I often go to people's houses and they warn me at the beginning that they are a hoarder. For the majority of people, they are not!
The majority of people that I work with have had a serious event or a series of sad events in their lives, usually including the loss of someone close to them. Like all of us when something horrible happens, we need time to retreat and take a rest from the world around us. After a period of time we start to return to our normal routine.
For some people, it can take longer and they might be finding it difficult to deal with the lost person's belongings. Firstly, they are tired and tend to do less cleaning. Secondly, making decisions is difficult for them. They are confused about what to do and they don't want to make the wrong decision. As a result their belongings start to build up and they become overwhelmed. Family and friends might make comments or try to help and then the person becomes concerned about what people think about them, making the person shut down all the more. In one case, I have had to visit a person 3 times and they cancelled 2 more times before they invited me into their house because they were so ashamed. For most people it is easy to see that they were functioning 'normally' until the event/s happened because there is evidence of organisation, for example: the inside of the cupboards is neat but then things have piled up on the outside so now the cupboard can't be opened.
For what I have seen, this is just a case of being overwhelmed and with good emotional support, encouragement for the person to make decisions and time to go through things, that person who is wanting assistance will do it easily. In fact, it is my belief that once the person gets the hang of decision making again, they start to believe in themselves and resume their old ways.
For more valuable tips on organizing your home or office, check out Lifestyle Assistance's latest blogs here.