When I began working with hoarders, very little had been written about hoarding, either from a psychological perspective or with regard to developing organizing strategies.
Today, you can benefit from a number of excellent, well-researched resources designed for hoarders, their loved ones, and for the professional organizers who work to improve their lives. Consider the following as required reading.
Professional Perspectives on Hoarding
The academic and medical professionals who authored the following titles are well-educated specialists with extensive expertise in the field of hoarding.
Their writing will not only help you understand the experiences of hoarding clients, but will also provide guidance to avoid pitfalls and develop and refine solid, workable solutions. Although the material may sound academic in scope, don’t be daunted!
- Buried in Treasures by David F. Tolin, Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee
- The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Workbook for Personality Disorders by Jeffrey C. Wood, Psy.D.
- Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring: Therapist Guide by Gail Steketee and Randy O. Frost
- Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring: Workbook by Gail Steketee and Randy O. Frost
- The Hoarding Handbook: A Guide for Human Service Professionals by Christiana Bratiotis, Cristina Sorrentino Schmalisch and Gail Stekatee
- Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding by Fugen Neziroglu, PhD, ABBP, Jerome Bubrick, PhD, and Jose A. Yaryura-Tobias, MD
- Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee
- Information About Compulsive Hoarding with Renae M. Reinardy, Psy.D., LP
General Perspectives on Hoarding
The following titles were written with laymen in mind and provide clear, non-medical explanations and descriptions of the obstacles and challenges associated with helping those who hoard as well as those with related decluttering difficulties. These resources will expand your knowledge base as a professional organizer, and you may find yourself suggesting these books to the loved ones of hoarders as recommended reading.
- Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding, and Compulsive Acquiring by Michael A. Tompkins, PhD and Tamara L. Hartl, PhD
- Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother’s Compulsive Hoarding by Jessie Sholl
- Don’t Toss My Memories in the Trash by Vickie Dellaquila
- It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys by Marilyn Paul, PhD
- Making Peace with the Things in Your Life by Cindy Glovinsky, M.S.W., A.C.S.W.
- The Secret Lives of Hoarders by Matt Paxton and Phaedra Hise
- From Hoarding to Hope: Understanding People Who Hoard and How to Help Them by Geralin Thomas
- My Mother’s Garden directed by Cynthia Lester
Hoarding involves the obsessive acquisition of possessions. Although compulsive shopping is only one type of acquisition, understanding the underpinnings of consumer psychology will help you in your work with hoarding clients.
- Dematerializing: Taming the Power of Possessions by Jane Hammerslough
- Shoptimism: Why the American Consumer Will Keep On Buying, No Matter What by Lee Eisenberg
- To Buy or Not to Buy by April Lane Benson, PhD