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7 Ways to Combat Your Hoarding Problem

May 13, 2022
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Not many realize that hoarding is a mental health concern. It’s not just hoarders who want to buy anything that crosses their way; it’s that they can’t control the hoarding habit. Why would someone want to be a hoarder when its psychological effects have a harmful and damaging impact on someone’s life? Those who hoard keep anything just like the behavior of hoarding, even if the object does not necessarily give them any sentimental value. Even if they can’t afford to hoard, they find ways to collect anything that catches their attention. It’s an obsession that if they could control, they would drop at any time. What’s even more difficult is that when they’ve accumulated a gargantuan pile of nonsense objects at home, they still can’t muster the energy or the courage to let them go. It’s difficult for them to throw away objects that they own which makes decluttering an overwhelming chore for them. The International Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Foundation says that there is an approximately 2 to 6 percent of the American population that lives with a hoarding disorder. 1 out of every 20 individuals may have hoarding qualities and go undiagnosed. But like any mental condition that seems too difficult to address, there are ways on how one can overcome the tendency to hoard objects. We have listed down tips below for those hoarders who want to put an end to their hoarding habit. Hopefully, the more you do these steps, the more it’s easier for you to refuse to hoard!
1. Do not let clutter build up.
Right after you use something or take something out of its original spot at home, make sure you return it immediately or discard it if it’s for throwing away. Do not collect clutter in any area of your home. It’s a preventative measure for hoarders who can’t stop grabbing anything and leaving them in different areas of the house. As soon as you see clutter, force yourself to stand up, walk to it, and pick it up. When you see something that is not organized at your desk or in your living area, make sure to clean up immediately. Do not let them be because they will just pile up until you no longer have the energy or desire to clean them. Throw or tuck anything right away.
2. Clean for at least 15 minutes every day.
Have a scheduled clean-up of your house for at least 15 minutes every day. This will make cleaning a habit for you and might even come off as second nature over time. While at it, why not go for a weekly plan so that you know what to clean on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and so on. You can assign one room or one area to clean every day until you’ve finished cleaning the whole house. Those who are plagued with an inclination to hoard find it difficult to manage their time so that they can declutter. You can do so many things to remove clutter from your home and to stay organized as much as possible. Every time you undress, you should put your clothes in a hamper. Every time you wake up, you should immediately iron your sheets and fold your blankets. When you see an empty disposable bottle, throw it away or save it for an eco-brick. If there is anything you can’t eat anymore in the refrigerator, don’t hesitate to discard it. Wipe the table with a damp cloth right away after you finish eating on it or if it’s dirty in whatever way.
3. If you haven’t used something for a year, throw it away with conviction.
Do not hesitate to throw away something that hasn’t been in use or has been serving you for a year. You have to combat that part of you that says to keep something just because you want to. Hoarders like to keep objects that don’t have any value to them, so this is a habit that you are trying to kill. For example, if the clothes do not fit anymore, decide to donate or sell them. If you have old newspapers and paperwork that you don’t need anymore, throw them away. You can recycle plastic bags by putting them inside an eco-brick. When an appliance is already broken, by all means, throw it away. You prevent the clutter from further collecting clutter when you dispose of items that haven't been helpful or of use to you for the past 12 months. You won’t be accumulating unnecessary stuff when you’ve developed that habit of discarding what you don’t use or what doesn’t work anymore.
4. Only handle it once.
Only handle it once or the OHIO Rule will help you observe proper mail management. It stands for “Only Handle It Once” and specifically talks about reading emails or physical mail. Like the first number in this list, you don’t want to read something and decide to respond to it later. You need to do the action at once after you’ve read an email or a physical mail. Make sure that you aren’t skipping anything as all details might be important. Sometimes, companies will send you promotional mail items. Unless they are useful or you don’t have one at home that you’d like to do so, then you can keep them and safely store them in a secured area. If you received a payment bill, do not wait for the disconnection notice. Pay it right away so that you won’t cram until the very last day.
5. Implore the help of your friends and family.
Do not be shy to ask for help from your friends and family in relieving a hoarding habit. It’s quite overwhelming to declutter, and what more for a diagnosed hoarder. It doesn’t have to be done all by yourself, you can always ask friends to help you declutter and/or family to clean up their respective mess. Because of all the stuff you’ve accumulated, we know that they are aware of your condition and would be delighted to help.
6. Ask for treatment
This is not enough to talk about the hoarding problem. But there are already treatments available; you just have to do a thorough research and ask for help from others to take notice and help you stop from hoarding. Talk to an expert who can help you address particular concerns.
7. Invest in smart storage solutions.
When everything is accessible, it’s much easier to get something and return it from where you got it. Smart storage solutions such as the overhead storage rack or the ceiling types can help organize the items you will store in them. You can also put labels so it’s much easier to know where you placed something without having to slide the whole ceiling or go through the whole wall shelf.