If you have diabetes, you don’t refuse the doctor’s help and sit around wringing your hands, declaring that you should be able to manufacture insulin if you just tried harder. You get help and get on with your life. Why should needing help with the clutter in your home be any different?
My Dad was on the hoarding spectrum and clearing out his three story Victorian house in just a week was the motivation for finally founding my business.
When I flew home to England for his funeral, it had been decades since I’d seen my childhood home. My Dad visited us regularly and to be honest, flying with two small kids with ADHD to England was a challenge I was happy not to have to meet.
I was immediately struck by how full the house was. Papers were crammed into every nook and cranny. He must have kept every piece of paper he’d come across in 40 years. Over the years he’d joked about how organized my house was compared to his but when I offered to help, he’d tell me he wasn’t worried because he knew where everything was.
With only a week to clear the house before the dump trucks arrived to haul everything away, I worked round the clock. At the last minute, I found my birth certificate in a pile of receipts and shopping lists from the 1970s. I still wonder what else I missed.
Here’s the Thing
I know my Dad was so much more than his cluttered house. I’m sure he didn’t want to leave me the burden of dealing with his clutter, but shame prevented him from getting help while he could. Being on the hoarding spectrum isn’t a personal failure any more than having diabetes is. It’s just something you deal with.