There is an element of subjectivity when it comes to evaluating whether a situation in a residence qualifies as hoarding. While there are a number of different aspects to making a determination of whether or not a person is afflicted with hoarding disorder, the physical appearance of a residence is a key factor. A tool has been developed to provide at least some more objective guidance in regard to determining whether the situation in a residence amounts to:
- Hoarding behavior
- Hoarding disorder
The tool that have been created to assist in this determination is what is known as the Clutter Image Rating. The ins and outs of the rating progress as well as the meaning of a specific rating itself are discussed in this article.
What Is the Clutter Image Rating?
The Clutter Image Rating really is pretty much what the name indicates. It is a tool that displays a series of photos with varying degrees of clutter in a residence. The first image is of a room with very little clutter, perhaps a small amount of stuff in a corner. The images feature progressively more cluttered spaces as the numbers increase.
How Does the Clutter Image Rating Breakdown?
We provided a bit of information a moment ago about the mechanics of the Clutter Image Rating. There is some specific information that you need to better understand in order to have a more complete idea about how it functions.
There are nine images all together included in the Clutter Image Rating. As noted previously, the first image shows a room with next to no clutter.
As mentioned previously, there is an element of subjectivity when it comes to evaluating the level of clutter in a residence. For some individuals, even a small amount of clutter can represent an issue for them.
The purpose of the Clutter Image Rating system is to try to inject an element of objectivity into determining the status of a residence and the level of clutter present. This is accomplished by comparing and contrasting different levels of clutter in the same room over the course of a series of nine photographs.
The first three photos essentially demonstrate a situation in which clutter is becoming an issue. The progression is from very little clutter to a more significant amount in the third image. However, although more cluttered, there is not so much present that a situation involving hoarding disorder can be said to have developed – let alone an indication of hoarding disorder.
Images four through six are illustrative of an individual who is exhibiting ever-increasing evidence of hoarding behavior. Such a person is accumulating items, however the individual does not yet exhibit some of the more challenging aspects of actual hoarding disorder. For example, a person exhibiting hoarding behavior may be collecting and accumulating things. However, the individual has not reached the point where he or she has a pathological attachment to these items.
Finally, images seven through nine are of a situation in which an individual in fact appears to have progressively worsening hoarding disorder. By the time the level of hoarding illustrated by the ninth photo is reached, a residence has largely become unlivable.
The Clutter Image Rating system does not take a one size fits all approach. What this means is that one generic room is not used as the template for ascertaining the degree of clutter at a property.
The Clutter Image Rating system utilizes sets of photos that provide the progression discussed a moment ago in different rooms commonly found in a house:
- Dining room
- Living room
Who Developed the Clutter Image Rating?
The Clutter Image Rating system was derived from a study undertaken by RO Frost, G Steketee, and DF Tolin. The study was undertaken under the auspices of the International OCD Foundation. The Clutter Image Rating system has gained relatively broad international acceptance and is used widely around the world, including in the United States.
Last Three Images: The Need for Professional Hoarder Property Remediation
If a residence consists of rooms that are akin to what is represented in the final three images of the Clutter Image Rating, professional assistance may be needed to undertake hoarder property cleanup. The state of affairs at a property in which rooms are cluttered to the point illustrated by photos seven, eight, and nine is extremely serious.
There are reliable, reputable hoarder property cleanup companies like Eco Bear that are well-versed in addressing even the most challenging hoarding situations. In other words, a company like Eco Bear has the capacity and dedication to restore a property that can be classified as like that demonstrated in photo nine to a completely livable condition. This includes the remediation of any biohazards that may be present in the premises at the time of the hoarder property cleanup.