Decluttering Tips for Hoarders

Why Declutter?

Decluttering can be a quick and easy way to create a healthy environment at home or at the office. In fact, in an informative Psychology Today article Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter said that “Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed”. This is why we decided to compile a list of decluttering tips as a highly-trained, certified staff of hoarding cleanup technicians!

For people who have been formally diagnosed with a hoarding disorder we suggest contacting a mental health professional that specializes in hoarding to see what your next step should be.

This guide is designed to help people who struggle with hoarding reach their hoarding goals and keep their space clutter free! For situations where the clutter is too much to handle on your own, Address Our Mess Clutter Cleaning Service is here to help!

Six Decluttering Tips

Click the Tips Below for Easy Reference:

  1. Invest 15 Minutes Every Day
  2. Start Small
  3. Use a System (The 3 Container Method)
  4. Follow Through
  5. Stop Taking in New Things
  6. Donate Items to Charity! (501c3 tax deductible*)

*Check with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) before deciding where to donate to determine if the donation will be tax deductible.

1. Invest 15 Minutes Every Day

One may look at their cluttered home and feel the huge weight of burden from every item in every room. It seems easier to say, “I’ll start tomorrow… this weekend… next month.” When in reality, there is no better time than now to start the decluttering process.

Devoting 15 minutes a day, every day, to cleaning your clutter is the first step in a process that will produce amazing results. You may wonder, “Where do I start?” Pick a room. ANY room. Fully commit to the decluttering process by setting reasonable goals and stay focused. Stay motivated by keeping calm, cleaning with a partner, listening to music or singing and whistling while you work, don’t forget to keep it fun! Also, open windows and doors and let fresh air in so that the room you are working on doesn’t get too musty.

By focusing for 15 minutes a day on one room at a time, the clutter will disappear. Don’t give up! And remember: it’s all about respect. Respect for yourself and respect for your prized possessions.

2. Start Small

Clutter can be overwhelming and drain your energy. Thinking about the whole room and how much there is can overwhelm you to the point where you don’t get started. If you start with just one area at a time, you will make progress and not get as overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s best to just go over and pick something up and start there, the first step to getting started is to start.

3. Use a System (The 3 Container Method)

A very popular method for cleaning is the 3 container method, which we go into further depth on in our decluttering method article.

Organize Clutter

3 Container Method: The basics of the 3 container method are explained here; you take 3 containers, they could be plastic bins, trash bags, laundry baskets, or just make 3 clean areas on the floor for piles. The 3 containers are: keep, remove, store, and an option to add a 4th bin for donations. Take an object from the area you are decluttering and place it into one of the bins based on what you would like to do with that item. To break the project up you can perform this task once a day one item at a time. If you are unsure of whether you want to get rid of it try asking yourself the below questions!

Clutter Decision Guide Questions:

  • When was the last time I used this item? Is this an item I use regularly?
  • Do I have this item due to obligation or expectation?
  • Am I saving this item “just in case?”
  • Are there duplicates?
  • Is there another item with a similar function?
  • Am I keeping a broken item with the intention of someday fixing it?
  • Is this item worth the storage space?

4. Follow Through

Another issue that happens is after some progress on decluttering is made, some just stop. After making progress, some will decide “that’s enough for today” and not get back to it the next time they have some free time or they don’t discard the items in the "remove" container. It’s ok to take a break for health reasons but if the project is taking too long for you it may be time to call professional clutter cleaners. They can remove a whole house worth of clutter in a few days.

5. Stop Taking in New Things

This tip may seem obvious and easy but it is easier said than done! Sometimes, buying or acquiring new things makes us feel accomplished and happy. It’s important to remember that the new things being brought in can add to your issues so remember, it is all about quality, not quantity. Now is the time to start appreciating every single item in your home or office. By spending more time admiring and utilizing the things you already have, you will realize that you do not need nearly as many new things as you thought.

A good strategy to stop processes that add clutter is to treat purchasing new items like a reward. By setting up a realistic and attainable goal you can accomplish the task and you can reward yourself by buying a new item that you need. By working hard for and accomplishing these rewards you will feel a sense of pride when you bring that new item home!

How to stop taking in new items: a good rule of thumb to use when taking in new items is, “One in, two out.” For every new item introduced to your home or office, throw away or donate two items.

6. Donate Items to Charity! (501c3 tax deductible*)

Donating to charitable causes is not only a great way to declutter, it is also a great way to give back to the community.

Why donate to a worthy cause? For starters, 12.3% of the US population lives in poverty based on US Census Bureau 2017 estimates. Unused items buried in piles in a cluttered home can find better use in the hands of those who need it most. Plus, if you donate to a 501c3 non-profit company, your contribution is tax deductible*.

Decluttering does not have to be an overwhelming undertaking. By keeping these six tips in mind, home and business owners will be able to create a happier, healthier place to live and work. For more severe clutter or hoarding problems, refer to the Hoarders Do's and Don’ts Guide.

*Check with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) before deciding where to donate to determine if the donation will be tax deductible.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 09:31 by Kenneth Donnelly