We’ve written about the dangers of hoarding and how to spot it. If you’re struggling with holding on to unnecessary things, these tips can help you begin to declutter your life.

Fight the Causes

There are a few things you can do to combat hoarding before it begins. Being socially active is important to preventing the depression that can lead to hoarding. We already know that being socially active makes you happier, but it can also help you keep your home cleaner. Having friends over usually means you’re more likely to clean.

Being socially active is important to preventing the depression that can lead to hoarding.

Another reason many get themselves into trouble is through stress-activated ticks. This can be shopping, collecting, etc. By finding healthy ways to deal with your stress, you’re taking a big step in the right direction.

Finally, get proactive about cleaning. When you don’t clean for a while, it can seem like an impossible task. Regularly cleaning your home is the best way to keep the job manageable.

Declutter Your Life

Now it’s time to deal with the mess. One of the most important things to do is to not beat yourself up. If you do, you run the risk of worsening any emotional issues that may have caused the hoarding. You recognized the problem, so good on you!

Setting an actionable plan will make your cleanup goal that much more achievable. One way to do this is to split the house into sections, and clean one section each day.

We recommend using the popular OHIO rule: Only Handle It Once!

While you clean the rooms, gather the items into piles of keep, donate/sell, and throw away. We recommend using the popular OHIO rule: Only Handle It Once. It may be tempting to look over things before you throw them away. Just one more time… just to be sure. This is setting yourself up to fail. Keep reminding yourself all decisions are final.

The Aftermath

After you finish cleaning, the work is not complete. The ‘stuff’ may be gone, but what caused you to hoard may not be. This is why seeking professional help is key. A licensed professional will help you deal with the underlying issues and prevent the hoard from growing again.

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Recovering from hoarding is a difficult and intricate process. It may even seem scary at first. That said, decluttering your home leaves space for you to be healthier. It leaves space for family and friends. It leaves space for your life.

If you’ve beaten hoarding, we would love to hear your stories! Send in your experiences to living@medicareful.com. We want to share your triumph.

Further Reading

Address Our Mess — Clutter & Hoarding Clean Up Do’s and Don’t
The Spruce — Quick Tips to Stop Hoarding Before it Starts
Wikihow — How to Stop Hoarding