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7 Tips to Help a Hoarder with Feng Shui

Chi/energy becomes stuck in a hoarded home

Chi/energy becomes stuck in a hoarded home

It is bizarre – I literally had the book Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter in my hand this morning, and then lo-and-behold her newsletter pops into my inbox not a few minutes later, which then led me to another article on her blog titled: Can a Hoarder be Helped with Feng Shui?

I have been helping hoarders to declutter for a number of years now and I am always interested on other’s experiences on what has worked or what hasn’t so this article was perfect for me. I am guessing it will be for you too! Read on…

I recently had a consultation with a full-on hoarder, so I thought I’d share some ideas on this subject in case you aren’t sure if you are one, or in case you know someone who is but doesn’t know it. I don’t really think that the label is necessary mind you, but if it helps, as in this case, I say use it.

I have helped and have seen other colleagues of mine help the chronically cluttered and the hopelessly hoarded. It can be done. I admire the friends and family members that try to take this job on for their lived ones. My caveat to you before helping is that you support yourself as much as possible first.

1. Make sure you have a clean, neat home that makes you feel alive and vital, so that when returning from helping your friend or family member, you can rebuild your personal energy. Just like the hoarder, you can’t afford to have anything dead (plants, animals or people in urns,) dirt, clutter, grime, or anything that is sitting on the floor (like a stack of magazines, boxes of papers or tools, etc.) or anything that has literally not moved in your home for years.

2. Give your furnishing a little shake and wipe-down to freshen-up the energy.

3. Open a window to exchange the air.

4. Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT bring anything home from the hoarder’s home and place it in yours – I don’t care how much room you’ve got to spare. Results I’ve seen from taking this on are weight gain and lung issue ailments.

5. A space clearing or ground  blessing may help start the process (rituals can be helpful in helping the person who needs the help to actually switch from being resistant to being willing to see from a different perspective and want to change.) You can use salt with the intention of absorbing negative energy (place a bowl of salt water on the front porch and invite stale energies out to be transformed into positive energy or released from the home – warning this is akin to the house throwing up which actually may make the client feel nauseous.)

You can also ring bells, bang drums or pots and pans or even play loud classical music as you circle the house (or property, as I’ve seen hoarding in the form of many cars on the property.) There are many other space clearing rituals out there – look one up and try it. I like the ones in my friend Denise Linn’s book Sacred Space.

Read the entire article here.

4 thoughts on “7 Tips to Help a Hoarder with Feng Shui

  1. Very interesting. I’ve been helping my parents de-clutter and I ended up with some of their things at my house. I don’t want them, I just needed to get them off premises before my Dad changed his mind or before he accidentally damaged things that could sell. (He tends to hold on to things and acquire more for so long that they lose their value simply because they’ve had mountains of other stuff put on top of them. Also, when my parents suddenly decide to let things go, they often give them to me to sell or use and I take them because I need to get stuff out of their house, which was getting dangerous. I’m usually so happy that they are agreeing to get rid of stuff I take it. Often it goes in the trash, or to donate, but the potentially valuable stuff sits in my house. But since I’ve had some of their stuff stored in my basement while I wait to see if I can get any takers on Craigslist, etc. I’ve felt — icky. I’ve felt like I was taking a step back. I’m going to get rid of the stuff as soon as I can. Problem is, some are antiques or collectibles and I need to try to sell them. Sigh. The last time my mom asked me to take stuff I said no. My house, which is full of kids, is actually smaller than my parents, who live alone. It doesn’t make sense for me to store the stuff. Sigh, again.

    • Hi Roxanne, I know exactly what you are going through. I lost my dad a couple of years ago who was a hoarder. It took the family almost 2 years to clear out the house – our childhood home – from all the things he had collected. It is certainly not an easy task, but one filled with much emotion. But when your parents are still alive that can be even more tricky as you don’t want to offend them but refusing to take their stuff or by taking it and donating it when they think you are using it. The question is, do you really need to sell the valuable stuff for cash, or can you feel just as good by knowing the charity you are donating to will be getting some great money to help their cause? And in the pay off, you will feel good as the stuff is gone from your home and you have helped someone else into the bargain. A win win win really. Sometimes it is not about the money, but the good you are doing society – your parents, your family and your charity. And much less stress for you than having to sell it too! Best of luck.

  2. I have taken some of their stuff and ended up donating it or, if it’s broken, throwing it away. It’s just better if they don’t see me do it. Plus, my Dad, who is getting up there, attempts to carry stuff to a nearby dumpster at night. To keep him from doing that I throw stuff in my car and drive away. As to the collectibles, yes, they need the money and/or the satisfaction of getting just a few dollars. I’ve noticed that even getting a few dollars for things motivates my dad to get rid of things. The other reason why I try to sell first is because my dad is, let’s say, frugal (huge understatement). He goes without things all the time and cries poor and still does landscaping for other people because he says he needs the money. If he could make a little money from selling the stuff he’s held onto for so long because “it’s worth something” maybe that could be his source of fun money. Or he could get something fixed in the house, etc. He and my mom go without so much. It gives him pleasure to think what he has has some value, even if it’s $5 for a lawnmower. It’s been a hard process — multiple bags of trash on various days, things that couldn’t be donated because they were ruined by animals in the attic, etc. and they didn’t even know. It’s been tough. So I try to sell, if it doesn’t sell, I give away. The tax deduction doesn’t help them at this point either. But I have gotten rid of so, so much stuff. I feel better. I hope they do, too. Plus, there’s a hazard with older people having to walk over stuff or breathe dust, etc. It’s gotta go.

  3. I totally understand about the satisfaction about receiving cash for their valuable items. It makes it easier to let go to know that you have something in return. Especially if they paid good dollars for the items in the first place. Have you thought about an antiques buyer or a consignment/2nd hand shop? They can come to the home and value the items and take them away so less trouble for you and your parents and much easier than listing Craigs List or eBay. If you google consignment shops for your area usually you can get a good list to call around and see which ones will come to you. Or you can speak over the phone describing what you have and they will suggest what to bring in, so you won’t waste time. Its great that they have a daughter like you who is assisting them so you should be proud of yourself, you are doing a terrific job.

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