We all probably know someone who has way too much stuff. It’s easy for junk to pile up and take over our homes. Most of us eventually clean it up, but some people have a very difficult time with this task. This condition is called hoarding.

Definition of Hoarding

Hoarding disorder occurs when a person hangs on to a bunch of items and just can’t get rid of them. Doing so causes them significant distress. Hoarding can lead to dangerous clutter and unsafe living conditions. It can also interfere with a person’s quality of life. Up to 6% of people in the U.S. have hoarding disorder.

Common Items People Hoard

Things that hoarders tend to keep include newspapers, magazines, household goods, and clothing. Pets can add up too, which are often not properly cared for. Hoarders often pile up items that have little or no monetary value. The reason is they are convinced they might need the items in the future.

Hoarding Versus Clutter

If you realize you have clutter, that’s a good sign. You just need to motivate yourself to organize it and toss or donate stuff you don’t need. Hoarding occurs when people become obsessed with holding onto items which leads to clutter. The first step is admitting you need help.

Help for Hoarders

Here are some key tips to help you cope with the disorder.

Start slowly. Take small steps forward when dealing with hoarding. Slow and steady wins the race. Seek therapy. Hoarders often have physical and emotional baggage. A professional can help you cope with difficult feelings that surface as you start the clean-up process. Find a support group. Join a community of others who are in the same boat. You will feel less isolated.

How to Assist Hoarders

If you are helping someone clear out their excess clutter, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Respect their decisions. Hoarders are often emotionally attached to their items. Stuff that may not matter to us can be extremely important to them. Don’t take charge. If you take over their space, they might not let you help. Be patient. It can take a long time for hoarders to part with items. Celebrate successes. Offer encouragement when they finish cleaning up a small area.

Ways to Overcome Hoarding

It will take time, but you can overcome an obsession for junk. Here are some ways to help kick it to the curb.

Will you use it? If you have no use for an object, get rid of it. The question is not whether you can use an object, but if you’re going to actually use it.

Keep just one. There’s no need to hang on to extra bicycles or microwaves, for instance. Just keep one of them and part with the extras.

Make a few piles. Put aside one pile for items you want to keep, a second one for donations, and a third for stuff to throw away. Then, take action.

Don’t overthink it. Once you decide the fate of an item, don’t look back. You will never free yourself of clutter if the decision making process is too long or complicated.

Be strong. Be willing to face your fears and understand which are irrational. Also, be patient. No one overcomes a hoarding problem overnight.

Give Your Junk To Us

Furniture, appliances, clothes, and household items we no longer use can pile up in our homes. They take up space in the attic, garage, basement, or closet. Let Michael’s Junk Removal haul your unwanted items away! Contact us today at 443-929-2251, or visit our website for more information.