Written by Russel Fitzjohn on November 24, 2023

Ideas To Help A Hoarder Declutter

Unless you're an intentional and committed minimalist, chances are that you've got a few piles of junk accumulated throughout your home and garage. Search in attics, on upper closet shelves, or under beds, and in most cases, you'll find some level of clutter, such as old magazines, holiday decorations, spare tools, or old wardrobe items now a few sizes too small.

But when clutter begins to spill over into everyday living spaces or to cause emotional, social, or physical challenges, it's time to take notice and consider the possibility that what may have begun as a seemingly innocent tendency toward collecting too much stuff has evolved into something bigger. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from serious hoarding behaviour, it's time to address the root cause of the issue and explore practical solutions for getting a handle on the situation.

While never easy, beginning the decluttering process is an empowering step toward regaining health and stability. At Super Junk, our compassionate and discreet hoarding cleanup services have allowed many hoarders to move forward. Below are some of the essentials we always keep in mind:

Understanding Hoarding Disorder

Though people often use the word hoarder in a colloquial sense, the truth is that Hoarding Disorder is a clinically recognized mental health condition that is associated with innumerable physical and emotional health risks. Defined by severe (sometimes debilitating) distress at the thought of throwing or giving items away, it's most effectively treated with a combination of professional psychological care and dedicated decluttering support.

How To Properly Identify Someone With Hoarding Tendencies

While a mental health professional will best be able to properly diagnose a hoarding problem, the following signs and hoarding symptoms may be indicative of a larger underlying issue:

  • Anxiety about getting rid of things
  • Continually adding to the hoard
  • Rooms or parts of rooms cannot be used as intended due to clutter
  • Excessive clutter is negatively impacting health, safety, and/or hygiene
  • Additional storage units are being maintained to house clutter
  • No recognition that clutter is posing a problem
  • A history of anxiety, depression, or trauma

Starting the Decluttering Process

Embarking on a decluttering process with a hoarder requires sensitivity, patience, commitment and, above all, a genuine absence of judgement. Here are some of our most practical decluttering tips for hoarders:

  • Start with a loving conversation to set goals and criteria for getting rid of items.
  • Create a schedule to help the process stay on track.
  • Remember that the hoarder is the decision maker; this is ultimately their process, not yours.
  • Be patient and take it slow. Doing too much too fast can derail the decluttering process.
  • Declutter one room at a time (don't try to tackle the whole house at once).
  • First declutter, then organize, then finally clean.
  • Consider working with a professional organizer if the clutter is severe.

Disposing of the Unneeded Items After Decluttering

When working with a hoarder, having a clear waste removal strategy is paramount. The quantity of clutter may render municipal garbage collection services insufficient, and a rented dumpster is often preferable. Hiring a junk removal company also allows trash to be removed expediently and efficiently.Seeking professional help to support a hoarding cleanout in Winnipeg? At Super Junk, our discreet, experienced, and qualified team removes clutter and safely disposes of items with the end goal of a clutter-free home while also respecting our customers' privacy. To learn more about our professional hoarding cleanup services, contact us directly today!

Article written by 
Russel Fitzjohn

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