Friday, February 21, 2014

Collector Care Series: Hoarding Around the World: MEXICO featuring Nacho Eguiarte

Hola Coleccionistas! 

As you all know I have a passion for helping those with Hoarding Disorder. What you might not know is that I was born in Mexico, and have a passion for helping this culture as well. 
I have always wanted to know about the prevalence of hoarding in Mexico. Do people hoard? What is hoarding disorder called? What are the treatment plans available? So who better to ask than Mexican Professional Organizer Nacho Eguiarte?!

I met Nacho online via social media about 6 months ago. He was interviewed by Geralin Thomas, Linda Samuels, and Helena Alkhas. I started following him, and really enjoy his posts in Spanish about organizing. When I read he was going to go for his certificate in Chronic Disorganization - I knew he would be perfect for this article. 

Rachel: How popular is Professional Organizing in Mexico? Who are some Mexican Professional Organizers that you look up to?

Nacho: Professional Organizing is not that popular, talking about organization. You can separate people in two big groups; those who like being organized and have either an organizing routine or an iron discipline to keep things in control. On the other hand you have people who just work and live, in a way that they don’t want to worry about how things work meanwhile they function the way they are supposed to. That could apply to politics, health, house, etc.
As Mexico has become more and more consumerist, population have now the opportunity to buy things for the sake of buying. So, houses become more stuffed and the necessity of having those possessions in order has become clear. Also, since we watch shows on cable or satellite TV about renovations, interior design and organization, we slowly realized that are different areas of expertise new to us and want to try some of them in our homes.

Big stores like Wal-Mart, The Home Depot or Department Stores, are now aiming to the organization market, offering anything from boxes, containers and storage systems. So, in the short time would be like a “Trendy Activity”, organizing your home will be the new Tupperware Party, then people will realize organization is not just a trend is an actual way to live better and healthier. That is the point we will see in Mexico, happening sooner than later.
About Mexican Organizers according to NAPO, there are four P.O registered in the whole country, two of the in Mexico City, one in Monterrey (third largest city) and myself in Guadalajara (second largest city). But, there are maybe half a dozen who don’t belong to NAPO. Some of them have or had web sites at the time I started blogging about organization; the funny thing, is most of them are more focus to tell the ladies the ways of domestic economy or others talk about office productivity, the organization side is more collateral than a main topic.

ClaudiaTorre NAPO member from Organizarte and I, are collaborating in Spanish Organizing Connection at Helena Alkhas’ blog “A Personal Organizer”. I post 3 times a month and Claudia once on Sundays. Funny thing is, I have more communication with fellow Organizers in USA, like you, Geralin Thomas, Helena herself (great mentor) and Linda Samuels.
Rachel: How prevalent is Hoarding Disorder in Mexico? What is the word for "hoarding" in Spanish? Are Mexican people aware of this disorder? What are some resources for people in Mexico who suffer from this disorder?

Nacho: AcumulaciĆ³n Compulsiva” is the equivalent to Hoarding. Diogenes Syndrome is the way the disorder is know. There’s a tendency to believe that is just a senile people’s problem, and the hoarding behavior is studied as part of the syndrome not in particular.

I think the misconception about hoarding being an old people behavior is because our nation, always have lived under the shadows of scarcity, inflation, and economic crisis. Since I remember our grandparents or parents always taught us about being modest, having a good use of things, fixing everything when went broken, not tossing something you could use in the future, mending your clothes, not wasting food or resources, and we grew up with those thought very well imprinted in our memories.

