Everyone has a point in their lives where life’s various obligations become a higher priority than keeping their home sparkling clean. While this is a common occurrence, there is a difference between a small clutter problem and one so big that it affects your daily life. Hoarding is a word that people often use when someone displays pack rat tendencies, but a real hoarding disorder is something that only a professional can help.
If you find yourself displaying hoarding tendencies, however, you’re not alone. Still, it can be a problem, as excessive amounts of clutter can have serious adverse effects on your mental and physical health. We’re going to give you some of the top decluttering tips for hoarders so that you can take back control of your home.
Start Slow, Then Ramp Up
When you see a large mess or a tone of clutter clogging up your home, your first instinct will tell you that you need to remove everything all in one go. However, pack rats and hoarders alike may find this overwhelming to imagine because it is such a large change to their way of life. Instead, you may want to begin with small pieces of clutter that you are okay with getting rid of. Then, you can slowly build up the motivation to do a much bigger purge once you become more comfortable with the idea. Starting slow, you may not feel like you’re not making a massive difference in the mess, but remember that a little bit of cleaning is better than none at all.
Don’t Bring in More Clutter
This tip requires you to be a bit more mindful throughout your typical day of all the things that could turn into clutter inside your house. There’s no point in decluttering your home if you’re going to continue bringing more mess into the situation. Try to reframe this process as a good thing. You’ll save a lot of money by not buying things you don’t need. You don’t need that free thing just because it’s free—it will only become more clutter. Once you start doing this, you’ll realize how many items you almost brought into your home without conscious thought, only to discard them like so many other things. Keep the clutter intake to a minimum, and you’ll start seeing real progress.
Keep Your Expectations Realistic
One of the top decluttering tips we can give to hoarders is to understand your limitations and temper your expectations accordingly. If your house is truly a mass of cluttered objects collected over the years, you aren’t going to be able to simply flip a switch and take care of it all the next day. It’s going to take time. You’re still doing the right thing, even if it doesn’t feel like you’re making much of an impact each day. Just remember to stay consistent with your efforts; a slipshod approach to decluttering isn’t going to enact as much real change.
Answer the “What If” Questions
If you’ve been a pack rat or a hoarder for any amount of time, you’ve probably asked yourself the question, “What if I need it later?” These “what if” questions can be dangerous because they allow your brain to come up with worst-case scenarios that lead you into more hoarding. To combat this, do your best to answer the question realistically. What would you do if you got rid of that item but then realized you needed it? The answer is often much more straightforward than you think—buy another one when you need it. Answering these questions will help you let go of items once you realize that being without them really won’t be that bad.
Start Somewhere Easy
Decluttering can be a painful process for some people, so the best thing you can do is to make it as easy on yourself as possible. Try starting your decluttering in an area of your home that is small or doesn’t have a lot of clutter in general. A bathroom is a great place to start looking for things you don’t need since you can look at your products and know exactly which ones you do and don’t use. This practice will help you build those decluttering muscles so that you’ll have less of a problem handling a more extensive project like the basement or the attic.
Write Down a Plan
It’s easy to get distracted while you’re cleaning and decluttering, which is why it’s a good idea to have a set plan of how much you’ll do in a day and for how long. When you’re making your overall decluttering plan, consider answering these questions:
- Where will you start?
- How much time can you dedicate each day?
- What time of day will you do the cleaning?
- In what order will you tackle each room?
- What will you do with things you want to hang onto?
- What kind of items will you throw away, and what will you donate instead?
This plan will keep you focused each day that you work on decluttering and reduce the number of times you allow yourself to get distracted.
Don’t Go It Alone
If you’re of the mindset that says, “my mess, my problem,” your thoughts are understandable. However, if you really believe you have a serious problem that you can’t tackle on your own, you can ask for help. Those closest to you will understand if you need that help to jump over those difficult hurdles. You don’t necessarily even need to ask for help with the actual cleaning. It’s also okay to ask for moral and emotional support during this time. It may be “your mess,” but you don’t have to isolate yourself because of it.
The largest clean-up jobs are hard enough on their own, so let Vine Disposal worry about the actual trash. Our dumpster rentals in Sandy Springs will help you put that clutter out of sight and out of mind. When the time comes to really start on that home deep-clean, we’ll be there to lend a hand.