Helping A Hoarder Clean Their Home

Posted on: 3 July 2015

If you have a friend who has a hoarding problem, and they have started going to counseling to break their addictive behavior, you may want to help them reduce the number of belongings they have accumulated over the years. Starting with a clean slate will be encouraging for them to continue their quest for a clutter-free lifestyle. Here are some steps to use in getting their home back into a livable state.

Help But Do Not Take Over

One of the steps toward recovery is to have the hoarder be the one to make the decisions on which items stay and which ones can be thrown away. When offering your help, listen to their struggles about each item and give them some gentle encouragement to let go of something if it is really not needed. Have the hoarder touch each item themselves and have them put it in the appropriate bin, dumpster, or box for donation, recycling or selling. You can help them bring the containers to their final resting place.

Designate Areas

When starting to organize the home, create a sorting station where you will appoint certain areas for where the items will be going. The front lawn may be the best place to begin, as the inside of the home is most likely left with very little space. As the project gets underway, you will be able to move your sorting area inside. 

Set aside separate spots for donations, things to sell, things to give away, and things to keep. Things to be thrown away can go directly into a dumpster. Start with one room in the home and sort it fully before moving on to another room. As the hoarder sees progress, they will be more inclined to want to continue with the rest of the home.

Place A Dumpster

Rent a roll off dumpster and place it in the hoarder's front yard so items that are no longer needed can be thrown out without having to walk a far distance to get there. This will also be beneficial as hoarders often change their mind during the clean-out process. While this may be frustrating, it is part of the psychological process in not being sure whether or not something should be kept or thrown out. 

Allow the hoarder the option in going out to the dumpster to gather things they have thrown out if they wish. The next day, go through these items with them again and talk about each one in detail. They may need a little more time processing the information to get rid of things for good. Walk out to the dumpster with them as they throw things inside and compliment them on their accomplishment when they follow through.

For disposal needs, including a dumpster, contact a company such as Tri-State Disposal.


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