So you can see, in some ages having a hoarding behavior could be read as a person who is foreseen futures necessities. And when you get old enough to qualify as and old person, you’ll become instantly a crazy old man or woman, because you like to have any kind of trash in your place. There is no awareness about the hoarding behavior, and knowing the disorder is not just about senility, is about an education we had and the overlapping of sad or dreadful episodes

As awareness is not clear and there’s no government project or aid specifically aimed to hoarding behavior, rather than seniors with mental disease or those who have no resources or pension. In some cases seniors and their families could access to professional help but as I told you, just as mental health issue in general, not in a specific fashion. If the family has economic resources would pay for a Psychiatrist or Therapist, but in the best of cases will be just about addressing the mental issue, neither the things nor the space filled with all kind of stuff.
I feel blessed and grateful, you invited me to this interview, because someday, I want to achieve the qualifications to become a Chronic Disorganization specialist, having proper classes with the Institute of Challenging Disorganization and being a subscriber.
Thank you so much for having me in your blog.

Rachel: Nacho, thank you for stopping by and for your detailed answers. Good luck with your certification, and thank you for sharing all about Hoarding Disorder in Mexico. 

I hope that more resources are made available in the future so that Mexican people are formally educated on this matter.
Rachel Seavey, blogger for Collector Care

Are you a Spanish speaking Professional Organizer? Please list yourself on this blog.
Are you a related professional with tips and advice for Hoarding Disorder in Mexico? Please leave a comment on this blog. 

Thank you for visiting and if you would like to read this blog in Spanish, please select "translate" on the bottom left of this page. 

Collector Care Professional Organizers

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Collector Care Collaborates with 1-800-GOT-JUNK on the CBS Sunday Morning Show with Charles Osgood 2/23/14

Christmas was just around the corner, and the phone rang. It was a young man in fear for his fathers safety and life. His father, a war veteran, had been living in a hoarded home with no lights or running water. He was afraid his father would die in the home, and no one would know. I could hear his voice shaking as he was worried and embarrassed at the same time. His father had been a hoarder for his whole life, he said. It had now gotten so bad that the doors were blocked with clutter and debris, and you had to climb a ladder to get into the home.
After speaking with this young man, we realized that he could not afford our services. He read on our site where it said "free estimates" and thought it was free help. I felt very bad to tell him that we could not help his father. It was also about an hour and a half away closer to Central California, so there would be no "free estimate" either. We hung up the phone. 

About three days later my phone rang again, this time it was PR for 1-800-GOT-JUNK, they were doing a special with CBS on hoarding and wanted our help. I had the opportunity to help one of my clients with free services, as long as they were ok with being filmed. I immediately thought of the young man who had just called a few days before. Let me tell you Collectors, I had to jump high to make this happen. I drove four hours total to go take pictures and interview this young mans father. Trying to get in touch with this man was almost impossible. His cellphone was dead, he had no power at the home, etc. I had to make the trek, myself, with Bella my dog (of course!).

When I arrived at the home I was greeted by our client John. He was a soft spoken man of small stature, dedicated to serving our Country. Outside reminded me of a junk yard, and I was welcomed by over 10 cats living on the property.  Junk, debris and four dilapidated sheds surrounded this tiny home. It was incredible.

The front door had been "RED TAGGED" (this image made it onto the CBS Show). The only entry was up the ladder into the attic and down a homemade drop into the home. You know I was all over it Collectors (I  am insured right?!).
After meeting with John for an hour, I headed home and sent everything I had to make it happen. We did the TV shoot less than a week later. Below are pictures from the shoot which lasted about 8 hours. The cleanup was about 10 hours and we were able to get the front room and one bedroom cleared out completely. It was myself, Tony (who was spotted twice on the CBS Special with his Collector Care shirt on), and four great 1-800-GOT-JUNK guys. The producer was amazing!  I have to give her major props for climbing up the ladder and doing the attic plunge. AWESOME girlfriend, you are really doing big things. Anyway, so it was a major event for John. He was able to get his home cleared enough for major repairs to happen. (Its hard to have electrical work done when your house is packed to the brim). We also cleared two giant truck loads of outdoor debris just to get to the front door.

