I have just read the most amazing book. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things. The book is a compelling read, a page turner, sort of like watching an accident. You want to read about the people who are worse then you and you want to congratulate yourself on not being like them but you see little bits of you or your loved ones on the pages.
One point that was made very clear in the book is the massive, one day, huge clean out do not work and in some cases have lead to the suicide of the hoarder. The forced loss of their stuff is to traumatizing and they can not cope.
I watch the tv show " Hoarders" it is one of my guilty little pleasures. It also serves a purpose in my life. After every episode I toss out, recycle or give away stuff. The show reminds me to clear off my flat surfaces. After reading the book I don't know if I can watch the show. The empathy I have for the hoarders is to strong. It is a mental illness, one that can be mitigated, one that can be lessened with therapy and new coping skills. Not in two days of cleaning. When the coupon for 2 for 1 Pizza expired in 2009 is as important as photographs for family and friends throwing out the coupon is not the answer.
Read the book. If you have the condition find a professional to help. If a loved one has the condition find empathy and a professional.