Making Room’s techniques are based on the research and findings of Frost and Steketee, leading American academics, and we have developed our assessment and session support tools from their publications.
During our assessment, the client sets the goals they want to achieve – such as sleeping in their bed, being able to access the bath or shower, cook and prepare dinner in the kitchen, have friends around, and we agree a plan together.
We work with the client to sort through their collection, using a ‘3 bag’ approach. Our staff (Hoarding Recovery Assistants, or HRAs for short) bring 3 different coloured bags to sessions – a black bag for rubbish, a green bag for recycling and a coloured bag for charitable donations. With support from HRAs, clients decide where each item goes – either into one of the three bags if it isn’t being kept, or to a specific room or place in the client’s home. The HRA also supports the client to arrange for collection and removal of large unwanted items (such as furniture) or large volumes of specific items such as clothing or electrical goods.
Our programme begins with one two hour session every week, which increases in frequency as the client develops decision-making skills and can work more intensely. At the beginning of a programme, we ask clients to try and keep the de-cluttered space clear between sessions, and as the programme advances, we work with the client to agree decluttering tasks that the client will complete independently between sessions.