Old clothes and shoes in an overflowing closet. Second hand reuse. Decluttering and cleaning the cabinet. Second hand reuse. Decluttering and cleaning the cabinet

Hoarding is a disorder characterized by the difficulty of letting go of possessions even when they have no value. The result is an excessive accumulation of items that occupy space unnecessarily. If you’re suffering from a hoarding disorder, your living space might be full of items, making it difficult to move in your house freely. Apart from being dangerous, hoarding can affect your health, relationships, and ability to function normally.

Packed storage room filled with boxes, files, electronics, business equipment, sporting goods and household items.

The attachment you’ve formed to otherwise worthless items can make discarding them hard and leave you with guilt, anxiety, or sadness. You might be frustrated or ashamed of your condition and become embarrassed to invite family or friends to your house. To lift some burden off your shoulders, rubbish removal companies like the team at Dirt Cheap Rubbish Removal can help you deal with the items you decide to throw away when you decide to declutter.

Whether your hoarding is mild or severe, here are four helpful tips to help you overcome the condition:

  1. Start Small

Dealing with a hoarding disorder can be daunting. It’s a fearful process for hoarders that needs a gentle approach. The task might seem difficult or impossible to accomplish, leaving you confused and not knowing where to start. Keep in mind that you can’t overcome hoarding overnight. Rushing through it leaves you overwhelmed and unmotivated to continue.

Start easy as you work your way up. Discard things you consider the least important as you build your confidence. Rank items from easy to hard to let go of. Once you deal with the easy list, the ones that seem hard to let go take the place of the easy category gradually. For instance, you can start by removing old bills, newspapers, and boxes as you slowly move up the ladder.

  1. Set Realistic Goals

You don’t expect to deal with items you’ve hoarded for many years in a day. If your hoarding problem is large-scale, it’s unrealistic to expect to resolve it quickly. Instead, find a way to handle the task in manageable bits.

Depending on your motivation, you might want to deal with the big things to see faster change. Getting rid of furniture, refrigerators, and other clutter provides immediate gratification and motivates you to work on the remaining items. You work from room to room or deal with particular items like furniture first, then electronics, clothing, books, and so on as you work your way through each category.

  1. Deal With Clutter Immediately

Hoarders keep items that they believe will one day become useful to them, even if they don’t know their immediate use. Unfortunately, the more hoarders hold on to an item, the more attached they become to it. The best way to beat hoarding is by applying the ‘only handle it once’ (OHIO) rule to prevent you from moving items from one pile to another. 

Don’t overthink while you’re at it. If you go through a complicated decision-making process, you’ll never achieve your goal. Keep the momentum and discard unwanted items as they come before they become overwhelming. When your mail comes, throw away what you consider promotional mail immediately. Pay off what is due as soon as possible instead of waiting for the deadline. This way, you get rid of this small clutter with ease.

  1. Stay Organized

Feeling stressed, anxious, or uncomfortable when sorting through your possessions as a hoarder is normal. Instead of letting these feelings control you, stay with them until they pass. Afterward, assign actions like keep, donate, and throw away the hoarded items you’ll rake through. Don’t make too many categories, as deciding through many piles will strain your thought process and slow you down. 

To help you sort through your possessions, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I used the item in the past year?
  • Do I have similar items?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Will I use it?

You can sell multiple identical items that are still in good condition to reward yourself for your efforts, though. Associating decluttering with positive thoughts makes it a more meaningful endeavor. While donating, remind yourself that you’re helping someone.

Final Word

To effectively deal with hoarding, you have to identify the triggers. What situations, feelings, or places make you want to impulse shop or acquire things you don’t really need. Do you clothe shop to combat stress, visit yard sales when you’re bored, or buy magazines or books to keep you company when you feel lonely?

Identifying the triggers can help you find better ways to deal with hoarding. For instance, you can manage stress by exercising or engaging in sports. When you feel the urge to shop unnecessarily, take the attention elsewhere by watching a movie or taking a walk. Lastly, learning to see material things as just things will help you let go easily. You’ll not attach sentimental value to everything that comes your way.