PEERS offers a free, 15-week clutter skill-building and support group, Buried in Treasures. Please read the following Frequently-Asked Questions to see if this group might be right for you or someone you know.

Our September 2019 group is currently full. Our next group begins in February 2020. To add your name to the waiting list, please contact Jules Plumadore at 510-567-7612. (Adding your name to the waiting list is not a guarantee of participation.)

  • What is Buried in Treasures?
    • Buried in Treasures (BiT) is a peer-led, evidence-based group that blends support and skill-building to give participants the tools they need to manage moderate to severe levels of clutter. Over 15 weeks, we work together to develop an understanding of our personal relationships with stuff and how those relationships affect our impulse to acquire and our difficulty with discarding. We also create a non-judgmental community of support based on a shared understanding of what it’s like to live with too much stuff.
  • How do I know if this group is right for me?
    • This group is targeted towards people whose struggle with clutter has a significant negative impact on their quality of life. While we acknowledge that many people with mild levels of clutter can also benefit from support, this group addresses moderate to severe levels of clutter. This group may be right for you if your clutter:
      • Causes strain on your personal relationships
      • Creates health and/or safety hazards
      • Limits your ability to use living spaces for their intended purpose
      • Threatens your housing security
  • Is this a hoarding support group? Why do you talk about “clutter” instead of “hoarding”?
    • PEERS is keenly aware of the power of language, and we recognize that there is a great deal of stigma around clutter issues. While the word “hoarding” accurately describes the behaviors this group was created to address, we also know it is a word not everyone identifies with. If you do, that’s great – and if you don’t, that’s great too! We will use a variety of language in the group to talk about these issues; in our outreach, we consciously use descriptive alternatives in order to connect with those who may not identify with the word “hoarding”.
  • I’m feeling discouraged. How much can this group really do for me?
    • It’s natural to feel discouraged by your struggle with clutter. For one thing, there isn’t a lot of support available out there; for another, there aren’t a lot of people who understand what it’s like. This group provides both active support for skill-building that can make a real difference in your ability to manage your living environment, and a welcoming, non-judgmental community of people who really get it. If that sounds different than anything you’ve experienced before, you may want to consider giving this group a try – new strategies can lead to better outcomes.

  • What commitment do I need to make?
    • PEERS expects that all participants will make a voluntary commitment to this group. Each applicant must contact us directly; no applications from family members, case managers, or other supporters on behalf of someone else will be accepted. Each participant must commit to attending a minimum of 12 out of the 15 groups in order to receive a certificate of completion. Participants must also agree to complete reading assignments and to engage in de-cluttering activities between meetings to the best of their ability. 
  • I have a loved one who struggles with clutter and this group sounds perfect for them. How do I sign them up?
    • PEERS is happy to speak to family members and other supporters about BiT, and we encourage you to share information about it with anyone who might be a good fit for it. We also know that voluntary participation is essential to putting the life-changing skills this group provides into practice, so we only accept applications directly from potential participants.
  • Who is leading this group?
    • BiT groups are peer-led, meaning the facilitators get their expertise from lived experience, not from clinical training. Recent studies have shown that peer-led BiT groups are as effective as clinician-led groups, and in some cases even more effective. PEERS’ first BiT group will be co-facilitated by Jules Plumadore (PEERS Senior Programs Manager) and Zakiya Johnson (LEVS Program Coordinator). Jules has a personal history of struggles with clutter; he has worked professionally with clutter supports since 2011 and was half of the first Buried in Treasures co-facilitation team on the West Coast. Zakiya is an experienced group facilitator who also identifies as having clutter issues herself.
  • My question wasn’t answered here. How do I get more information?
    • For more information, please contact Jules Plumadore, PEERS Senior Programs Manager, by email at jplumadore@peersnet.org, or by phone at (510) 567-7612.
  • I’m ready to sign up. How do I apply?
    • Please complete an application. Your answers to these questions will help us determine whether the group is the right fit for you. If you need support completing the form, please get in touch with Jules Plumadore at the contact information above.