Decluttering When You Have a Hoarding Problem: 4 Things to Remember


Hoarding is a complex psychological disorder that can have a profound impact on a person’s life. People who hoard often find it challenging to part with possessions, leading to cluttered and chaotic living spaces.

In this article, we will explore some of the most essential things to remember when decluttering your home if you have a hoarding problem.

#1 Seek Professional Help

The first and most crucial step when dealing with hoarding tendencies is to seek professional treatment or help. Hoarding behavior is not something that can be easily resolved on your own. As explained by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, it often requires the expertise of therapists, counselors, and organizers who specialize in hoarding disorder.

Mental health professionals can provide valuable guidance to address one’s hoarding problem. They can help you explore the root causes of your hoarding behavior and work on strategies to overcome it. Additionally, they can provide coping mechanisms to deal with the anxiety and distress that often accompany the decluttering process.

Professional organizers who specialize in hoarding disorder are instrumental in the practical aspects of decluttering. They can help create a structured plan and provide hands-on assistance in sorting, organizing, and disposing of items. These experts are trained to approach hoarding situations with empathy and understanding, making it easier for individuals to part with their possessions.

#2 Start Small and Set Realistic Goals

Decluttering a home can be a daunting task. Therefore, it’s essential to start small and set achievable goals. Trying to tackle the entire house at once is likely to feel overwhelming and lead to frustration. Instead, break the process into manageable steps.

Begin with one room or even just one area within a room. It might be your closet, a corner of the living room, or a section of the kitchen. Starting small allows you to experience a sense of accomplishment as you make progress, which can be motivating and boost your confidence. If you need it, there are services that provide hoarding help. They basically come in when you call them and take away the stuff you don’t need.

According to Victory Junk Removal, these hoarding cleanup services are perfect for those who struggle to throw away things on their own. Hence, set your cleanup goals and if you require help, rest assured that necessary assistance is just a call away.

#3 Sort and Categorize

When decluttering, it’s crucial to sort and categorize your belongings. This process involves separating items into distinct categories such as keep, donate, sell, recycle, and discard. Categorizing helps you make decisions about each item and ensures that you stay organized throughout the decluttering process.

As you sort through your possessions, ask yourself a series of questions to determine which category an item belongs to. Is it essential to your daily life, or is it something you haven’t used in years? Does it hold sentimental value, or is it an item that can be easily replaced if needed?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, people often hoard items that have little or no monetary value. This is particularly true for those struggling with hoarding disorder. Hence, you must be honest with yourself about the practicality and relevance of each item.

It’s essential to be selective and avoid keeping items out of fear or guilt. Hoarding tendencies often stem from a fear of needing something in the future or feeling guilty about letting go of gifts or mementos.

Try to remember that decluttering is about creating a more functional and comfortable living space. In the process, it’s okay to let go of things that no longer serve a purpose in your life.

#4 Take Your Time and Be Patient

Decluttering a home is a long-term process that requires patience and persistence. It’s essential to recognize that change won’t happen overnight, and setbacks are part of the journey. Be prepared for moments of resistance and anxiety, but don’t let them deter you from your goal.

Set a realistic timeline for the decluttering process and be gentle with yourself. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, emotional, and even exhausted during the process. Take breaks as needed and reach out to your support system, including professionals and loved ones, for encouragement and guidance.

Maintaining a sense of patience is crucial when dealing with hoarding tendencies. Understand that you may need to revisit areas you’ve already decluttered to ensure that the clutter doesn’t return. Overcoming hoarding is a gradual and ongoing effort that requires self-compassion and a commitment to change.


According to Verywell Mind, for those struggling with hoarding tendencies, the thought of decluttering their home can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. However, decluttering is a crucial step towards improving one’s living conditions and overall well-being.

If you’re having trouble decluttering or with your hoarding tendencies in general, keep these tips in mind. They’ll surely help you get to the bottom of your hoarding problem and deal with it appropriately.