Do you have a loved one whose home is filled to the brim with belongings, making it hard to even navigate through the rooms? Chronic disorganization is not uncommon, and you might be surprised to learn that a lot of people, especially older adults, struggle with this issue. In this episode of the Sage Aging podcast, we’re delving into the world of chronic disorganization and hoarding among older adults. Watching a loved one struggle with these issues is challenging in so many ways. So I invited someone who can shed some light on this topic for us and provide valuable insights and strategies to help you cope. Click the player above to listen to this episode, or you can watch on YouTube. The full transcript can be found at the bottom of this page.
For this episode, it was my pleasure to host Nicole Ramer. Nicole, a Professional Organizer, Certified Senior Move Manager®, and Chronic Disorder Specialist®, is the owner of Organized Haven, serving the Central Florida area since 2013. Organized Haven assists with the emotional and physical challenges of decluttering, downsizing, moving, or aging in place.
What We Covered
What is chronic disorganization?
What is the difference between hoarding and ordinary clutter?
Reasons individuals might struggle with chronic disorganization
[00:00:09] Liz Craven: Do you have a loved one whose home is filled to the brim with their belongings, making it hard to even navigate the rooms? It’s not an uncommon scene, and you might be surprised to learn that a lot of people, especially older adults, struggle with this issue.
Hi, I’m Liz Craven, and this is the Sage Aging Podcast.
If you’re new here, welcome, and if you’re a return listener, thanks so much for coming back.
Now, if you wouldn’t mind, I’ll ask all of you to take just a moment to subscribe to the podcast. If you would do that, and also if you could really make my day and share it with someone else who would benefit from the great content we’re delivering, that would be great.
In today’s episode, we’re delving into the world of chronic disorganization and hoarding among older adults. Watching a loved one struggle with these issues is challenging in so many ways. So today I’ve invited someone who can shed some light on this topic for us and provide valuable insights and strategies to help you cope.
Joining me today is Nicole Raymer. She’s the brilliant mind behind Organized Haven. Nicole and her team specialize in moving, downsizing, organizing, and senior move management. Together, we’re here to help you gain a better understanding of what this issue entails and to equip you with some practical tools to support your aging loved one who might be struggling.
So let’s get started. Nicole, welcome. Thank you so much for taking some time out of your schedule to join me today.
[00:01:46] Nicole Ramer: I appreciate the chance. I thank you for inviting me.
[00:01:50] Liz Craven: Oh, happy to have you. And you know what? I could spend the entire time that we’re going to be together today. giving you a rundown of Nicole’s incredible resume and her professional journey. Now, I won’t do that, but we will talk a little bit about that later. And you’ll find links in the show notes and the blog post of this episode.
If you want to learn more about Nicole and what her team are doing, it’s absolutely incredible and I encourage you to go check that out, but we’ve got a lot to cover. So let’s jump right in and get started. And we’ll talk more about the other stuff later. How’s that?
[00:02:24] Nicole Ramer: Sounds good, Liz.
[00:02:26] Liz Craven: .
So, I always like to say, let’s just start at the beginning.
Because having a good understanding of a topic will really help people to understand the things that come after. So let’s start by explaining what hoarding and chronic disorganization are, and how that differs from just ordinary clutter that you might have around the house.