After we finished the long day of work we waited for the show to air. And waited ... 
Then surprisingly enough we heard it would be on last Sunday (2/23/14)! We were told that not much made it onto the segment but that we should promote and watch it and so we did! It was a great special! The hoarding segment was about 5 minutes and the 8 hour shoot we did made about 4 seconds :) I was completely cut out for the amazing Dr. Randy Frost (such an honor) and it was fun to see Lee Shuer talk about his experience. The segment was incredible. I really enjoyed it. I would do it again in a heart beat. Thank you to 1-800-GOT-JUNK to helping us with our client, we could not have done it without you!

The special can be read online at

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Looking for Summer Camps in the East Bay Area?

Hello Parents! Single moms and dads, grandparents are all welcome! Are you beginning to think about SUMMER CAMPS? Well you should be! What are you going to do with your precious children while they are home for the summer? While you are at work slaving away, they should be out playing right? Below is a list of  links to Summer Camps in the East Bay Area of Northern California. Make sure you research (YELP reviews, G+ reviews, etc) and go ahead and sign up.

There is no need to procrastinate, and yes the spaces fill up. Be the first parent on your block to be organized for the Summer!

City of Pleasanton Summer Camps:
Steve and Kate's Kids Camp (Multiple locations, a personal fav)

Summer Camps in Livermore:

City of Oakland Summer Camps:

Summer Camps in Berkeley:

Town of Danville Summer Camps:

City of Concord Summer Camps:
Bay Area Christian Summer Camps:

Bay Area Jewish Summer Camps:

Bay Area Summer Drama Camp:

Please feel free to comment on this blog with your favorite local camps! Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your summer!!!

Need help getting organized in the San Francisco Bay Area? 
Visit our website at!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Collector Care's Rachel Seavey - Featured Speaker at the San Jose Spring Home Show March 8 & 9

Are you Chronically Disorganized? What is Chronic Disorganization? 

Come learn all about Chronic Disorganization (CD) March 8 & 9 at the San Jose Spring Home Show! I will be giving a presentation on CD to the public in the afternoon, and I will post the time on this blog as it gets closer to the date.

Feel free to stop by our booth, pick up some goodies, and learn more about Collector Care and it's passion to help those with hoarding disorder and CD. 

Click here for more details on the San Jose Spring Home Show! 

#homeShow @collectorCare

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Collector Care: Organizing Makeup and Cosmetics

How long do you keep your makeup?

Hey Collectors!!! I love my makeup! I have a lot of makeup! I show up to level 5 squalor jobs with makeup on. I am that chick. No doubt! However... every three months I go through and purge all my cosmetics that are expired. I have this handy dandy chart below to show me what expires and when.

Since expired cosmetics can cause skin irritation and infections, it's important to replace them before they go south.

Thank you

Unlike food, though, cosmetics aren't required to have an expiration date on their packaging. Instead, you'll have to keep track of when you opened it. Most products have a symbol similar to this one, in which the number signifies the number of months you have until the item is no longer usable. If you have a hard time keeping track of when you've bought things, use a Sharpie to write down the purchase date right on the tube or compact.

If you know how to take care of your cosmetics, your makeup should serve you well.

Collectors,  use common sense: If your gloss has cat hair in it, your nail polish is dried out, or your lipstick smells, it's time to say adios!

Product Toss it...
MascaraEvery three months
Foundation One year
Concealer 12 – 18 months
Powder 18 months
Blush/Bronzer 18 months
Cream blush 12 – 18 months
Eye shadow 18 months
Eyeliner 18 months
Liquid eyeliner 6 months
Lipstick / lip gloss 18 months
Lip liner One year
Nail polish One year
Makeup spongesWash after each use, then throw away after a month.

Thank you for visiting our blog Collectors. Do you need help organizing your makeup? I would LOVE to come over and help ... give me a call!

Rachel Seavey, Professional Organizer (and blogger) For Collector Care

Collector Care specializes in hoarding disorder, chronic disorganization and professional organizing. We  love what we do, and  provide realistic expectations and timelines. Please visit our website at  or call 925-548-7750
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