The Graded Clean is a technique introduced by Dr Chris Mogan and is currently being practiced with clients by Wendy Hanes. It is ideally suited to consenting clients whose home does not present an immediate or extreme risk. The Graded Clean is based on a change model that focusses on slow change by engaging the person hoarding in a process of agreed and achievable goals.
As mentioned in Module 5, Lesson 4, GRIP is a useful acronym for the process of the Graded Clean.
G Graded, small steps along a timeframe
R Repeat the timeframe until the person is ready to extend further
I Increasing intensity of anxiety when you start to discard
P Prolong the periods of decluttering when the client is ready
Moving through the steps too quickly can lead to feeling of loss, grief and lack of control.
In practical terms, this means clearing one area of the home at a time, allowing the client to acclimatise to the change and learn to maintain that specific area before progressing to the next area. For best results, the client needs to be working with a professional organiser and a mental health professional or similar to set goals and teach the skills required to maintain the newly cleared area.
Hear Dr Mogan speak about the value of slow change and graded approach.
Out in the Real World
We’ve met Susan several times so far, most recently when her tap broke and her sink blocked. Susan was participating in the Graded Clean technique. She and her Professional Organiser had worked together for six sessions to declutter her kitchen and it was getting a thorough clean. During the decluttering Susan was also working with her mental health professional to address the underlying beliefs that were contributing to her need to buy food and kitchenware far beyond her needs. Once the kitchen was clean, her PO spent several weeks helping her to develop new kitchen maintenance routines and put the skills she was learning to reduce shopping into practice. Only after Susan demonstrated a reasonable ability to maintain the kitchen did the care team move on to the living area.