Hoarding gets worse over time. It can start in children or young adults. It can become markedly more intense by retirement age.
Hoarding can impact not only the safety of the person who is hoarding, but also any other adults and children in the house, as well as pets. In addition, the safety of neighbors by their proximity can be at risk (for fire and for rodents). Relationships with family typically erode because of disagreements.
The earlier a person gets help with hoarding struggles, the better. But it is never too late to get help. There are a number of ways to improve your life by getting the right kind of help for your situation.
Support groups cost less than individual therapy. They offer support and acceptance by others who are struggling with the same issues.
1. If you are not in the Minneapolis-St Paul metro area, online support groups are still available to you:
2. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has several support groups in Minnesota. Check NAMI support groups.
3. The BURIED IN TREASURES self-help workshop (or support group) is facilitated by staff at Professional Rehabilitation Consultants (PRC) in St Paul. Homework is part of the process.
For more information, go the PRC website . Then call to register: 651-603-8774
4. LD/A Minnesota (Learning Disabilities/ADHD) offers an adult ADHD support group. If you think you have trouble finishing tasks and staying focused on what you want to get done, check them out here.
They have groups that meet in Roseville and St Paul. You can also join a phone meeting.
It will be very helpful to form your own trusted team of supporters and experts who can collaborate with you. Not all these options may be available in your area. Choose options that make sense for the situation.
Cleaning service - Can help with kitchen and bathrooms and possibly floors. The amount of stuff in the house may make it difficult to do more than minimal cleaning early in the process. A thorough cleaning should be done later on.
Professional organizer - Works side-by-side with you, often with one box at a time. Knows what can be recycled, where to donate items. An organizer is not emotionally involved, as family or friends are. Can help form new habits in the home.
Support group - Look for a support group for mental health, ADHD, OCD, or hoarding. Knowing you are not the only one going through this can be very powerful. There may also be a separate support group for family & friends.
Friends - Work with a trusted friend to get more done. Friends can also spend time with you outside of the home to just do normal activities.
Therapist - Helps you work on what you may have been avoiding - the loss or trauma in your past. There is often a connection between the past & the hoarding.
Handyman - Get appliances, electrical issues, house damage, and plumbing repaired.
Occupational therapist - Can teach personal skills to better care for yourself and your home.
Cleanout service - Use when the goal is to quickly remove a lot of material OR when the home is too unsafe for volunteers to work in the home. If a cleanout is necessary, it is very important that the person who has been hoarding has a lot of support because the cleanout will be traumatic.
VA - If you are a veteran, check with your regular contact person. They have a program for special life circumstances that you might qualify for.
Animals cannot speak for themselves, so it is best to do what is right for the animals in the specific situation.
It may be best to report the situation to animal control so that they come to inspect and determine the right course of action.
It might be possible for friends to temporarily take the animals, if the animals are in good condition but where the home needs a lot of decluttering. Animals appreciate open space to play, and a clear path to their food and water.
Child Protection Services in Minnesota wants to know about children who are being abused or neglected. Contact your county or tribal social service agency.
Certain professions in Minnesota are 'mandated reporters.' Workers in a number of professions, including health care, social services, psychological treatment, child care, education, corrections, law enforcement and clergy are required to report suspected child maltreatment.
The Hoarding Task Force is here to educate about hoarding and to share Resource Lists.
View our resource list here.
Contact a volunteer:
(1) email firstname.lastname@example.org or
(2) fill out the Contact form below, or
(3) send us a private message on our Facebook page.
(4) call us BUT be aware that we do not call back from that phone number. We call back from different phone numbers! 612-568-5550
Our volunteers keep your information confidential.
The Minnesota Hoarding Task Force (“MNHTF”) does not provide services directly. MNHTF does provide resources and information regarding the general subject of hoarding. In doing so, MNHTF does not endorse, recommend, warrant or assume any legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process.
The cost of a hoarded home is high. There is no cheap, easy solution. The solutions used for a particular situation depend on size of the hoard, if the owner is willing to work on the situation, and if the local authorities are imposing deadlines. Costs might include:
(a) Money already spent acquiring the stuff that filled the house.
(b) Individual therapy that may be needed for the forseeable future.
(c) Hiring an organizer to work along side the person.
(d) Hiring a cleanout company
(e) Deep cleaning after the excess stuff has been removed.
(f) Repairs from damage (such as mold, broken appliances, plumbing leaks, etc.).
(g) The time it will take for the owner and assistants to sort through the stuff, donate, recycle, and organize what is kept.