On living with a hoarder

My mother is a hoarder who lived with me for five years and now lives with my sister.
  1. Hoarding is about emotion, not about stuff
    Every single object in a hoarders life has a meaning or emotion attached to it. Take it away and you invalidate the feeling and/or erase the memory.
  2. Clean up the stuff and she will work extra hard until the space is filled up again
    Trust me, it took me years and years of cleaning up after her to finally embrace this truth.
  3. If something can't be found, "one of you must've thrown it out"
    This is a hoarders biggest fear.
  4. I'm always apologizing and explaining to anyone comes over and sees the condition in which she keeps her room.
    And waiting for a call from DYFS. I know, that's for kids, but it still feels real.
  5. There is no cure, there is only love and understanding and tolerance. And sneaking stuff out when she's not looking!
    I learned this from @mandabird who is a pro at it:)