Hoarding is a serious psychological problem that, according to various estimates, affects 0.4% to 5% of the population. Treatment options are limited; you can read about them in Buried in Treasures, and in Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding.
Digging Out takes a different tack: It focuses on harm reduction, rather than on overcoming the hoarding behavior. It's aimed at family or friends who want to help a loved one live more safely and comfortably - with an emphasis on safety.
People who hoard often resist any attempts to help them, including any treatment. For those who have become totally frustrated in their attempts to work with a loved one with hoarding issues, this very readable book with its step-by-step approach and its focus on the pragmatic might be just the answer.
Here's just one quote, from the introduction, illuminating some of the issues that come up when family members try to help a person with hoarding problems. A woman named Janice said:
I wanted my mom to get rid of the stuff so that she could live more comfortably in her home. My mom saw it very differently. She wanted to figure out a way to live more comfortably in her home with her stuff. That meant figuring out a way to make more room in her life for more stuff rather than clear out her stuff to make more room for her life.And here's a quote illuminating the difference between treatment and harm reduction:
If you're a therapist and focused on treating the hoarding problem, you might point to a possession and ask, "Why do you have this?" Someone focused on harm reduction, on the other hand, might point to a possession and ask, "Why do you have this here?"