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If you or a loved one has a hoarding problem, but you don't have a team of people to come in and help, what can you do to help get organized?

Peter says to start small. "Just the two trash bags a day. If you just walk around the house for 10 minutes a day. Fill one bag with trash. One bag with stuff going to [charity]. At the end of a week, a couple will have 14 bags of trash and 14 bags of stuff for [charity]."

Most importantly, Peter says you have to stop shopping and respect the limits of your space. "Look at the stuff you have and ask, does this help me live the life I want? Your best life? And if it does, keep it. If it doesn't, you have to let it go," Peter says.

Peter says people can learn two important lessons from Sharyn's story. The first? Look to a support group. "Sharyn got to a point through a loving family of seeing the need for change," he says. The second is to seek professional organizing help. "Look around. There are organizers around the country who can come in and help. The National Association of Professional Organizers. Check them online. They have people in every city across the country."

Peter says Sharyn is a great inspiration to others. "I think there's a massive change here, and I said that to you during the break. Just physically, emotionally, just in talking to Sharyn, there's a massive change," he says. "It's an ongoing process, and I think Sharyn's committed to that. And that's why I have great confidence that change has happened here and permanent change."
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FROM: Inside the Lives of Hoarders with Peter Walsh, Part 1
Published on November 16, 2007

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