You wake up one morning and realize that your house is full of things that you don’t need. You have duplicates and triplicates of useless possessions, but you still feel the need to hold onto them. You cannot let go of your possessions because something in your mind tells you that you will need them one day. Welcome to the issue of hoarding. If you cannot relate to it, then you probably know/have known someone with the problem.
Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distresses at the thought of getting rid of the items. What’s the big deal? Aren’t the things yours anyway? Well, you could argue that way. But hoarding creates clutter, makes you waste money, and maybe a symptom of a bigger psychological disorder such as obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression.
Here are 6 ways in which you can deal with your hoarding issue:
- Learn to declutter immediately
When you buy something new, always have a plan for what you’re going to do with the old one. Don’t postpone it, because the more you do the harder it becomes. Then one day you wake up with a bunch of useless things convincing yourself that you will need them. Don’t be that person. One of the main preventative measures for hoarding is cleaning up clutter right after noticing it. Upon seeing disorganized items, move them to a proper place immediately. If there are items that can be thrown away, do so right then rather than later.
- Throw away or give away anything you haven’t used in a year
It’s easy to convince ourselves that one day, we will use particular items. At the moment, everything may seem valuable. Think about it. There are clothes you may not have worn in years, but every time you ‘clear your wardrobe’ you are convinced that one day the time will come. What’s the point of all this? If you want to deal with a hoarding issue, anything that hasn’t been used in over a year should be eliminated from the pile.
- Seek help
Oftentimes, those with a hoarding problem do not actually know that they have it in the first place. In a situation such as this, you may not be able to solve the issue on your own. If someone points out to you that you have a problem with hoarding, then be sure to ask them for further help. Why do they think that way? What things could you get rid of? This is effective because your helper won’t experience the same high levels of tension associated with making tough decisions and discarding items, which can make the process faster and less stressful.
- Set rules
You have to learn to be strict with yourself, and one of the best ways of achieving this is through setting rules and sticking to them. This should be done before you begin to get rid of things, and you should not allow yourself any exceptions. You may decide, “I need to throw out all magazines dated earlier than 2019” or “If I have not worn it in the last two years, it has to go.”
- Break it down
If you have accumulated clutter over a long period of time, it may be impossible to fix that in one or two days. So, break it down. Categorise when you’re going to deal with what, and stick to that. You could choose to work on a specific room each day or each week. This makes it less tedious and more realistic than having to do everything at once.
- Seek treatment
If you have tried and tried to get rid of your hoarding issue but it seems that you’re moving backwards, it may be time to seek professional help. Professional treatment for hoarding disorder can provide additional resources and support for individuals struggling with compulsive hoarding. Experts can establish an individualized treatment plan tailored to a patient’s needs and address the root cause of hoarding and any co-occurring disorders.
Ready to declutter? Find out How To Declutter Your Home