Life can often be stressful and confusing. You can be so busy trying to juggle every aspect of what your day can throw at you, that problems such as hoarding can sneak up on you.
Many hoarders don’t realize that they have a problem. It’s a clinically diagnosed medical condition that can cause significant emotional damage to yourself and the people around you.
Hoarders often feel a great sense of shame, guilt, and embarrassment as a result of their cluttered and chaotic living spaces. In this article, we will give you some of the best decluttering tips for hoarders and how best to navigate the complexities of it.
First Things First: Address The Problem
The first step in any recovery is to admit that you have a problem. If you are living surrounded by items in a space that is unbearable and dangerous to be around and unable to get rid of anything, you may have hoarding tendencies.
Up to 5% of the world’s population displays some level of hoarding behavior; if you are one of them then it is best to speak to a therapist or psychologist and tackle the problem head-on. By neglecting to do this you will only exacerbate the existing issues and continue to hoard and live in an unsuitable living environment.
Make a Plan
After speaking with loved ones and medical professionals, if you need to, envision your end goal and make a plan. What is it that you want to achieve? You need to think about a home that is more manageable to live in, which is safe for you to inhabit and somewhere that you feel proud to bring friends and family members over to.
Hold that feeling of accomplishment at the forefront of your mind in this entire process, perhaps even create a mood board or a digital one, showing the kind of clean and decluttered spaces you aspire to live in.
The next thing to do is to consider what removal companies would be best for you. If you have lived in a cluttered environment which is a bit chaotic and unclean then you will probably need professionals for the job. It isn’t something that you have to undertake alone.
If you don’t feel confident or are too frightened to call, get one of your family members to discuss and plan for you. All of the negative emotions that you attach to the hoarding are not going to go away overnight. Use your support network to appropriately help you during this time.
Just because you have started this process, it doesn’t mean you have to go in all guns blazing. Start slowly, perhaps focusing on one of your smaller rooms, looking at what types of things you have stored in there and thinking about why you have decided to keep them.
Start to break down your decisions and reason with yourself. If you have old magazines from 15 years ago, old toys that you haven’t seen in years or receipts from a decade ago, it’s likely these are things you don’t need.
By taking things slowly at first and questioning each item, to begin with, will gradually build and develop your confidence. Set yourself goals and targets by going through your items and reward yourself when you do. For example: ‘If I clear all the cupboards in the kitchen, I will treat myself to a meal out.’
Place realistic and reasonable goals for yourself and don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t quite achieve them all at once. It’s easy to cycle back into your negative thought patterns, but focus on the success you have already attained.
Having a family member or loved one to help you with the whole process will also make things more manageable.
Ramp up the Tempo
Once you have started to build in confidence, capitalize on this feeling, and really go for it! This is where you can collect all your unwanted items together, whether it’s in the backyard or one of your rooms, and have a removal company come and take them for you.
This will, at once, completely transform your living space. You can instantly see all the hard work you have put in and envision how your new life will be without clutter surrounding you.
What’s good about using a removal company, is that the stress and anxiety of removing the stuff yourself is a non-issue. You can enjoy the newfound space without any of the heavy lifting!
Keeping Your Home Tidy
Once you have decluttered your house and it looks beautiful and new, the hard work isn’t over. You will need to maintain this level of cleanliness and resist the urge to start hoarding again.
It’s something you will need to keep at the forefront of your mind and not become complacent. Have a checklist of cleaning jobs to do each week and stick to them. This is also a good time to take a mental note of any items that you may have bought or acquired over the week.
You need to ask questions such as: ‘Do I really need this? Have I already got something similar? Is it necessary for my records?’ By making these smart mini-decisions on a regular basis it prevents a build-up of unwanted items and stops you from descending into hoarding behavior again.
Decluttering Tips for Hoarders: Where Can I Learn More?
We hope you have found this article on decluttering tips for hoarders useful and informative. By baring these tips in mind, we know that you can start to reclaim your life and get back to living how you deserve to be.
If you have any further queries or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to hear from you!