Hoarding is a severe psychological disorder that affects between two and three percent of the American population. This disorder, characterized by an excessive accumulation of “stuff” and an inability to discard any of it, even via cleaning, can have severe physical and mental health consequences if left unaddressed.
Do you or someone you love have a home that feels like it has more trash and items than walkable space? Do you need help figuring out how to stop hoarding? Then these five tips from the experts are here to help you.
1. Treat the Underlying Cause, Not the Symptom
What’s the one thing that makes figuring out how to stop hoarding so hard for so many people? They treat the symptom (the hoard) and not the root (the mental illness). Many who have hoarding tendencies have them as a coping mechanism for another mental health condition which has become a disorder in and of itself. So, even if you clear the hoard, if you don’t seek therapy for the underlying problem, you’ll end up back where you started.
2. Reach Out to Professional Cleaners
Clearing a messy home by yourself is a daunting task even for those without hoarding disorders. Clearing a hoarder house is a much steeper task, considering the level of mess.
Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone. There are many businesses like this hoarding cleanup company that can help you clean and decontaminate your home so that it feels like new again.
3. Sort the Trash from the Treasure
If you can’t afford or don’t want to enlist the help of a hoarder cleaning company, your best first step is to sort the trash from the treasure. Much of the clutter in a hoarder’s home comes from trash, e.g. old take-out containers, discarded junk mail or bills, bottle caps, and the like.
Before you begin parsing what you should keep from actual valuables, you should first clean up the obvious trash. Once that’s done, you’ll find it easier to navigate and feel less overwhelmed.
4. Throw Away What Hasn’t Seen Use for a Year
With the trash out of the way, take a close look at all the things you’re holding on to. If it hasn’t been used in a year or more, either throw it away or donate it to a local thrift shop. No questions, no excuses, no exceptions. Unless it’s something designed for sitting there and looking pretty, it shouldn’t be sitting there gathering dust.
5. Spend Fifteen Minutes Each Day Decluttering
Once you’ve got your home cleaned either professionally or on your own, maintenance is key. Spend fifteen minutes each day decluttering to stay on top of any accumulated mess.
How to Stop Hoarding: A Review
To recap, here’s how to stop hoarding, according to the experts. You should treat any underlying mental health concerns. Then, either contact a professional or find cleaning methods that work for you. Once that’s done, take a little time each day to keep the house clean. If you do these things, you’ll be able to keep your home from becoming a hoarder house again.
If you found this guide helpful and would like more how-tos to keep your home neat and tidy, check out our blog each day for more content like this.