Family and friends are often eager to lend a hand. Perhaps a little too eager. The trick is finding helpers who aren’t also judgers. Your relationship with your family and friends is more important than the clutter, and so it doesn’t often work to let the daughter who rolls her eyes at the “mess” or the neighbor who just wishes you’d clear your yard already so they can sell their house, be your main source of support.
They’re too close to the problem and though they may tell you they know hoarding isn’t a personal failing, there’s a history of tension over the clutter that can erupt into anger when you don’t move as fast as they think you “should” be able to.
Be careful when you hire a professional organizer too. Every organizer has their niche and hiring someone who loves interior design and wants your house to look picture perfect is asking for trouble. You’ll want to make sure your organizer understands what they’ll call “chronic disorganization”. Meaning someone who has historically had a tough time with either getting and/or staying organized. Check out the directory of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization to find a trained organizer near you. You can see a list of their subscribers, including yours truly, here.