Hoarding is a lifestyle syndrome characterized by acquiring too many possessions and being unable to get rid of them for emotional reasons. In extreme cases the hoard takes over entire rooms to the extent exits are blocked, and visitors have difficulty moving through the house.
Some consultants favour the grand approach of bringing in a removal team and stripping out the home. We offer a house clearance service in case you need help in that regard. However, we would prefer you first try to straighten things out yourself. Then you can continue living in the home you love.
Six Steps Along the Road Towards a Tidier Home
STEP ONE: Reach out to people whom you trust
Own up to yourself that have a problem. Tell yourself every morning I have too much clutter and this is what I am going to do about it today. Tell someone whom you love and trust about your situation. Ask them to help you set achievable goals, and share your progress.
STEP TWO: Choose a space in your home to start
Clearing clutter is like climbing a hill. You do it step by step and you follow the easiest route. Your starting point could be a drawer in your dressing table, a cupboard, or the space under the bed. Choose somewhere easy to start. You want to reward yourself with success soon.
STEP THREE: Be gentle with yourself
Be gentle with yourself. “You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here” the Desiderata poem says. Therefore don’t spend more than fifteen minutes a day at first. Do not linger over each item. Either keep it, or add it to the pile of discards.
STEP FOUR: Remove the discards every week
Avoid storing the throw-outs in one room, for you are just creating a new hoard. Find a house clearer you can trust to collect your discards every week. They will know whether to take them to the auction house, the charity shop, or the recycling yard. Everything will find a new purpose.
STEP FIVE: Celebrate your milestone
Take photos before you start. Be happy as you clear each space, and celebrate your success by having coffee and cake out with your friend. Life’s a journey for enjoying the ride. It does not matter how long it takes, provided you are going in the right direction and you feel positive about it.
STEP SIX: A hoarder’s task is never over
Be vigilant about what you purchase as you gradually clear your home. The best advice we can give is do not start collecting things ‘for a rainy day’ again. Only purchase what you can consume within the next twenty-four hours. Take the packaging to a recycling point every morning.
Of Course There Will Be Times When You Feel Blue
We are not pretending life will always be easy. You will find familiar friends in your hoard and you don’t have to part with your treasures. Life is for living and being happy experiencing. A hoard is only a problem when it prevents you doing this. Involve your friends as go along because that is what friendship is all about.