Hoarding was once a subtype of OCD

The Kitchen – surrounded by clutter, she’s left a 10-inch area to eat her meals

As recently as 2013, a hoarding was a subtype of OCD, but now it’s its own category (DSM-5). OCD was definitely prevalent, and all to evident in this home I recently visited in the Bay Area.  In this case, this person has good insight and recognizes that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is showing up in her apartment by way of too much stuff. She told me she felt like she is “buried alive with stuff, like a ball and chain around me.” She reached out to me for help, and with the sound of my voice, she told me, “you’re comforting my heart”. Yes, there’s a lot of work to be done, but I know I can improve the her health, safety, and quality of life with patience and compassion.

The bedroom, filled to the max with more bagged clothes. She only sleeps on top of her bed.
Self described “germaphobe”, she bags all her clothes to “protect” them.

CPO-CD® Class of 2019!

I am two-thirds of the way through earning my “credential” as a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization (CPO-CD®) program.  I am incredibly proud of this educational journey I have embarked upon!  This 20-month program requires an investment of me as a professional organizer of over $3000, and 200+ hours of coursework, lots of reading, writing, and analyzing books related to Chronically Disorganized (CD) clients, as well as service in my industry. I think education matters in my desire to work with CD clients. This program is not required or necessary as a professional organizer, but for me, it’s testament of my commitment to provide specialized help, especially to my CD clients.  Though I have 6 months more to go, I am (already) much more qualified and equipped than my competition, and I’m in a position to be of greater service to my client’s needs.

Happy New Year!

What’s your New Year’s resolution?  Starting fresh and getting organized?  Skills like sorting, making decisions and follow through are necessary to declutter your living space—Yes, I know…creating livable spaces is easier said then done. At a recent conference I attended, Michael Tomkins, Phd, author and authority on clutter and hoarding behavior, challenged the audience to think about the word “need” when sorting stuff. Try this rule:  Ask yourself these three powerful questions when you are sorting your stuff to determine whether it’s something that should be tossed, donated or kept:

  • is my SAFETY at risk?
  • is my HEALTH at risk?
  • is my FINANCIAL WELFARE at risk?

Other rules that you need to consider when sorting:

  • If it’s broken…can you let it go?
  • How many of the same or similar thing do you have? Find balance.
  • If it’s not repaired or used in a “reasonable” amount of time (less then 6 months), can you let it go?

Dig deep and ask yourself:  Will your life be negatively effected if you get rid of “it”?  Have you felt anxiety or depression because you’ve been without “it”.  What void is “it” filling? Have you spent hours, days, or weeks looking for “it”?  I can help with with all these questions, and together we can make a difference!  Call/text/email Cazares Organizing today!

Dig deep and you will get results.

My Clutter is like “Mountains”…

When I get feedback like this from my clients, it makes me feel so wonderful! This is why I love what I do so much…All my clients are worth it!

‘Thanks’ sounds so little for all you have done for me. All your hard work you do  seems effortless to you, but to me is like mountains.

My words, can never convey the respect and adoration that I feel for your ability and capabilities and your willingness to help me, and so cheerfully too!

Thanks again,


Downsizing with a Senior (before and after pictures)

Downsizing is not easy for anyone, in fact it’s downright stressful!  Our client, a senior, is moving from a large three bedroom home in to a one bedroom, in-law unit.  There’s so much to consider with a downsizing move. What will the new floor plan accommodate? What do I really need? What should I sell?  What should I donate?  The questions kept coming and swirling around in our client’s head. It’s overwhelming to be sure.  Today, we worked on the garage to make room to store the belongs she plans to take when the house sells.  There are lots of decisions to be made, but this senior was up for the challenge and did fantastic!



“Need” is a Powerful Word

What do you really “need” to keep?  Sorting your stuff can be overwhelming and cause a lot of anxiety.  To put what you really “need” to the test, Michael Tompkins, PhD, a licensed psychologist and board certified in behavioral and cognitive psychology, and author of many books regarding hoarding, suggests when you sort your stuff, ask yourself these three powerful questions:

  1. Is my SAFETY at risk?
  2. Is my HEALTH at risk?
  3. Is my FINANCIAL welfare at risk?

When you ask yourself these questions you may find that you really don’t “need” as much as you want to keep.  He also suggests, if an item is broken – let it go.  If you have others (usually many) – let it go.  If you don’t repair “it” in a month or two — let it go!  Other sorting tips suggested by Tompkins, is to use a three box sorting system:  HARD to toss; MODERATE to toss; and EASY to toss. By practicing these sorting tips, you will build a level of tolerance, which leads to less anxiety.