organizing systems in place and this lack of organization can affect not only their home life but can also put their jobs in jeopardy.

According to Wikipedia, hoarding is "a pattern of behavior that is characterized by the excessive acquisition of and inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that would seemingly qualify as useless or without value".

There are many factors that can cause chronic disorganization and hoarding.  The Institute of Challenging Disorganization states that, "Clutter, in general, chronic or not chronic, is only a symptom of what is really going on in an individuals life".  Some things that can cause these symptoms are depression, ADD, mental health issues, life trauma, and many more.

There is a difference between someone who is chronically disorganized and a hoarder - All hoarders are chronically disorganized but not all chronically disorganized people are hoarders.  Someone who is CD can get rid of things and clutter does not totally debilitate their lives like it does with hoarders.  Hoarders are often in denial and are reluctant to discuss their situation.

The Institute for Challenging Disorganization has a free download for a Clutter - Hoarding Scale.  If you or someone you love has a problem with excess clutter check it out (it says add to cart but it is completely free).

Sometimes going in and cleaning everything up is merely treating the symptom and not the cause.  Treat the cause and the symptom (clutter) will take care of itself.

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