From “Hoarder” to “A Person Who Hoards”

How Person-first language can open minds and facilitate understanding in the Minnesota community.

Person/People-first language is defined as: “A type of linguistic prescription in English to avoid perceived and subconscious dehumanization when discussing people with a health issue or disabilities. It is a type of disability etiquette but can be applied to any group which is defined by a condition rather than as a people. Source:

hoarder to a person who hoardsExamples of Person/People first language as described by NDI (National Disability Institute) are quite helpful, (and a chart accompanies if you click on the link provided):  Positive language empowers. When writing or speaking about people with disabilities, it is important to put the person first. Group designations such as “the blind,” “the retarded,” or “the disabled” are inappropriate because they do not reflect the individuality, equality, or dignity of people with disabilities. Further, words like “normal person” imply that the person with a disability is not normal, whereas “person without a disability” is descriptive, but not negative.

Be careful when seeking help for a loved one who is hoarding, and make sure the help you are seeking respects your loved one as a whole person, and not just a label. There are many wonderful resources in Minnesota for people who hoard, including workshops like “Buried in Treasures” which has a sign up here: , and therapists like:

As with any shift, it will take time for this to catch on with the masses, and it can cause some second-guessing ourselves until it becomes second nature. That is OK. Just know that by practicing person-first language with your circle of influence, you are helping to change attitudes and erase stigmas – which are important shifts for our community at large.

“Hoarder” to “A Person who Hoards” Lets make a change. Contact Scene Clean today if you have hoarder cleaning that may be needed. We can guide you in the right idrection.