[00:02:49] Nicole Ramer: Sure, it’s a great place to start and we all can relate to having clutter at some point in our lives, but with chronic disorganization, it’s something that we are challenged by for as long as we can remember, oftentimes. It’s something that maybe wasn’t taught and, we have gotten to a point in which we struggle on a day to day basis. It impacts our quality of life and the way we’re able to function and focus on the important things in life and having less stuff. The term chronic disorganization was coined by a certified professional organizer, Judith Kohlberg, who in 2001, created the national study group on chronic disorganization, which is now known as the Institute for challenging disorganization. And this has been since 2010. So, the mission of the ICD, we call it, is to provide education, research, and strategies to benefit the people that are challenged by chronic disorganization, and also the professionals that work with them. There’s a lot more to it than just you know, that before and after photo of sorting through mountains of things and recreating a space that works for them and then saying goodbye and good luck. It’s often times that people who truly have this challenge of getting organized and staying organized It requires things like maintenance and follow up and more than just the physical act of organizing, but also the education about how to work with someone who might be challenged by chronic disorganization or even severe clutter and hoarding tendencies. But, you know, again, we all have that clutter at our garage, for instance, that’s my, that, that’s my heaviness right now. It’s a project. You know, and it’s normal too to have like laundry piles and things that you just don’t get to today, maybe not tomorrow. Maybe it’s just a focus for the week and paper that collects and, and things like that even stuff that collects on your, your dining table.
[00:05:07] Liz Craven: And I think probably one of the most important things to acknowledge is that your home doesn’t have to look like a page out of Better Home and Gardens every day. We do live in our homes and you might have a pile of mail that sits for a day or two and you don’t want to let it get out of control.
And you should have a place to put those things, but that perfection is not what we’re reaching for.
And probably there are some other things that are contributing factors to that happening in the first place. So what would be some characteristics of someone who is struggling with this type of disorder?
[00:05:48] Nicole Ramer: Yeah oftentimes I see that it’s a matter of focus and so contributing factors could be something like ADHD. Something as Common as depression as well and anxiety can be a contributing factor because those things are just piling up and you know, someone who has a medical condition or a mental health condition that is not able to kind of set things in motion Again, having a lack of attention and knowledge of really how to get from point A to point B and, and what to think about can, it can be hard to put things in order.
I talk a lot on the blog about you know, minimizing big projects into smaller bite sized tasks. And those are some things that can be hard for someone like that. And again, who’s, been challenged by it for all of their life. Sometimes they don’t even know what it’s called or think they have a problem. And it could be other things too, like a traumatic brain injury or a post traumatic stress disorder and hoarding disorder. It used to be a subset of OCD and now it’s a standalone disorder which in the professional organizing world we’re grateful for. You’ve, I think we’ve all seen the shows, at least snippets of them, Hoarders, Buried Alive
and that’s a whole nother topic that we can get into that I’m not sure if we’ll have a whole lot of time for today but at a very basic level it’s I think I said this, from a lack of understanding and Maybe modeling, a lack of of modeling on a parent’s part of
the skill sets and the things that you should do every single day in order to keep the clutter from impacting the quality of your life.
[00:07:51] Liz Craven: And that makes a good, brings up a good point that although today we’re kind of focusing on older adults, this is not something that affects just older adults. It just, it seems that there’s more attention given to people who are a bit older because there are more people getting involved in their care and maybe People haven’t seen their home in a long time It’s not you know something that was that the family or close friends were really generally aware of and all of a sudden, They see this and they’re concerned and it’s this big problem all of a sudden and probably not all of a sudden It’s been happening for a while
[00:08:30] Nicole Ramer: Yeah, well, an older adults can be easily more easily overwhelmed than younger adults. So it is more It is more prevalent in older adults. I see often that they’re resistant to change. They might have lived this way all of their life and they don’t see it as being a concern, but there are fall hazards and other safety factors that can contribute to an older adult safety in their home. I am working with a client now who has his refrigerator plugged into an extension cord. And for that reason, as well as some others there, it’s a fire hazard and he’s not safe in his home. So we’re working with him on that and getting his appliances in better order. Older adults are slow to trust others as well.
So, they won’t. Even let you in their home if they think that you’re going to judge them.
[00:09:24] Liz Craven: And that, you know, that kind of leads into my next question is when you go to assist in a home where somebody has been struggling with this, I mean, that’s got to be a really big and overwhelming task. What are some of the unique challenges that you face when you go into a situation like that?
