5 Levels of Hoarding and How to Deal With It?

If you are living with a hoarder then we understand how difficult it is to hold on. Slowly you lose all the affection and care because living with a hoarder is not possible for all. We have seen people with hoarding disorder that are completely left out alone, no friends like to visit them or even invite them. But still, there is a strong desire that we should help our loved ones. To fight with any enemy you must first know about it and what is its weakness. So to fight to hoard you must first understand about it.

Hoarding & its 5 levels

Hoarding is a mental disorder and the person suffering from it has an intense desire of holding onto things even if it’s trash. You might have met people who have collected bags, cans, boxes, newspapers, plastic bags, etc. this is hoarding and if it’s severe that person will suffer from relationships, professional aspiration will lack, no legal stability, bad emotional as well as physical health. Hoarders cannot take care of their families and can totally ruin their life. At E-Reuse we make sure that hoarders fight with their habits and return to their normal life as soon as possible. 

Level 1

With hoarding level 1 you have to be at least  worried, but not ignorant.  If you believe you or a lover one have hoarding issues  at level1 at your home then you will see symptoms like:

  • There will be a light amount of clutter with no odor
  • All stairways and doors are easily accessible
  • There will be less animal waste throughout the house till level 1

In level one, you will be able to observe signs of hoarding disorder. The clutter might not be disturbing till now, but still, the person might find it difficult to get rid of the clutter and shopping continuously for things that are of no use. 

Level 2

In level 2 you will see a hoarder residence is not in very good condition. They will be having exits that are partially blocked, stuff that is not working for years but still there. The ventilation system may be malfunctioning. You will see clutter around the house in more than two rooms. You will also observe mild odor from bathrooms and kitchens.

  •  Pet waste on the floor
  • Overflowing garbage cans
  • Minimal care of pets
  • Pet odor
  • Feces in the litter box
  • Household rodent’s presence

People suffering at level 2 will not be inviting their friends and family anymore because of the embarrassment of the dirty house. This stage causes more depression and anxiety leading to withdrawal from social life. 

Level 3

Resident with hoarding level 3 will have visible clutter all-around their place. You will see appliances that are not working and even one area of the house might also be displaying structural damage. The number of pets will be high but they will be neglected when it comes to caring. You will see visible evidence of spider webs, fleas, rodents, narrow pathways including signs:

  • Dirty clothes all over
  • Excessive dust and odor throughout 
  • Spills and hazardous substances on the floor
  • One unusable bedroom or bathroom 
  • Overflowing garbage cans

The person at this level will be having a poor hygiene state and will also display bad health. At this stage, hoarders can become angry and dismissive when approached by anyone talking about their bad lifestyle. 

Level 4

At level 4 it gets easy to notice structural damage, bug infestation, mildew in the building, trash here and there, and even sewage buildup can be seen. Surfaces are having spilled and rotten food including:

  • Excessive spiders and webs
  • No clean kitchen utensils
  • No sheet covers bugs and lice on beds
  • Aged canned goods
  • Blocked exits

People at level 4 will have poor hygiene and might not have taken showers for weeks. They will have worsening health both mentally and physically.

Level 5

This is the severe step that includes severe damage to the building they are residing in. There will be no electricity, no proper plumbing, broken walls, visible rodents, and a house in very bad condition:

  • There will be filth in the kitchen and bedrooms
  • Noticeable human feces
  • Pets with no hygiene and care
  • Rotting food and clutter all over

We have observed that people who are at stage 5 have very bad conditions and mostly stay at their family or friends’ place because their house is full of clutter and has no space. They might also be having feces in bottles remaining in the house for months.  At this stage signs of depression can be easily seen in hoarders. 

Hoarding can get severe and its consequences are also dangerous because it not only affects one person, but the entire family living with them. Financial straining is going to rise because your uncontrollable shopping habits will lead you to break. There will be no longer a healthy relationship and your loved ones might also start ignoring you completely. It’s extremely important that you find help if you are at any level of hoarding.

E-Reuse is going to support you completely on the road to recovery. There is no effective treatment available, but with love, care, and support you will recover from hoarding disorder and will definitely live a healthy life.

How to help hoarder-“Don’ts”

If you are not a hoarder, but you see clutter you immediately want to clean it up, but this is not a similar case with the hoarder. If you will force someone it can backfire and guaranteed will not be an effective idea. You must not be:

  • Expecting immediate cleaning overnight
  • Do not remove things without their consent
  • Don’t trigger their hoarding behavior
  • Never expect  perfection 

How to help hoarder –”Dos”

If you are willing to help your hoarding family member then the first thing you must do is to show them that you care for them and you are there for them.

  • You must seek professional help and encourage the person to meet a therapist
  • You must learn about hoarding which will make help fighting it better
  • Talk to them and convince them about the bad impacts of their habits

There are many other things which you can do like not leaving the person alone, talking to them and showing them that you care and listening.  People struggling with hoarding disorders cannot overcome their feelings, thoughts, and anxiety when it comes to separate with items. CBT techniques are used to overcome such feelings in hoarders.

The E-Reuse team is already working with many hoarders and we know adapting to a life with no signs of hoarding will take time. We see people facing challenges at every step of their life, but with proper support and care like without hoarding is possible. We not only help you till you are a hoarder but also offer aftercare. Regular maintenance and check-ups make sure that you are not relapsing and clinging to your bad habits again. If you think you need professionals who can work with you through the chaos in your mind then E-Reuse is a name you can rely on. If you have any family member with a hoarding disorder or friend it’s time that you call us right now and get professional help for hoarders.

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