The mission of the Hamilton County Hoarding Collaborative is to provide a fair and standardized approach to working with people in hoarding situations, while providing resources, education, and guidance to the community. Download our Hamilton County Hoarding Collaborative Brochure here.
How Can I Tell If I am a Hoarder?
- Avoid throwing away possessions (common hoarded items are newspapers, magazines, paper and plastic bags, cardboard boxes, photographs, household supplies, food, and clothing);
- Experience severe anxiety about discarding possessions;
- Have trouble making decisions about organizing possessions;
- Anxious about others touching possessions;
- Obsessive thoughts about possessions (e.g., fear of running out of an item and needing it later—checking the garbage to see what was discarded ) ;
- Functional impairments (e.g., loss of living space, no place to eat, sleep or cook), and social isolation.
Where Do I Start?
- Decide to start NOW .
- Involve others who care about you and your situation.
- Develop a plan and set goals.
- Be patient – Your problems were not created overnight and they are not going to be fixed overnight.
- Make three piles, one room at a time.
- Donate —items should be donated the same day.
- Put away—items to keep.
- Discard —items should be discarded the same day.
How Do I Help Others Whom I Feel Might be Hoarders?
- Don’t use judgmental language – match their language; don’t use words that devalue their possessions .
- Make positive suggestions — highlight their strengths.
- Avoid touching their possessions —let them do the work and make the decisions .
- Focus on safety first — ensure that all utilities are on, there are adequate pathways throughout the home, HVAC registers are clear and working, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are available and working .
- Involve as many family and friends as you can .
- Refer to other agencies (in our brochure).
- Adult Protective Services
- Child Protective Services
- Cincinnati Building Department
- Cincinnati Health Department
- Council on Aging
- Hamilton County Building Department
- Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME)
- Hoarding Brochure from Hamilton County Public Health
- Mental Health Access Point (MHAP)
- Mobile Crisis Team at University Hospital
- Private Practice
- Professional Organization Services
- SPCA Cincinnati
- Support Groups
- Talbert House