If you look around your home and see that you’ve got too much stuff, most of which is useless to you, you just might be developing a hoarding problem! While the actual term itself is considered to be a mental disorder, you may not be a compulsive hoarder but still have hoarding tendencies. Either way, collecting more things and possessions than you are willing to give away is a pattern that can easily lead to a lifetime of hoarding!
If you can relate to any of the above, it might be time to learn how to declutter your home before it is consumed by all of your worldly possessions! Worry not, though, because decluttering is a lot easier than one might think. No matter how much stuff you have accumulated over the years, if you are consistent, and work systematically, you will have no problems in getting rid of clutter. As an additional perk, a clutter-free house makes it easier to clean and maintain a healthy home.
To help get you started, we are sharing our top five tips for decluttering if you are a hoarder or on your way to becoming one! Let’s begin!
#1 Cut Clutter at the Source
To put it simply, decluttering your home is of little benefit if you are only going to collect more clutter in the future. All your efforts will go in vain, and you will be back to square one before you know it. So, first things first, understand the source of the clutter in your home, and the reasons for holding onto everything that you own. This will help you identify the mental aspect of hoarding and, in turn, provide a better understanding of how to deal with it.
In order to tackle clutter at the source, refrain from bringing more things into the house. Regardless of how small or big an object may be, be practical and logical about whether you really need it. If you don’t have an immediate use for the object in question, that should be reason enough not to bring it home.
#2 Declutter Gradually
Starting small is very important because, for many, it is an emotional and overwhelming experience to suddenly disrupt the placement of things and, more so, to get rid of them. For these reasons, a gradual approach is highly recommended when decluttering a house that has been subjected to hoarding. Starting small can also help to reverse hoarding tendencies which is the ultimate goal.
To begin the actual process of decluttering, start with one room and pick out items that need to be trashed. This could be in the form of empty packaging or boxes from online deliveries, or just about anything that was meant to be thrown out but hasn’t yet (been discarded). Remember, it is easier to let go of completely useless items as opposed to possessions that are owned in excess.
#3 Segregate Items
Make ‘useful’ and ‘useless’ piles to segregate all the things you have lying around in a room. You may use boxes for this, or clear a large enough table or surface to divide the items. We understand that it may be difficult to deem some possessions as ‘useless’, however, this is where you really need to put in the extra effort and understanding required to differentiate between what you need, and what is of no use to you, and never will be.
As you begin to reevaluate your belongings, you will learn to be more accepting of letting go of certain things that do not serve you, and yet occupy space in your home. It is also advisable to further segregate useful items to determine what can be packed and kept in storage versus items that will be used more frequently.
#4 Ensure Adequate Storage Space
One of the reasons why clutter often accumulates is owed to the fact that there isn’t enough storage space for your belongings. While having excess possessions can also be a problem, how efficiently you organize storage space in your home is crucial. With the help of containers, dividers, and other organizing aids, you can free up a lot more storage space around your home, thus ensuring that there is a designated place for everything.
Of course, creating adequate space is the first step, with proper utilization of the space being the second. Make it a habit to put things back in their respective places as soon as you see them lying around, and ensure that they are put away neatly and not in a haphazard manner. It is also a good idea to reorganize cabinets and drawers in order to declutter these spaces as well.
#5 Declutter Daily
One of the best ways to declutter your home is to do a little every day. This doesn’t mean spending your entire day or long periods of time on the task, but rather, sparing a few minutes to clear up a table or surface that is cluttered with things. Similar to ‘starting small’, these little efforts go a long way in decluttering your house because it ensures consistency in achieving your end goal.
Whether you set a fixed time in your day to declutter, or simply do it spontaneously when the need arises, we advise picking at least one room (per day) to deal with some of the clutter, if not all. Bear in mind that even decluttering daily should not overwhelm you but rather, encourage you to reach your goal, one day at a time.
Hoarding can affect your overall mental wellbeing and therefore, must be addressed as early on as possible. Regardless of how cluttered your home has become due to this disorder, there is always a way out, and that begins with putting a stop to bringing more things into your home. From there, a slow and steady approach to decluttering is advised, all the while ensuring that you are ridding your home of useless items. Lastly, it is important to keep storage spaces well-organized so that there is no need to leave things lying around and cluttering up surfaces. By decluttering your home little by little every day, you are guaranteed to achieve your goal of living in a clutter-free home!
PS – We were named a top organizing and decluttering expert by Redfin. Check out the article we were featured in: 31 House Cleaning Tips That Professionals Swear By