Overwhelmed By Clutter?

Our peer-based support group can help. You are not alone!  

Clutter and Hoarding Self-Help Support Meetings

Every Monday 7:00pm – 8:30pm (except Holiday Mondays)

             The Parkview Bldg – 100 Valley Ave – 2nd Floor Activity Room

                                                    Pleasanton, CA                                                

(across from Richert “Ace Hardware” Lumber Company)

 click here for map

No Meeting on the following 2017 Holiday Mondays 

Oct 9 – Nov 10 – Nov 23 – Dec 25

Here’s an excerpt from Shanna Perino, an Organizer:
Her handout for Fire Fighters. How they can help.
Lots of good insight, interesting information- BELOW:
Her website:
Serving: Nashville, TN and Surrounding Areas Have A Sense of Order, Will Travel! Long distance coaching sessions available nationwide and beyond via telephone and webcam.
See what you think about these, and what you can change:
Common Beliefs About Hoarders Are False
Common False Beliefs About Hoarders:
They must like living that way or they would do something about it.
Truth: After the clutter builds up past a certain point, hopelessness sets in and they
feel powerless to fix it. They give up.
They don’t want to be helped.
Truth: Many people struggling with clutter know they have a problem but are
completely overwhelmed and don’t know who to call or how to get started.
They are lazy – they just don’t want to do the work of cleaning.
Truth: Most people who struggle with clutter suffer from physical, mental, or
emotional limitations that prevent them from engaging effectively in the work.
They don’t care what other people think of their clutter.
Truth: Most people with clutter are very ashamed of their environment and often go
to great lengths to hide it from people.
They know better and choose to do it anyway.
Truth: People who engage in hoarding behaviors are usually predisposed to it
biologically, or have a brain-based chemical imbalance.
There is no good reason for hoarding.
Truth: There is usually a story behind the stuff. Many hoarders began the behavior as
a way of coping with a traumatic or stressful event.
They know better and choose to do it anyway. They could easily stop acquiring at any time.
Truth: For most people who clutter to extreme, they get “high from the buy.” The
behavior is like an addiction and they must actively resist a constant compulsion.
People hoard because they are materialistic. They value things over people.
Truth: It’s not really about the stuff for most people who are actively acquiring. It’s
about the high they get at the time of acquiring, or the sense of safety the items give
them once they are at home.
They don’t mind the smell.
Truth: They actually don’t smell the odors. Their smell receptors have either become
desensitized to the odors (aka “noseblind”) or have been damaged and are no longer
able to register odors (anosmia).
If they would just throw everything away and start from scratch they would be ok after that.
Truth: A rapid, “cleansweep” approach is more damaging than helpful. Usually they
will just re-acquire, and to a greater degree. The success rate for this remediation
method is zero.
There’s nothing anybody can do to help.
Truth: There are effective strategies that have a high success rate if applied correctly.

Click on the link below to read the full article:

SFPE Clutter Fire service 2017cepapersS15

See Louie’s latest poem!

Grass Don’t Stop Growing Just Because The Cow’s Eating It


You Might Be A Clutterer If:

 1. You feel overwhelmed by your clutter.

 2. You have tried to clean up or organize repeatedly, with no lasting results.

 3. You are ashamed to have guests over.

 4. It is harder to concentrate at home than in the outside world.

 5. You buy more of everything because “you never know when you’ll run out”.

 6. You have extra copies of books, software, clothing, tools, etc., because you can’t find what  you already own.

 7. Your partner expressed dismay about the way you live.

 8. You hang onto broken items because “They might come in handy”… or “I’ll fix it someday”.

 9. You feel like there’ll never be enough for you.

10. You believe that you don’t deserve any better than what you have.    


3 Comments on “Overwhelmed By Clutter?

  1. Hello,
    My husband is not quite a hoarder but he has accumulated a lot of stuff aka clutter over the 30 years that we’ve been married. I feel overwhelmed by my own clutter as well. Is there any support group for the partners of “clutterers”? Thanks, Pam

  2. You are welcome to attend, but
    Our group is for the Clutterer, themself,
    who are ready to change their life.

  3. Hi, my son is a clutterer having 6 out of the 10 symptoms listed. His work schedule conflicts with when the meetings are held as he works evenings. Are there other times when the the group meets? Or, do you know if there are other local groups preferably located in Contra Costa County?

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