Studies on Challenging Disorganisation

As part of my professional development I have been taking advantage of some of the informative teleclasses available through the The Institute for Challenging Disorganization. This US organisation has some excellent resources for people who are challenged by chronic disorganisation, and for professionals  who work with them.

Some ICD resources, such as the Clutter-Hoarding Scale, are free to the public and well worth a look if you are wanting help to understand how to assess a cluttered environment. The Clutter-Hoarding Scale provides a way to assess the level of disorganisation in a home based five factors: structure and zoning, animals and pests, household functions, health and safety and whether personal protective equipment would be needed to work safely in the environment.

The Clutter-Hoarding Scale covers all type of environments. Level 1 is a standard home without excessive clutter. A standard home can still contain clutter or look messy, but its not at a seriously problematic level. Level 5 is used to describe a home where the degree of hoarding is so great that there are major problems with structure, access and safety, and the resident is typically facing some type of crisis such as eviction or legal proceedings so that resolution of the situation urgent. This type of scenario requires a team approach from skilled professionals. The levels in between reflect increasing degrees of clutter, and help pinpoint the most significant issues, such as blocked doors, unusable appliances, and increasing safety and health risks. Professionals who are familiar with this scale can use it to identify priorities for change, and the level of support needed.

The ICD training covers diverse themes which are relevant to chronic disorganisation such as learning styles, life transitions, ADD issues, aging, mental and physical health challenges, and hoarding.


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