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Organizing: Behind the Camera

Thanks to the feedback from my Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/GiftedHelpConsulting and colleagues, I have been encouraged to write about what really happens when working with a hoarding client for TV. As you know, the hoarded house does not become magically cleaned out during a commercial break. It takes many hours to sort items into garbage, recycle, donate or keep. For hoarding clients, this is very difficult and expensive work. Since professional organizers are not reimbursed by insurance companies as part of the hoarding mental health treatment team, many clients turn to TV shows to help defray the cost and to help get the project started.

I just completed my third “TV Client” this week in Northern CA. It was one of the most challenging jobs so far! The Institute for Challenging Disorganization www.challengingdisorganization.org has developed a Clutter-Hoarding Scale. This home was at the most extreme or Level V.

My team and I put in over 85 hours in less than 4 weeks. The client and her friends put in many hours too. The photo is during the midpoint of the process. Thanks to the PODS company in Hercules, CA for donating an on site storage unit for the client to temporally store her keep items.

You will have to wait for the show to see the results! Hopefully the TV show will show more of the actual work my team and I did with the client. The goal is to give a more realistic view on the challenge and worked needed to help hoarding clients. It is a serious mental health disorder that requires a team of providers with a lot of patience.

Looking forward to a new client assessment in Oakland, CA this week!

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