[00:09:49] Nicole Ramer: Well, it, it takes some time to actually get in in high clutter level homes. Sometimes we meet with our clients offsite so that we can build that trust with them before asking to be invited into their home. And even then, when we’re there, we might not even enter the front door. Our. prospective client comes out and meets us out front, sometimes climbing over mountains of things.
Again, a safety hazard to have those doors and windows blocked but it takes time. Just like it takes time to get organized and to declutter in chronically disorganized situations, it also takes time to build that trust. I’ve had a client who was the only, the only company he invited into his home other than really close friends was the cable company because he wanted to be able to watch TV and, you know, he got past that fear of judgment by allowing at least that one person to come in and set him up. It’s with clients like this that we do require outside support as well depending on the, the level of clutter and it’s one resource that I’ll supply ICD’s clutter hoarding scale. It’s our guide to determine if we are the right fit for our client alone, or if we need additional support of hoarding, cleanup companies, pest control mode, mold remediation, even, rehabilitation home or rehabilitation companies especially with older adults. We find to that contributing factor is loss of loved ones, a spouse a child. Even a parent, if you are younger, a parent as well, those really have a devastating impact on one’s, you know, like psyche and how they think about their possessions, especially those that might have been gifted by that loved one who has passed. And, and those things tend to become a safety blanket for people who are having a hard time letting go.
[00:12:02] Liz Craven: Absolutely. That’s so understandable. We have to cling to the things that bring us comfort, but unfortunately, sometimes that lands us in a place where our home is unsanitary, unsafe, fall risk, fire risk, all of those things. And so do you typically get for the worst of the cases, do you find that people are engaging in getting help for mental health, or is that something that you make referral to?
And, you know, there is, there’s such a high ethical question here about how are things handled and how is their privacy respected? And are we making sure that they are being taken care of in every way not just physically, but mentally as well?
[00:12:50] Nicole Ramer: Yes so the physical act of organizing for someone who is having a hard time and living in a hoarded home is something that I’m grateful for the world of professional organizers that we exist, but we are We’re not therapists and we’re not mental health professionals. And so yes, it takes a collaboration in these cases to help them and not just right now. But over time, and to help them work through those emotional issues, it can be something that takes a professional organizer down the wrong path. It’s, it’s very easy for us to care, about this person and to want to help them even with the emotional struggles that they’re having and just to walk them through a path of like recovering their mind and being able to function.
But that’s not what we’re trained to do. We’re trained to help them find organizing methods that work for the type of brain that they have especially considering maybe if they have dementia as well traditional organizing methods aren’t going to work. And so in addition to needing other support professionals there for the physical removal of junk and for having the proper PPE, also having access and referrals for mental health professionals is something that we look to.
It’s not something that is easy to relay to the person in need. It can be hard too to say, I, I think you could benefit from talking with someone and, and that’s
not me, but I’m happy to refer you to someone. So that’s what we try to do and try to make them a part of our team collectively so that we could be the local support and the organizing guidance. Again, based on understanding how to work with people like this
[00:14:58] Liz Craven: And that brings us to a great spot to talk about the fact that there are people who specialize in helping older adults to downsize and get organized. So tell us a little bit real quick about senior move management and the certification that you have for that.
[00:15:19] Nicole Ramer: Sure. So, When I started Organized Haven, it was solely to help people with their space, no matter the age, no matter the life transition, helping them feel organized in their space. And all of my clients, going back to the very beginning in 2013 have been older adults. It’s, it’s rare that we have that younger adult that reaches out because it’s something that they feel, they feel they can handle. And so three years in to my organizing business, I found this niche in helping seniors downsize because they are not just impacted by a temporary situation. Oftentimes, They’re impacted by a lifelong accumulation of things. And so, in 2016, we added senior move management before I even knew what a senior move manager was as local senior living communities started reaching out and asking me as a professional organizer, can you help our seniors get
ready to move? They’re in a place in their life where they know they need additional services. They know they want less upkeep and maintenance of their home. Their large home is no longer functional for them. And so they, they have this need and they know it of downsizing and maybe moving to a retirement community, even if it’s a 55 plus community. And they just need help getting there. They feel like they can’t do it for two years because it’s going to take them that long to sort through their stuff. And
[00:17:00] Liz Craven: Right. So hit the highlights then of what is a senior move management certification
and how can you find one if you’re looking for one in your own area?
