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Monday, September 10, 2012


We've all heard the phrase "One man's trash is another man's treasure."  But what happens when a loved one's treasures become overwhelming.  At what point does collecting become hoarding?  When are collectibles considered junk?

First, I think junk can be a relative term.  Like spicy.  It means very different things depending on who you talk to.  The true definition of junk is "old or discarded articles that are considered useless or of little value."  What many family members of collectors or hoarders see as junk, many hoarders see as useful or valuable (and therefore by definition not junk).  It is difficult to convince a collector to part with his treasures.  But when these collections become a health or safety issue it may be time to seek help outside of the family.  Any attempt by friends or family to remove these collections, no matter how noble the effort or how right you are in removing them, can cause great friction.  

When dealing with a collector and his collectibles, it is often best to seek the help of professionals with training specified toward working with these populations.  The Institute for Challenging Disorganization provides an array of information for those dealing with chronic disorganization from a Clutter-Hoarding Scale to help finding an ICD Professional Organizer.  Whether it's you or a loved one struggling with an overwhelming amount of clutter, know that there is help out there.


In honor of the school year beginning, I will be exploring the ABC's of Organizing until the end of September. Check back daily to find out more!