Experience and wisdom, for a start! Starting in early 1980, I discovered a person that was referred to as a “hoarder”, in a high rise apartment in NYC. The tenant above this 75 year old retired social worker had an over-flow and it rained down on her apartment and several below.
At the time my company, DISASTER MASTERS® was the designated disaster response firm in NYC for The Travelers, Hartford and a dozen other insurance companies who were called in to mitigate further damage.
It took me from 1980 to 1995 to learn from my clients, the only way to help them recover their lives, over a period of time. In November2000, MSNBC filmed a documentary on my company, the DISASTER MASTERS®, that showed one of our thousands of clients that have failed to take good care of themselves. This one show is the genesis of BBC Life of Grime, New York, which documented my staff and I, over a 3 month period in NYC. Only one of my clients was allowed to be filmed in this series, as she was a victim of her husband’s behavior and it became the number one series in the UK for two years.
Days later, dozens of aggressive TV production companies, including Oprah and Dr. Phil, banged on my doors, wanting to expose these people as ugly and freakish, because that makes great TV on the OMG networks.
Since then, the Disaster Masters®, have restored over 5,000 individuals and families from a life of clutter, and coached them to manage their possessions and their lives.
Throughout time, we have recovered hundreds of people, that had been in therapy for years, and in not one case did therapy help to “fix” any of these clients. To the contrary, therapy had a tendency to feed the therapist, and not cure the client.
Hoarding Fact: In 1995, I coined the term disposophobia, which means “the fear of getting rid of stuff”.
Hoarding Fact: You are a hoarder, or better said a Disposophobic and this is proof.
Take out your wallet and car keys and toss them in the trash…You see you too suffer from some form of Disposophobia. You have a fear of getting rid of your stuff.