ProdPod, a Productivity Podcast The Podcast of Personal Productivity Lessons in Two Minutes or Less

December 10, 2013  

Ray: We're discussing hoarding in the ProdPod series…and I have Professional Organizer Sally Reinholdt here to define hoarding and how it's classified. 

Sally: Hoarding is considered compulsive if it meets three criteria. First there is accumulation accompanied by great difficulty in discarding items that most people would consider useless or of limited value. The second criteria is that the clutter is to the point that the intended use of living spaces is severely limited or not possible. The third and last criteria is that the cluttering in combination with the acquiring and difficulty discarding causes significant impairment and distress.
Sally: The Institute for Challenging Disorganization classifies hoarding with a clutter measurement tool called the Clutter-Hoarding Scale. Homes are classified from Level I through Level V. A standard household is considered to be a Level I. Level II homes can have some narrowing of household pathways and inadequate housekeeping. Level III to Level V homes present increasingly serious situations. Clutter can be present outside as well as inside the home, there can be insect and rodent infestation and generally unsanitary conditions. Individuals working with hoarders in these types of situations need to have backgrounds ranging from but not limited to mental health and financial counseling to professional organizing, pest control and project management.

Ray: If you believe you might have hoarding issues, click on the link in the show notes here on to download the Clutter-Hoarding Scale [ ] tool to see where you fall in the scale. 

In the next episode we'll cover how hoarding is treated and managed.

December 3, 2013  

These next three episodes will be on hoarding and I have with me to help explain hoarding, Sally Reinholdt, owner of Commonwealth Organizing Solutions [ ]. Sally is a Registered Nurse and professional organizer who uses many of the skills she learned as a nurse to help her clients become more organized and productive.

Sally: The short answer is that it can be anyone. Hoarding doesn’t discriminate. In some cases it appears to have a genetic component as hoarding can run in families. It can be the result of a traumatic experience but sometimes there is no clear trigger. Sadly, hoarders are many times very creative people who see all sorts of potential in the things they collect. Unfortunately their potential for using that creative energy is stymied by their need to constantly accumulate. There are also high levels of anxiety, depression and perfectionism associated with hoarding.
Sally: The number of hoarders in the United States is very difficult to calculate because in so many cases hoarders are able to hide their situations from family and friends until some sort of event or crisis brings the hoarding to light. Depending on the literature estimates for the number of hoarders in the United States ranges from 1.2 million to as many as 6 million people.
Sally: May, 2013, was the first time hoarding was included in the DSM-V with its own discrete clinical definition. It was previously categorized as symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Ray: Not that sweeping all your stuff under the carpet is the solution, but putting your clutter out of sight is a productivity hack in which you can reap immediate benefits. Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that when you clear physical clutter in sight, you are less likely to be distracted and are more productive. If you're feeling distressed from physical clutter, take as much as you can and put it away so you see less of it…the more clear surfaces in sight the better. Try it. [ PUNI article, "Top-down and bottom-up mechanisms in biasing competition in the human brain": ]

In Part II in this series on Hoarding, Sally and I will discuss how compulsive hoarding is defined and classified.

January 24, 2013  

For ProdPod's 50th episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing fitness/nutrition expert, Noelle McKenzie (CEO of Fitness a Way of Life -, about some productivity tips for getting your workout / exercise optimized in under 10 minutes! Enjoy!

January 10, 2013  

I had the pleasure of interviewing the author of 25 Tips for Productivity Success (, Augusto Pinaud (, before #Prodchat on January 9th (See transcript: He highlights two of his book's tips for us. Enjoy!

May 1, 2012  

I had the pleasure of interviewing Paula Whitacre, principal, Full Circle Communications, which provides writing and editing services to help organizations reach wider audiences. She provided a great quick tip on writing productivity. Enjoy!

Oh, and if you get a chance, please subscribe to Paula's e-newsletter, Ease in Writing. (I think that link will work; if it doesn't, visit her website and subscribe from the email field on the main page of the site.) Ease in Writing is clear, succinct and always helpful.

« Newer Posts -

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App