Everyone knows a hoarder or is or has been a hoarder at some point in their lifetime. What does this mean? Wikipedia describes it as a pattern or behavior that is characterized by the excessive acquisition of and inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that covers the living area of the home and cause significant distress or impairment.
While this description might seem a bit extreme, “hoarding” is actually categorized as part of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) family and is diagnosed as a mental disease – “hoarding disorder.” A hoarder is:
- A person collects and keeps a lot of items, even things that appear useless or of little value to most people, and
- These items clutter the living spaces and keep the person from using their rooms as they were intended, and
- These items cause distress or problems in day-to-day activities.
While it’s totally normal behavior to keep things around that spark special memories or capture certain sentiments, people should think about how they will organize and store these items so that the feng shui spaces of our lives don’t get cluttered both literally and figuratively. Clutter has the capacity to overwhelm people with the volume of possessions that have taken over the house or workspace.
The OCD Foundation suggests the following treatments for people to overcome the challenges of hoarding:
- Challenging the hoarder’s thoughts and beliefs about the need to keep items and about collecting new things
- Going out without buying or picking up new items
- Getting rid of and recycling clutter. First, by practicing the removal of clutter with the help of a clinician or coach and then independently removing clutter
- Finding and joining a support group or teaming up with a coach to sort and reduce clutter
- Understanding that relapses can occur
- Developing a plan to prevent future clutter
Shameless plug: Roost can assist you in organizing the precious things that you’d love to save but can’t store in your 2×2 San Francisco apartment. With reasonably-priced storage units available as close as your neighbor’s house, you can keep your things nearby while cleaning up and organizing your life a bit. Studies show that decluttering your life can help with decreasing stress, illnesses, mental health issues and fire and vermin hazards.
People are attracted to startups for one main reason – the culture that it offers its employees. Whether it’s an open-desk, collaborative environment or free food, beer, t-shirts or never-ending ping pong, beer pong, foosball games – “startup culture” is consistently used as a competitive recruitment tool for many companies in the tech space around the world, and one major reason that continues to draw people to the tech mecca, otherwise known as Silicon Valley.
When deciding to join a startup, there are three things that I look for to ensure that it will be the ideal culture fit for me – People, Product, Environment.
The first hires at a startup are the most important hires your company will ever make. Not only do these employees have to be very smart, they also have to be willing to wear many different hats, excel at problem solving on the fly, work really hard – at times pull all-nighters, embrace resourcefulness and each employee needs to have a personality that meshes with the rest of the group. This is definitely easier said than done but it is actually very important since working at a startup is like having a baby with three or four other people. The more you nurture the baby and each other, the better the outcome. You are building a partnership for the ultimate goal of raising a successful company!
The product should be innovative and in a space with clear market demand. Employees should be excited about either using the product or observing the positive impact that it could have on other people’s lives. It also has to be something that can potentially scale or catch on fast – the user acquisition pace can define the momentum within a company and encourage employees to work harder to grow faster.
The startup environment has to be conducive to generating creativity in a fun and collaborative work space. Being able to let your creative juices flow in the place where you are spending the great majority of your life is extremely important. It will inspire critical thinking exercises, brainstorms and scrums that are crucial to product development. For example, having whiteboards around to sketch out ideas, educational lectures and training courses, open-desk pod seating for easy communication flow, fun activities such as a gym, ping pong or pool table, and snacks, lots of them. Other activities such as offsites, retreats, after work outings, conferences (the fun ones), cool benefits, free stuff add to building a bonded environment.
Startups give people the opportunity to move the needle and make an impact based on the “ask for forgiveness, not permission” type of mentality. Employees own more responsibility, have more opportunities to shine, wear many different hats and can learn from one another based on the innovative minds that startups attract. Most importantly, startups instill the values of hard work, accountability and self-sustainability. What you put into it, you will get out of it.
Before joining a startup, I recommend asking yourself a couple of questions:
- Are you a risk taker or risk-averse?
- Do you like structure or prefer fewer rules?
- What kind of benefits are you looking for?
- How much visibility do you want within the company?
- Do you want to be home by 5 p.m., or are you up for the occasional all-nighter?
- Do you want to specialize or generalize?