[00:17:12] Nicole Ramer: Yes. So I found the National Association of Senior and Specialty Move Managers in 2017 and found that they were the The overriding association on teaching how to be a senior move manager and all of the things that come with it, the knowledge about working with older adults, the knowledge about relocation stress syndrome a little bit about hoarding tendencies and dementia, and then, of course the training that you need to understand how to pack and move and unpack and what I call pack with the unpack in mind. So having had found this resource a little late in, I did reinvent the wheel a little bit and but I found that the certifications what they require are experience, first of all Positive experiences from our clients in the form of testimonials proper insurance and training and you know, so from liability insurance to workers’ comp and everything that you need to keep your clients safe and your employees safe. So later in 2020 was when we became. A plus accredited with NASM for short, again, the National Association of Senior and Specialty Move Managers. And so what that means is we have processes and in place and guidance for our team so that. What we do works for the clients who we serve, and that everyone is, is trained and educated on all of the resources of NASM, as well as NAPO, the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, and now the ICD, the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. Education is very important to our team it’s very important that. To me that we are educators, first and foremost, and that we have, you know, the proper resources and tools to help people through these challenging life transitions.
[00:19:20] Liz Craven: That’s great. And a perfect segue into the next part of this conversation. So we’ve established that there are all kinds of professionals that are available to help you. You might need the help of, someone in the mental health realm, you might need a professional organizer or senior move manager. You might need extra family and friends who are willing to chip in and help.
And there are a lot of issues that can contribute to somebody who finds themselves in a situation where they’re living in a hoarded home. So now let’s turn our attention to solutions, because that’s what people really want to hear. We’re talking about all kinds of stuff, and they’re probably chomping at the bit saying, Enough already!
We’ve got the info you want us to have. Let’s talk solutions. So, gosh, I don’t even know where to begin with that. Let’s, let’s start at the beginning again. When you encounter a person… Who maybe is thinking about engaging your services. Maybe they decide they can’t afford it or they for whatever reason, decide to go it alone.
What are some things that you would advise them to begin with in the process of trying to take care of their situation?
[00:20:38] Nicole Ramer: It is common that someone who is in dire straits and really needs help figuring this out and getting through the clutter it is common for them, of course, to consider the cost and to ask questions about that.
It’s great to have an accountability partner, whether that’s a professional accountability partner or a personal friend, even neighbor, someone who knows the challenges you’re facing, someone who you can trust, someone who’s not going to be judgmental. These are people that we work with all the time, even caregivers with our clients who are there with them all of the time. It’s someone who they’re already paying for to have in their home, someone who they do trust. We educate them to be able to make do, do the right things, approach these conversations the right way. And so I find it important to at least understand it. If this, if this person, if someone listening today knows someone, loves someone who is struggling, for them to understand if this is chronic disorganization, if this is hoarding I’ll, I’ll share some resources later. But to, to have an understanding of how to have these conversations without making things worse, I, I feel is very important and something even as simple as packing for a move.
I’ll just keep it very basic the the things that they might do to pack a pantry for a move, they might not consider the space that all of these pantry items are going to and whether they’re going to fit first of all, but also whether they are even in date. So we find a lot of times that half of our client’s pantries are out of date and it’s just not something that they Do all of the time when they grocery shop is kind of some through all of those canned goods and boxed goods and and snacks and, and things like that, as well as medications go out of date and they clutter up quickly. But someone who is struggling with this, oftentimes they don’t respond to traditional organizing methods such as taking a project and picking it apart and making small bite sized steps is not something that they’re good at making lists and checking them off. Depersonalizing things oftentimes doesn’t work either. So if you’re trying to get someone to change their beliefs about a particular object, by by asking do you really need this? It’s not going to work for that person. They respond better to actually over personalizing things, for instance, and asking things like, does this item need you? So that’s one thing that we’ll use to turn the conversation around a little bit and help them Visualize their items as I don’t know, people with feelings, and
calling something a friend or an acquaintance can also work as well. or a stranger. So if we’re asking a client is this, is this item a friend of yours?
