Many of us experience clutter at some point in our lives – whether our own or our family’s. Sometimes, decluttering can get so bad that it feels like an impossible challenge. But trust us: it can be tackled and overcome with the right approach!
If you’re looking for decluttering tips for hoarders, you’ve come to the right place. From decluttering in stints to deciding what to keep and donate, we’ll take you through some of the most effective ways to declutter your living spaces.
But first, let’s take a closer look at what hoarding means.
What is a hoarder?
There is a difference between hoarding and collecting. Collections are typically well organised; the collector knows where to locate their belongings, which are stored tidily.
According to the mental health charity Mind, “hoarding disorder is a mental health problem that a doctor can diagnose. But you might also experience hoarding as part of other mental or physical health problems. Treating the physical or mental health problem in these cases may stop you from hoarding.”
Hoarding is when you have so much clutter in your home that it becomes unmanageable and impacts your day-to-day life.
You might not be able to get rid of things because you feel strongly attached to them. You may keep things ‘just in case’ you’ll need them in the future, even if you haven’t used them in a long time. You may also be worried about how you’ll feel in their absence.
If your hoarding is getting you down, you may want to consider seeking treatment. Usually, the first step is to visit your GP, who may assess and refer you to a mental health specialist.
Top decluttering tips
Most of us have areas of our home that could do with a declutter.
Whether it’s the clothes bursting out of your wardrobe or the garden shed overflowing with duplicate tools if the amount of clutter you have is leaving you feeling overwhelmed, follow our top tips for decluttering your living space.
1. Pick a starting point
Begin your decluttering journey in an accessible room – one that contains items that don’t have as much emotional value (in other words, they aren’t sentimental items).
This will help you practise decluttering and begin making decisions about what to keep and what to cull. The bathroom can be a great place to start.
2. Donate your clutter
One person’s clutter is another person’s treasure trove. Try to donate what you can to your local charity shop. You can donate your furniture, electrical appliances and a range of other items to Reuse Network, a charity that helps low-income households.
3. Buy one, donate one
Adopt the ‘one in, one out’ rule to avoid re-cluttering your home. Donate the old version – or another unused item in your home – to charity when you purchase a new item. You can also recycle items such as old clothes at specialist recycling bins.
4. Hold off buying storage
We’d suggest holding off buying storage containers until after you’ve decluttered. After you’ve decluttered, you can reassess the situation to see if you’d benefit from some under-the-bed storage containers to make your home tidier.
5. Start small and declutter in stints
The decluttering process can initially feel overwhelming, but don’t let it put you off. Getting rid of your overflowing cabinet or bookshelf is a start. Decluttering sessions can be more effective than one big declutter.
Removing one or two things at a time can get you used to decluttering. If you go ‘all in’ and start putting heaps of things into donation bags, you may find yourself rifling through them the next day to retrieve items!
6. Schedule time to tidy
You’ll have to make time in your schedule for tidying up to become genuinely clutter-free.
Start with 15-30 minutes in the evening, and be sure to put it in your calendar, so you don’t forget. Decluttering in short bursts is often effective because it’s less overwhelming than doing it all in one go and focusing your mind.
7. Make some money
Why not make some extra money out of your clutter? Some of your items might be worth more than you think. Do internet research to see how much you could sell your items for. Think designer items, vintage books and records, antique tea sets, and more!
8. Take photos
If you want to get rid of items that you’re sentimental about, you could try taking photos of them before recycling or donating them to charity.
This way, you’ll always have a digital file to look at. If photos take up a lot of space on your hard drive, you could keep them on the cloud. However, ensure you store them in an organised way to avoid accumulating digital clutter, which can also cause stress.
9. Make decisions
- Do I love it?
- Do I need it?
- Does it add value to my life?
10. Ask for help
With time and motivation, some people can declutter no problem.
Others, however, will need support. You don’t have to do it alone: you could always ask friends or family members to help you declutter. If you struggle to declutter from an emotional perspective, you may want to speak with a health professional, like your GP.
Do you need a storage unit?
If you need somewhere to store your belongings while you figure out what to do with them, Storage X can help. We have next-day availability and a range of storage sizes available.
Our flexible rolling contract means that you can retrieve any unwanted items to be sold, donated or recycled at short notice. We’ll store your things in a secure, stackable unit and even pick up and transport your items for you, so there’s no need to hire a van!