Toronto Estate Sale Company Reveals Hoarder Treasures

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Incidents of hoarding are on the rise in Metropolitan Toronto. While the news media reports on the most serious consequences of this growing social problem, such as safety and public health issues, long-time Toronto estate and content sale company, The Great Estate Sale maintains that, for collectors and content sale shoppers, there is a plus side to the growing numbers of packrats and hoarders.

Hoarding is a growing problem in today's society. It is estimated that in the United States alone there are over 5 million hoarders. In Canada, it is believed that 1% of the population could be considered as hoarders. In 2010, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of serious incidents, like apartment fires, reported in the city of Toronto, that were the direct result of a hoarder's obsession. "Hoarders are on the rise," states estate sale specialist Veronica Harding, owner of The Great Estate Sale (, a well-established Toronto estate and content sale company. "We are handling more contents and liquidation sales in the homes and apartments of people who I consider to be packrats or moderate hoarders. We are also receiving more calls from hoarder's relatives seeking help in liquidating a hoarder's estate or the contents of the jam-packed home or apartment of their packrat relative. In the very worst cases, family members faced mountains of junk and trash. Many hours must be spent sorting through the debris to separate items of value and important papers from the rubbish. The task can be daunting," says Harding.

According to research published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the obsession with hoarding often is the result of a traumatic experience. Loss and abandonment also seem to play a role in creating a hoarder. Stressful events and significant life changes, like the death of a spouse, can trigger deterioration in people with hoarding tendencies. As well, mental issues, such as social phobias, can exacerbate the problem. Hoarders often develop a relationship with their processions that replaces human relationships. Not surprisingly, seniors are found to be more likely to develop hoarding tendencies and, as our population ages, the problem will increase.

Researchers say that treatment to cure hoarding is limited. Well-meaning friends and relatives, who feel the need to intervene and clean up a hoarder's home, should proceed with caution. True hoarders are extremely attached to their stuff and have a hard time differentiating between what is junk and what isn't. The removal of any of their belongings will cause them great stress and anxiety. And, unless the hoarder has received professional help with their disorder, it is very likely that they will continue to accumulate stuff and fill their home once again.

"We have conducted a number of content sales in some clean hoarder houses over the past year, and while these sales can be quite lucrative, they most often take a lot more time to set up. The extra effort is worth it though. The feedback from people attending these sales has been very positive. We have found that people love these types of sales," says Harding. "Just because a person may be a hoarder or packrat, doesn't mean that they don't have some very nice belongings. Hoarders come from all walks of life. Often people who later develop hoarding tendencies start as serious collectors. During a typical sale of this nature, many valuable items such as antiques, art, china, fine furniture or coins can be found. For anyone who collects obscure items, a content sale at the home of a packrat or hoarder could mean a wealth of interesting objects. Stuff that most people would just throw away, a hoarder will keep. This presents a terrific opportunity for the collector and the chance to find a great new piece to add to their collection," concludes Harding.

About The Great Estate Sale: Providing professional estate sale services in Toronto, the GTA and Ontario for over twenty years, The Great Estate Sale ( are house content and estate sale specialists, delivering experienced turnkey management of house content liquidations and estate auction sales. Offering professional sale management with attention to detail, The Great Estate Sale are Ontario estate sale and content sale experts whose services include managing moving sales, downsizing sales, antique sales, complete estate liquidation, and marketing and selling household items. For a free initial consultation and more information about the many estate and content sale services offered by The Great Estate Sale, call Veronica at 416-431-6663 or email veronica(at)thegreatestatesale(dot)com.

Contact Information:
Veronica Harding
The Great Estate Sale
97 Amberjack Blvd.
Toronto ON M1H 2J6

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