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Do You Have a Latent Tendency to Hoard?

Pile of misc items stored in an unorganized fashionHave you ever watched the A&E television show, Hoarders?

A team of professional house cleaners and psychologists work with homeowners who have amassed so much stuff, their houses team with clutter, rodents and filth to the horror and disbelief of everyone around them.

What you might not realize is that many people have latent hoarding tendencies, which can be identified by taking the following quiz (adapted from a test by Dr. Robin Zasio, author of the book, The Hoarder in You.)

Hoarding tendencies are more common than most of us realize. Do any of the following apply to you?

  1. You have a hard time parting with items, even if you never use them or they’re broken.
  2. Many items around your house don’t have a permanent home.
  3. You tend to make piles of things, to be dealt with at a future time — and these piles often linger for more than a few days?
  4. There are areas in your home that have to be cleared off before they can be used for their intended purposes?
  5. You save things you don’t need or use.
  6. You have items that you purchased with the intention of giving them away as gifts.
  7. You have boxes of possessions that have moved with you from home to home but you’ve never gone through?
  8. You often buy multiples of one type of item because you forgot you already have it.
  9. You feel helpless when faced with a good deal, even if it’s for something you don’t need.
  10. You take free things (like shampoos from hotels or packets of crackers from restaurants) that you never wind up using.

If several of the above characterize your approach to possessions, you might have the inclination to hoard. But don’t worry. Just because you save hotel shampoo bottles doesn’t mean you’ll end up on the next episode of the show. You can tackle the clutter, clean the mess and start fresh in 2013. Here are 10 ideas from the housecleaning professionals at My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency to keep your tendency to hoard in check:

  1. If you never use any particular item in your home or it is broken, throw it out.
  2. If you can’t find a permanent home for something in your house, toss it out.
  3. Resolve to stop piling and deal with stacks of papers when they arrive in the mail or accumulate as you work.
  4. Clean off every surface that is covered so you won’t have to constantly shuffle items from one surface to another.
  5. Throw away anything you don’t need or use.
  6. If you purchased an item to give away as a gift, give it away.
  7. Take the time to go through boxes of possessions that have moved with you from home to home or bite the bullet and toss the entire box into the trash.
  8. If you realize you have purchased an item you already own, take it back to the store or throw it away.
  9. Just say no to sales on items you don’t need.
  10. If you won’t use a tiny bottle of shampoo, miniature bar of soap or a disposable plastic shower cap, resist the urge to grab it on your way out of the hotel room.

Once you’ve cleared the decks and need to get down to brass tacks, call My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency. We would love to help get your house in tip-top shape for the New Year. The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices.

My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.