Do you want him or her around for the rest of your life? Or is this item an aquaintance, you know, they’re not really, it’s not really producing much value or is this an outright stranger and you don’t even know where it came from? Those are some ways that our clients who are challenged by chronic disorganization might be better able to, relate with and easily make decisions and that’s what’s hard really is the decision making. We’ll also treasure hunt. Treasure hunting can be fun. Honestly, whether you’re an adult or even an older adult, a younger adult, or even a child. To find those treasures like in this pile of 10 things, what’s your absolute favorite? What can’t you live without? And, and that can make it fun as well as just not working alone. So again, even having a friend or a family member or a neighbor to help you We, we call that social organizing or body doubling. A lot of our clients who are struggling with disorganization will tell us, Oh my gosh, you just being here. It motivates me to keep going and I thought about canceling, but you know, I, I, I knew based on our last sessions that I need you here.
just helps, it just helps me keep going and get through this pile with a little more fun.
[00:25:27] Liz Craven: Well, those are some awesome strategies for helping your loved one who might be struggling with this. Now I want to take it backwards a step. What are some things that we can do to prevent this from happening in the first place?
[00:25:42] Nicole Ramer: Yeah. Well, that’s actually another reason why I introduced organizing packages because people tend to wait until the end, the last minute to prepare for a move. They might have no idea that they’re going to need to move in a month, in a year, in two years. And so things easily pile up because it’s not something that they’re addressing early on. So from the stuff in the closets to the stuff in the cabinets and the dresser drawers even is to start early. And that can be easier said than done, of course. But. The extreme collection and storage of items in the home and the yard we see as physical signs of hoarding and so to have an understanding of your loved one’s space, how they’re living, and whether they are cluttered inside the home or even outside the home that awareness is can go a long way in, in just keeping in touch with your loved one, especially an older adult. And so instead of letting things also pile in those closets and cabinets and even in the attic or the garage If you do, if you are able to start early and focus on little pieces of your home. I like to ensure that everything in my home is something that I use every day or every week or every month, maybe every year.
Of course, we have the holiday decorations and things that don’t come out, but one time a year and those, those pile up as well. Downsizing consistently is something people don’t do. They take things in and if you have the space, I always refer to even a lady’s purse. The space that we have in our purses, we use every single bit of it. And if we don’t at least once a week, Take out all of the receipts and candy wrappers, gum wrappers makeup, you know, whatever it is that we’re throwing in there to, to go and have what we need they collect. And so it’s, it’s like that with our homes too. If we have the room, we’re, we’re going to store it.
And it’s like the saying, you don’t know what you have until you have to move it. It, it, things. Things seem to accumulate overnight, but they really didn’t happen overnight. They happened over time and I always suggest as you bring things into your home let two things go then you’re downsizing Consistently
[00:28:21] Liz Craven: I’ve always heard the one in one out, but I like one in two out. That’s going to make it happen a lot faster.
[00:28:29] Nicole Ramer: My husband doesn’t like it. He’s a collector. And so I, I give him this rule as well. We’ve had two of our own online estate sales with our partner MaxSold to downsize the stuff that he’s collected. And because he just, he, he has a passion for antiques and vintage things. So,
[00:28:49] Liz Craven: And it’s so hard to let go of things. And I think, especially when, you know, I know as a parent, so, you know, my, my daughter is pregnant with her first child and I’m thinking. Thank God! Not only am I really excited to be a grandparent, that I’m over the moon about, but I have an entire closet of things that I’ve been saving that belonged to my girls when they were kids, so that their kids could play with their toys.
