Living on The Bridge Between Sustainable Living and Hoarding


How do we know if we are crossing the line between sustainable living and hoarding?


What distincts a hoarder from a regular collector who spends thousands upon thousands on his obsessions, be it classic pens, music records or even celebrity belongings?

For some experts, the suffocating piles of clutter, which find their place in a hoarder’s home, are the factors which distincts OCD people as such. Yet, hoarders are creatures of organization – dates, time, people, places, memories – it is all part of a massive home organisation system. Most hoarders work by arranging their thoughts and tasks under specific regulations thus creating a certain scheme for classifying their life. This defines hoarding as a clutter-focused disorder and puts it into a much deeper fraction of mental sickness. It reveals ​the true layers of contract between collecting hobbies, sustainability, organisation and hoarding.

The one thing obsessive compulsive disorders ( ​OCD ) and hoarding in general put in contradiction with the actions of a mentally healthy person is the ability to let go. These mental disorders are bound with the inability of stopping, weather it is a certain ceremony, a certain action or just collecting. Hoarders would spend hours upon hours choosing their new items on the online shop or around the city market, yet most of these purchases would be absolutely unnecessary. A hoarder would walk in a shop, fall in love with a porcelain doll and find a way to buy it, no matter the price or the space it will take in his dwelling. But drowning in heavy loans and almost drained credit cards is not hoarders’ worst problem – it is the space they need.

Reality shows speak of people paying an additional rent on a private storage and even a second house to be able to keep up with their obsession’s needs. But an actual cleaning process could never take place in their homes without putting their mental health in danger. As much as removing all the cluttered furniture and belongings might seem like the best step to take in such situation, it is highly recommended that the whole treatment process is made on small portions, evenly distributed in time.

For the ones, who live on the border line between sustainable living and hoarding, their condition’s nothing more than an ordinary attachment which can be easily broken down. Yet, reality shows this procedure takes more time and dedication than an usual Sunday clean-up. There will always be ​cleaners in Sydney and other big cities which would take this burden off the locals’ shoulders. Some case studies speculate on the idea that actually hiring a home cleaner while undergoing a specialized therapy might help hoarders easily overcome the emotional trauma of personally throwing away their possessions. Yet, the diversity of characters and the extensive range of key factors, which have lead to this condition require specific type of help, which is not always in line with the generalized perceptions.

Writer, creative entrepreneur and marketing expert who works with some of the leading cleaners in Sydney, helping them improve their customer experience and become people's top choice in a competitive market.