Have you realized you are having a hoarding problem? Make no mistake, hoarding isn’t just some clutter that accumulated here and there. To be honest, all of us gather some clutter once in a while, but hoarding is more than just that. It’s when clutter has completely taken over your home and you are reluctant to get rid of it, even if it’s of no use. Fortunately, you can tackle any problem, even the worst hoarding situation, but it takes time and effort. To make things easier, contact a professional service to help you with your hoarding cleanup.
Set goals and realize the pros & cons of hoarding cleanup
Before you even start, it’s necessary to set yourself a goal. Think about why you would want to get rid of all the clutter. It could be anything from welcoming friends in your home to actually seeing your own space. Maybe you’ve seen nice pictures of other homes and want yours to look just like it.
To emphasize your goal, make a list of the pros and cons of hoarding cleanup. Hoarders don’t usually invite people to their homes as they are self-conscious about their situation. So the first advantage would be a clean space that you can have your family and friends over.
Another pro is improving your health. In a hoarding situation, it’s not unusual to have insects, rodents, mold, and other kinds of health hazards that can make you seriously ill. On top of that, hoarding harms your sleep. Those piles of clutter might trigger your guard, which is an instinct that has remained from our ancestors of the stone age. The worse your sleep is, the more your overall health deteriorates, both physically and mentally.
You might think that the biggest con is having to get rid of things you’d find a use for later. But most of the time, it’s about emotional attachment to the stuff that is mostly useless. So you may have to endure anxiety during the hoarding cleanup.
Create a list
Every hoarder has all sorts of clutter whereas some items are easier to let go of than others. Create a list of all the items you’ve collected. It could contain magazines, teabags, postcards, shoes, tickets, newspapers, receipts, photos, or glasses. Think about how much anxiety it’d cause you to get rid of each category and start with the one that brings the least unease.
Tackling a hoarding cleanup isn’t done within a day or two, as it’s both a physically and emotionally demanding task. So start with very small steps and combine them with goals. For example, discarding old invoices in one day and letting go of old magazines or plastic bags on another. If you set yourself a goal, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. The good vibes may even overshadow the anxiety you could suffer from.
Challenges are easily coupled with goals, such as pushing yourself to do the cleanup for fifteen minutes a day. Of course, it’d be an incredibly slow pace, but solving a hoarding problem is at best done slowly.
Also, challenge your own feelings as you clear one of the categories of your list. It would be hard as most of the time you would feel some sort of attachment to the things that you’ve gathered.So you’re unlikely to just take a whole box of old papers and dump it. Ask yourself why exactly you’re holding on to the item and if it does serve a purpose. With a box full of buttons you could think about how many of them you actually need. The same goes for kitchenware – you don’t need fifteen corkscrews, do you? If you can get to this stage, kudos to you!
At this step, it could be worthwhile to have a friend or even a coach with you that helps you reflect. We often don’t realize that some items have no purpose to keep.
Get professional support
You’re not alone. There are tons of hoarder support groups and there’s also the option of seeking professional help. Hoarding is a mental issue that could originate from a trauma. A therapist or a coach can help you discover the cause of your problem and help you to overcome it with various methods. A hoarding cleanup will be much easier with professional support on your side.
Moreover, you could benefit from engaging a professional cleanup team. Don’t ashamed to let them inside of your home. You’re neither the first nor the only hoarder they’ve helped. They are understanding and experienced in hoarding issues and respect your pace.
Do it step by step with them: The crews know that hoarding cleaning up it’s best done slowly. At first, they’d remove the hazards from your home. In the second step, they’d check with you what to salvage from your belongings that are of actual value. They’d not discard money they’d find, but hand it over to you. Of course, you can also point at what they can take out right away.
Let them deal with it completely: It’d surely rip off a band-aid to hand a hoarding cleanup team your keys and to return to your cleared home. In that case, you’d have to trust them not to discard valuable items. You could also ask them to send you photos of the valuable items they found to check with you what to keep.