So the Barbies and the Barbie townhouse and all that stuff sitting in there, and guess what? She’s having a boy!
[00:29:23] Nicole Ramer: Oh my goodness, yes,
So, surprise, the surprise, surprise is on you.
[00:29:30] Liz Craven: Yes, it is. I’m still holding out hope that eventually there will be a granddaughter that will play with all of those toys, and I don’t regret holding on to those. But, you know, aside from things like that, that you’re holding for a real purpose, I know that we have a closet full of things that used to belong to my husband’s mother, and we just don’t have the heart
to get rid of them because they’re memories of her and memories of the holidays we spent around her dining table and nobody wants the China and nobody wants all of those things and Convincing ourselves that it’s okay to let go of those things is difficult. And I, I certainly don’t have a problem with hoarding at, or keeping too many things I’ve gotten really good at downsizing those things, but I have more work to do because ultimately I don’t want my children have to have to deal with all of those things.
If you could give people a list of three habits that they should engage in on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis in order to keep their homes in an organized fashion, what would those three things be?
[00:30:45] Nicole Ramer: Other than the need to downsize consistently as you’re bringing new things into your home you also need to ensure that there is a home for whatever that thing is. In which it goes to consistently because we are constantly coming and going, right? And so if there’s no place for your keys, sometimes you have them in your pocket, sometimes you have them in your purse, sometimes they’re on the dining room table then, You have that constant stress of trying to find them. So maybe a third thing might be to always have a box in the closet, by the front door in the kitchen, wherever it is close by, that as you find things that you’re, when you’re searching in a drawer for something that you need and you see all of this other stuff that you really don’t. The box is there, throw it in the box, and when that box is full, take it to your nearest donation center.
[00:31:51] Liz Craven: Absolutely. And you know what? That’s a great way to use all those Amazon boxes because I know they’re on your porch too.
Every time a box comes in, it’s like, Hmm, you know, a box is for filling, right? So let’s fill the box. Let’s go around the house and
find some things that don’t need to be here anymore and let somebody else love on it.
Let somebody else benefit from it and let somebody else use it.
[00:32:15] Nicole Ramer: that’s right.
[00:32:17] Liz Craven: Absolutely. Okay. So let’s move on then to resources. What are some great resources that people who are either dealing with this or just simply want to educate themselves about chronic disorganization can go to, to dig a little bit deeper?
[00:32:35] Nicole Ramer: Sure. The ultimate resource I would say is ICD. So again, the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. You can find the site at challengingdisorganization. org. A couple of the resources that are on their website, as I said before, was the clutter hoarding scale. And that’s going to break down that level 1 to level 5 hoarding scale. So that you can see what clutter level you might fall into or your loved one might fall into. Another resource that’s on their website is the clutter quality of life scale.
So, if you still aren’t sure, You know, does this mean do, do, do all of the things that I’m going through and, and does my space, is it necessarily defined as chronic disorganization is it impacting my quality of life? You can find out by by reviewing and completing that scale. I have some books here.
I, if, if I am a hoarder of anything, it is of books. I just, I love to read. I love, I do to learn. My mom, she reads novels, love novels. I don’t get anything out of those. So, Romance novels, right? People like books for different reasons. I like books to educate me about the topics that are hot topics for me.
