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How to Overcome Hoarding: Top 5 Tips

19 July 2021

The act of hoarding is considered a compulsive mental disorder that is associated with behavioral patterns. The disorder, which consists of an individual acquiring excessive numbers of items and storing them in a chaotic manner, can often leave properties in disarray and filled with extreme amounts of clutter. The items kept can be of little or no monetary sentiment and can become a significant problem if the items begin to interfere with everyday existence- for example, if you cannot access rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom. The strong unwillingness to give these items up- despite the fact they may impact living and relationship's-can ultimately result in impairment, stress, and lack of personal safety as the home becomes a hazard.

Existing as a feature of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), hoarding can make a person feel like a prisoner in their own home, isolated and living in hermit-like conditions. And while hoarding may stem from psychological conditions, there are steps that can be taken in addition to the life and support of friends, family and therapy groups to transform a person’s way of living and the appearance of their property. Here are 5 tips to overcome hoarding behaviours. For more information about the house, visit We Buy Any House.

Tip #1- Understanding Hoarding Tendencies:

Before you start manually moving the items out of the property, take time to understand the way your mind works. What kind of things do you tend to hoard? And more importantly, why is it those specific items? The best way to combat hoarding is to constantly question your mentality and reason behind keeping specific items. Another great tip is to see your property from the perspective of a friend or relative- what would they think about your home and the items in it?

Tip #2- Bravery:

The compulsiveness of hoarding requires a lot of mental strength to overcome. For those who hoard, imagining life without their items is daunting and a fearful prospect. Encourage yourself (or those who need it) to be brave and face their fears. Rationalising fears related to items in the home is a great place to start, and if necessary, make predictions of what will happen if you discard an object. Discard it and look back to see if anything bad really happened.

Tip #3- Smart Small:

The act of decluttering and helping an individual who hoards is an intense process. Simply taking over someone’s house and throwing away all their things can be extremely damaging and worsen the effects of the disorder itself. Hoarding is a form of mental illness, so it is best to make decluttering the hoarded items a slow and steady process, especially if you want to reverse the need to hoard.

The first part of the routine should focus on removing rubbish and ensuring it is far away from the property. Make the effort to take the rubbish to a local waste point, which is helpful as it encourages the routine of taking miscellaneous items to the skip instead of letting it pile up.

The next step is to tackle each room separately. Going room by room is an effective way for clutter to appear minimal and therefore more manageable. Assembling a house cleaning kit to use in various parts of the house is also a great idea, as it enables you to feel prepared for the task ahead.

Tip #4- Categorise:

Once each room has been emptied of rubbish, it’s a good idea to begin categorising items. Separating items into piles and labelling things such as ‘charity’, ‘sale’ and ‘keep’ is an efficient way to display things before you and give you a visual understanding of what is in each pile. However, refrain from making too many piles, as it could become confusing and strenuous for the process.

Tip #5- Keep It Going:

Begin to get into a habit of keeping the ball rolling with your newly adopted organisational skills. Once you’ve started, try not to stop. Maintaining a routine and more importantly, a positive state of mind will help you stay on top of the clutter in your property before it becomes an overwhelming problem. Applying a level of strictness to keeping the routing will be prove beneficial. Think about a reward system, for example, “I can watch an hour of TV after I have cleaned todays rubbish”. 

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