In this post we are going to discuss decluttering tips for hoarders.
Are you a hoarder? What is a hoarder?
Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs. – Mayo Clinic
Hoarding can be so severe that the person who is hoarding may not see it as a problem. Even if they have to climb over piles of clothes or trash just to get to bed or use the bathroom.
Hoarding can range from mild to severe cases. And may or not have an impact on ones life.
How to Know if You are Hoarding
If you save an excessive number of items that gradually build up over time then you are most likely hoarding. Here are some other symptoms of hoarding:
- The need to save items even if they are broken
- Hard time parting and throwing things away
- Excessive clutter to the point it takes over rooms
- Piles of trash or food
- Conflict anyone who tries to clean up
Let’s talk about what you can do about it and look at some decluttering tips for hoarders.
How to Stop Hoarding
Honestly, I wish I could say just stop but it doesn’t work like that. In fact there may be a time when you need to seek professional help.
Most people don’t understand the severity behind clutter and the affects it has on us as humans. So you must first understand the complications of hoarding.
- Increased risk of falls
- Possibility of being trapped by falling items
- Conflicts with Family
- Social Isolation
- Eviction or more severe such as legal issues
Hoarding happens when clutter gets out of control. Being a hoarder takes the joy out of life, and can severely alter your quality of life as your numerous possessions spiral out of hand. Here are some ways to stop hoarding and start living the clutter-free life you desire.
Figure Out Why You Hoard
Everyone has a different reason they lean towards hoarding, therefore each person will have a different motivation required in order to quit. Think back in your past.
Have you always loved to keep things too long, or was there a certain point when the hoarding began?
Becoming a hoarder can happen very naturally. It can begin with a sincere desire not to waste, and to make use of what you have. It can begin with a love for shopping that gets out of control.
It can begin with a tragic event and the loss of a loved one, and an eventual unwillingness to let go of any physical memories you have of them. Your “why” will determine your “how” when it comes to changing your ways.
Think of a Few Small Steps
You don’t have to completely give your home a makeover in an instant. Begin thinking of little ways you can change the home you live in, in order to slowly turn it into your dream home.
Take small steps, such as making a decision not to buy anything other than necessities such as food. If you do buy something, make a promise to yourself that you will get rid of at least ten other things before it comes through the door.
Clean one section of your home at a time, even if it is only a desk or another small area.
Find Ideas That Inspire You
A little dreaming always helps you along with your goal of quitting hoarding. Save a folder on Pinterest with photos of minimalist homes that you love.
Envision yourself and your family living there, and think about how you might feel.
Make a small binder of ideas you find in magazines, if you like. Just be careful not to go overboard with the clippings to the point where they are contributing to the mess.
Get Professional Help If Necessary
There is no shame in seeking help if your hoarding goes beyond what is normal. Find an organizer who is skilled in helping hoarders reduce their clutter and organize their homes.
Don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help, as they love you and are more than likely to be happy to help you step into your new, clutter-free life.
If you feel like you just cannot make the changes, seek a counsellor who is familiar with hoarding so that they can assist you in freeing yourself from the prison you’ve enclosed yourself in. Serious hoarding is more than just a bad habit, and can be mentally crippling.
Being a hoarder can have a negative effect on every single area of your life. You can exchange this way of life for a clutter-free version if you wish. Take the necessary steps and turn your home into a haven that you always look forward to coming home to.
Decluttering Tips for Hoarders
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If you read this far then you are more than likely very serious about decluttering your home. Take a second and pat your self on the back.
I’m serious. Decluttering can be hard especially if you have hoarder tendencies.
But you made it this far and that alone separates you from the rest! Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Be Realistic – don’t expect a clutter free home overnight. Decluttering takes time for folks who don’t usually declutter on a regular basis.
- Start Small – you can start by waling through your home and picking up the trash. Next make piles (I prefer using boxes like these) one for donate, one fore trash, and one for keep.
- Use Time Management – Set a timer for 20 minutes. Once the timer goes off take a break and when you are ready reset the timer for another 20 minutes.
- Use the One – Year Rule – if you haven’t used it in a year toss it. This makes things a lot easier when trying to decide what to keep and what to toss.
Conclusion to Declutter Tips for Hoarders
Decluttering takes time. It just happens to take a little more time for hoarders. Seek professional help when needed. And do not be ashamed.
Hoarding is psychological, the good news though is it is curable. You just have to be willing.
Take small steps everyday towards your declutter goal.
Don’t try or attempt to organize until after you have decluttered your entire home. Organizing before hand will only distract you and you will most likely never get rid of any clutter.