Clean Earth Restorations Blog: We Rebuild and Repair

Holidays and Hoarding

Posted by Jackson Short on Sun, Dec 23, 2018

For most, the holidays are a time to spend with family, enjoying the company of loved ones who don't get to connect as often as they'd like, and giving back to the community. However, for a small portion of the population, holidays such as these that are centered around consumerism and purchasing goods can be a struggle.


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About six percent of the US population suffers from more serious hoarding disorders. These disorders affect a person's mental, physical, and social well being. Around the holidays there is a lot of pressure to purchase items that are on sale or offered for a limited time, and for people who suffer from hoarding tendencies, this can lead to purchasing items that are not needed, and that might not be gifted to others either.

The holidays are the most tempting time of the year to purchase multitudes of items. Not only is this hard on the hoarder, this is also puts an added strain on the relationships surrounding the individual. While the urge to purchase new items is felt by most of us during the holidays, it can be amplified for people who collect excess amounts of items. Not to mention the constant barrage of advertisements coming from almost every media platform imaginable.

If you or anyone you know might suffer from any hoarding or collecting tendencies, these tips might help the holidays be more enjoyable.

Focus on Experiences, Not Things

This year, instead of putting a large focus on tangible gifts and items, try to focus more on experiences and services. There are tons of things to experience, leaving memories that can be cherished for a lifetime. Here is a short list of gifts to give or receive:

* Concert tickets

* Theme park annual pass

* Movie tickets

* Cooking classes

* Zoo or local museum membership


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Stress Less About Gifts

Often times hoarding disorders can be associated with obsessive compulsive disorder, commonly known as OCD. OCD typically focuses on a need for things to be perfect, and this can translate back to gift giving. Often times, one can find themselves spending hours just trying to find the right gift for someone, and later might find an even better gift that what they originally got. For the case of someone with a tendency to hoard, this situation can lead to hoarding behaviors, and the individual might just keep the original item instead of returning it. This can also be the case for wrapping paper, bows, and boxes.

Which it's always great to strive to be the best version of yourself, it is also noteworthy that nobody is perfect, and that nobody needs to be. Don't let the pursuit of perfect ruin your holiday season. It's is good to be thoughtful when getting gifts, or more rather experiences, for loved ones, but also know that they will appreciate the gesture and your thoughtfulness, even if it's not the perfect gift.

After the gift giving is through, most of us are guilty of keeping a few good looking boxes, bags, and bows, but make sure you let the rest go to the trash. You can also recycle most of the cardboard boxes as a compromise.

Don't Focus On Hoarding - At Least Not Until After New Years

Hoarding can be associated with other mental afflictions, such as social isolation and depression, making the holidays a harder-than-usual time. Times of highly expressed emotions and "holiday cheer" can be upsetting for those who suspect they might have a problem. The best way to go about the holidays is to focus on the camaraderie and being with family, and overlooking the hoarding issues for a short time. Nagging and arguing will not help, and usually will just make things worse.

The best way to handle a hoarding issue is to stay away from the issue, host in a clean, non-cluttered environment, and don't let hoarding become a part of the conversation.

New Years is right around the corner from the holidays, which is a great time to go over resolutions with your loved ones. A particularly important resolution can be focusing on action items to help reduce hoarding behaviors. That way, the next holiday season can be less stressful, healthy, happy, and devoid of clutter.

Enjoy the Holidays

Most importantly, enjoy the holiday season. The most important thing is being around the people we love, and although we are not perfect, we all appreciate love, support, and being happy. So be happy, be merry, enjoy the company of others, focus on the good, and let go of everything else... at least for a short while.

From everyone here at Clean Earth Restorations, we all wish you a safe, happy, and healthy holidays, and a very happy new year. For more information on hoarding and for tips on how to encourage healthier behavior after the new year, give us a call at 619-284-4239 or contact us at

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Topics: help for hoarders, help with a hoarder in san diego, san diego hoarding clean up

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