I’m in my 70s and live alone in my own home. Recently, my home sustained serious damage during a winter storm and when rescue crews arrived, they identified not only storm damage but significant issues with hoarding that blocked off rooms, the doors and the heating units leading to a serious fire risk.
I recognize that I like to collect items and believe that my collections may have gotten a little too big for my home. I didn’t see my collections as a fire risk, or not being able to exit the home in an emergency as I demonstrated I could climb over my items to reach my door; but I thought I’d take the opportunity while my home was getting repaired to discard and donate many of my items. I recognized that this was a very emotionally difficult moment for me as the items had sentimental value and I also agreed to see a counselor to help me with my anxiety around cleaning up my home.
To this day, I continue to make progress on cleaning out my home with support from family, friends Protective Services and other professionals.”