Ep 19 | Don't Forget to Breathe with Dr. Melva Green

January 9th, 2018 · 41 mins 31 secs

About this Episode

Dr. Melva Green, author, psychiatrist, and spiritual healer as seen on A&E's hit show “Hoarders” discusses the importance of making breathing room as you declutter mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Dr. Melva Green is best known for her work on the critically acclaimed A&E series Hoarders. She is a psychiatrist and spiritual healer specializing in REAL LIFE living. Dr. Green is the co-author of Breathing Room: Open You Heart by Decluttering Your Home, a wonderful blend of personal stories interwoven into a clear, practical guide on decluttering.

In this episode, Dr. Green discusses the importance of slowing down, taking a breath, and leading with compassion before we jump into the clutter. We also discuss the do's and don'ts associated with identifying and treating someone with a hoarding disorder and associated signs and resources.

To connect with Dr. Green, you can find her at www.drmelvagreen.com as well as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube at @drmelva. Dr. Green is offering our listeners a discounted, signed copy of Breathing Room using the following link: http://bit.ly/2qM2pVB

Spark Joy wants to hear from you! Tell us your burning tidying questions or share stories about how KonMari has impacted your life. Find us at www.sparkjoypodcast.com and email us at contact@sparkjoypodcast.com to leave a question or comment for a chance to be featured on next week’s show. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter via @sparkjoypodcast.

In this episode, you’ll enjoy:

  • What led Dr. Green to take a leap of faith, close her practice, declutter, and move to Costa Rica

  • The moments leading up to Dr. Green getting the call to be an expert on A&E's Hoarders

  • How Dr. Green's book, Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home evolved into a collaborative project with co-author Dr. Lauren Rosenfeld

  • How Dr. Green's spiritual approach to therapy broadened her client's experience and given client's permission to pursue another path and reduce shame

  • The role anxiety plays in disorganization

  • How being kind to yourself can shift the heart space to the self love and tenderness required to start the process

  • How the SLICE method (Stop & Listen, Intend, Clearing the Energy), a three step process described in Breathing Room, can help you jump start your journey to organization

  • Signs a loved one's life may be impacted by hoarding

  • Why common statistics tracking hoarding disorder misrepresent the scope of the public burden due to the "hidden" nature of the problem

  • How trauma is often at the core of a hoarding crisis

  • How in over 14 years, only two of Dr. Green's clutter clients were so resistant to change they couldn't be helped

  • How the support system of family can help hoarders successfully dig out and recover

  • How Dr. Green listens to her clients and reminds them to stop and breathe to hold a clear space

  • Dr. Green recommends resources on wwww.hoarders.org , including a scale to help you determine if you meet the clinical criteria for a hoarding disorder

Dr. Green's favorite tidying tip: Breathe...

What sparks the most joy for Dr. Green: Her son starting at Stanford University!


"Most of our clutter is unconscious."

"The mess is not IN the way, it's PART OF the way."

"Clutter is the external manifestation of what's going on in our internal space."

"When we stop and breathe we're able to get a sense of what needs to go and what needs to stay."

You can find Karin Socci at The Serene Home
You can find Kristyn Ivey at For the Love of Tidy