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What is Hoarding Disorder?

Hoarding Disorder, according to the IOCDF (International OCD Foundation),

“ is a mental health disorder where people have difficulty getting rid of possessions that are no longer useful.

While most people go through periods during which they have trouble getting rid of things — for example, after the death of a loved one or when moving out of a childhood home — HD sufferers have difficulty parting with possessions all the time. Attempting to get rid of their things causes HD sufferers to feel significant distress, including when concerned loved ones try to get rid of possessions on their behalf.”

Organizing Should Proceed With Caution

It is very important that the person with the Hoarding Disorder be supported by a mental health professional. Organizational efforts will proceed much better if a team approach is taken.

You can inadvertently slow down progress, or worse, cause the person with hoarding disorder intense distress to the point of requiring hospitalization if you attempt to throw things away without the proper attention to the special needs of this population.

Finding a Therapist for Hoarding Disorder

The International OCD Foundation has information about hoarding and a searchable database of therapists and treatment programs.

You can also search for therapists who treat hoarding disorder at the Psychology Today website.

Organizers Specializing in Hoarding Disorder

The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) trains organizers and related professionals about chronic disorganization. There is a searchable database to find an organizer who specializes in chronic disorganization near you.

The National Association of Organizing and Productivity Professionals (NAPO) has a searchable database for organizers and you can specify to search for someone who has experience with hoarding disorder.

Additional Information About Hoarding Disorder

The Anxiety and Depression Association has some information to help people understand hoarding disorder.

The Chicago Tribune published an article for family and friends to understand hoarding disorder better.

Recommended Books About Hoarding Disorder

See the reading list below for additional books about organizing, decorating, & accessibility.

Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding by Jerome Bubrick

Buried in Treasures by David Tolin & Randy O. Frost

From Hoarding to Hope by Geralin Thomas

Digging Out by Michael A. Tompkins

Donating in Chicago

The Ultimate List of Where to Donate Household Items in Chicago

Thank You neon sign

Art and Office Supplies

Sarah’s Circle     (773) 728-1014

The Waste Shed     (773)-666-5997


Open Books     (312)-475-1355

Chicago Books for Women in Prison

Building Materials & Appliances

Re-Store (Habitat for Humanity)     (773)-539-6040

Rebuilding Exchange     (773) 252 2234

Cell Phones

Cell Phones for Soldiers     (678) 580-1976

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence     (303)-839-1852

Computers, phones

FreeGeek Chicago    (773).342.6205


Lions Clubs     (Contact the chapter nearest you for drop-off locations.)


Lakeview Pantry     (773)-525-1777 x212 Sara Roman

Common Pantry     (773) 327-0553

General Household Items and Furniture

Catholic Charities

Vietnam Veterans of America     (800) 459-8387

St. Vincent DePaul Center     (773).779.6700

Howard Brown Health     (773).549.5943

Furniture only

Epilepsy Foundation     (630)-812-2460

Care For Real     (773)-769-6182

Catholic Charities     (312) 655-7525

School Supplies

Cradles to Crayons     (312)-767-1008

Sports Equipment

Girls in the Game

The Sports Shed     (773)-360-1825

Chicago Public Schools (SCORE Program)     (773)-553-1540

Pets Supplies

PAWS     (773)-935-7297

Your favorite pet rescue will always appreciate donations. Food banks often are in need of pet food as well.

Professional Clothing

Dress for Success     (312)-527-0925

Bridge to Success     (312)0-733-9742


Sarah’s Circle     (773) 728-1014

Catholic Charities     (312) 655-7525

Cornerstone Community Outreach     (773)-271-8163


Family Tree Resale     (312) 918-9260

Cornerstone Community Outreach     (773)-271-8163

If you have an update for any information on this page, please let me know. 

Recyling E-Waste

Coming soon.

Moving Checklist

Coming soon.

Vireo Home earns a small fee from qualifying purchases from certain linked vendors. Everything I recommend is something I would buy and use myself. Gotta earn a little money for label tape and Sharpies….

reading list

some of the best books about organizing

5315 N. Clark St. #175, Chicago, IL 60640


My primary service area is Chicago and its near suburbs to the north and west, in a 10 mile radius from my office address (roughly to O’Hare). If you’re further away, gimme a shout anyway.

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