And chronic disorganization is one of them. Downsizing is another. And so I did compile a short list of, of books that I have read or am reading. One of them is buried in treasures. And I’ll just show them. This is the one that I’m reading right now. Buried in Treasures, Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding. I have read Chronic, Conquering Chronic Disorganization. This is by Judith Cole Kohlberg, the one who I told you about in the beginning, who discovered this how to define chronic disorganization, what it was, and, and, Has been on a mission ever since 1992, I think, on making sure that professional organizers around the world understand how to conquer chronic disorganization as well. Just a couple more. I’m right here. 10 ways to get help for hoarding and chronic disorganization by my friend and fellow CPO, Jill Yesko. She’s a senior move manager as well. And this is such a short, fun read with effective strategies. I recommend it to everyone. And then my good friend, Matt Paxton as well, keep the memories, lose the stuff. He is America’s primary top downsizing expert. And so he teaches you in this book, how to declutter, downsize and move forward with your life. The if, if someone has a need to find a qualified therapist as well for mental health I like to refer them to psychology today. And so all it takes is putting in your zip code to find someone in your area. We actually do have someone who Is is trained in helping people with hoarding tenants, tenancies and and that emotional side of of help right here in Lakeland. And we have a gentleman also in Orlando. And and just like with that psychology today, you can find, certified Professional Organizer at NAPO.
net. And a Certified Senior Move Manager at NASM. org. And I’ll include those, I’ll send those links to you.
[00:36:14] Liz Craven: Awesome. That is such an incredible list of resources that you just listed. And just so, if you’re listening. All of those will be available in the show notes for this episode and also in the blog post that accompanies this episode at eldercareguide. com. So don’t worry about trying to rush back and rewind and write those all down.
We’ll have those all compiled in one place for you. And Nicole, thank you so much for joining me today. I think we have kind of. Throughout the, the episode talked a lot about what you do, but if you want to do a quick recap for us and give yourself a shameless plug here, that would be great before we head into our last question.
[00:36:57] Nicole Ramer: Okay, sure. At Organized Haven, we understand why getting organized on one’s own might not be possible, especially in the cases that we discussed today. So, without judgment and with a completely customized approach, we’re proud to provide the educated resources and support that the members of our community need to be successful and to frankly have a positive quality of life. And as a chronic disorganization specialist, I work with clients challenged by chronic disorganization by guiding them in their decision making and by creating those systems we talked about with non traditional organizing methods that make sense for the way their brain works.
[00:37:49] Liz Craven: Awesome. Thank you for that. And thank you for contributing so much today. You shared a lot of great information. So the last thing that we’re going to do, my favorite question of every episode is, will you leave us with just a little bit of sage advice for our listeners?
[00:38:06] Nicole Ramer: Yes. If you or someone you know is challenged by chronic disorganization or hoarding, first, again, take the time to read and understand how to work through this and remember that getting through the situation is really just 40% physical organizing and 60% education. Physically reducing the clutter from one space, it really It doesn’t address the hoarding problem.
It just addresses the house problem. So, changing beliefs about possessions the meaning of those possessions that’s what it’s going to take to eventually reduce the number of possessions in someone’s house. And improvements, the last, the last one might be that improvements in organizing habits are necessary.
It’s a necessary component for change to occur. And that’s what we want for our clients and for everyone in our community, whether they’re a client or not is for a lifelong change.
[00:39:12] Liz Craven: Nicole, thank you for taking the time to be with me today. I really do appreciate it.
[00:39:21] Liz Craven: And thank all of you for joining us as well. I hope that this episode gave you some insight into an issue that is very challenging for a lot of people. And just as a reminder, be sure to visit eldercareguide. com. Where you’ll find the detailed blog post with links and all the mentioned resources that we had here today.
These references will also be listed in the show notes for easy access. And if you enjoyed today’s episode, I’d love to stay connected with you. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. By staying connected, you’ll be the first to know about all of our upcoming episodes, and you’ll never miss a thing.
And last, but certainly not least, your support means the world to us. If you found this episode informative and helpful, we would love it if you would leave us a positive review or give us a thumbs up, because that helps us to reach more people who may benefit from our content. That’ll do it today for today, friends.
Liz Craven, along with her husband Wes, owns Pro-Ad Media, publisher of Sage Aging ElderCare Guide, serving the local community for over 29 years. Liz lives in Lakeland and is very active in the local community, specifically in the area of aging. Liz serves on a number of local boards and committees including the Lakeland Vision and Age Friendly Lakeland.