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How to Overcome Hoarding

When it comes to keeping older belongings and not getting rid of unnecessary items, a home can start to overwhelm you. Hoarding is a serious issue which can gradually go from simple collecting to a compulsive disorder. It's important to be aware of these habits so that, in case you notice that the collection of belongings and excess of items is growing and getting worse, you can work towards stopping it. If you would like to learn more about these compulsions and how to overcome hoarding, keep on reading for our simple tips.

Less is More

Homes can easily start to feel crowded. When there is a lack of space and most things are staying, however many may come in, one can easily reach a level of hoarding. One thing a lot of people don't realize is that hoarding can become a serious issue over time. Perhaps it's something one doesn't notice right away, and it turns into a snowball effect. Coming to a realization that you or someone else needs help is already a good sign and a solid beginning. There are many ways to overcome hoarding, and throughout the rest of the text we'll elaborate!

Piles of books
The first step of overcoming hoarding or any type of compulsive disorder is to realize there is a problem and then try to understand it.

Overcome Hoarding 101

In order to overcome hoarding, besides the variety of steps to be taken, it's also important to understand that you cannot overcome it overnight. It can be a lengthy process, but if you stick with it, it is possible. The first and most important step is realizing that there is a problem. Decluttering and getting rid of things is necessary. Moreover, consider getting a storage container that you will keep neat instead of keeping everything at home at all times!

Begin the process of overcoming hoarding by breaking it into a few essential steps that will lead you to your main goal of regaining control of your home.

A tin with the phrase Home is where your heart is printed on it.
Begin the process of overcoming hoarding by breaking it into a few essential steps that will lead you to your main goal of regaining control of your home.

Decluttering is Key

Where do you start? What do you do with excess items? Decluttering is one way to help you overcome hoarding. We suggest going room by room, so that you can give each space your full attention. Evaluate everything you see and ask yourself whether you will use this in the future? If that particular item is something you don't even remember having, then chances are you probably don't need it at all.

Organize piles and categories so that it is easier to get rid of these things. You can start by having three different categories. One for items you can donate, one for things you can try to sell and the last one for garbage. This way you can keep a level of organization and productivity.

Overthinking is Toxic

The key is to try to go through this process with efficiency. Dwelling on items and overthinking whether you will use them, when and how is pointless most of the time. By spending too much time on decision making, you will end up keeping more items than getting rid of. Therefore, stick to simplicity and don't make this process too complicated by giving things you hoard too much thought.

Meanwhile, stay focused. Do not get carried away by a particular item where you can't seem to decide which pile it should go to and whether you should keep it or not. Overall, you have to be strong in order to overcome hoarding. Keep reminding yourself that less is more in this case.

Overthinking is toxic, therefore try not to spend too much thinking about your irrational fears but instead face them straight on.

A figure of a man with a lightbulb instead of a head
Overthinking is toxic, therefore try not to spend too much thinking about your irrational fears but instead face them straight on.

Be Aware

In order to beat a compulsion and overcome hoarding, it is very important to be aware of the problem. In addition, hoarding and trying to overcome it can awaken anxiety and fears, therefore it can take an emotional toll on anyone. Before you become overwhelmed with the entire attempt, take a deep breath and tell yourself that you can and will face your fears. So what if you throw out that item you have had for years?

Individuals who are trying to beat this often tie bad things as consequences of getting rid of an extra item. If you are able to realize this and tell yourself that the fear is simply irrational, you are one step closer to beating this. In order to be able to realize that, you also have to understand why hoarding occurs and what effects it has on the physical, emotional, social, financial and in certain situation legal aspects of your life.

Letters spelling RELAX
It's important to believe that you can do this while remaining focused, organized and consistent.

Consistency

Like we mentioned, to overcome hoarding and beat this, it's essential to know that it will take some time. The process will be long, it will take effort, focus and a lot of consistency until you create new habits. Meanwhile, don't focus on the whole picture at first. Give yourself smaller goals that will eventually lead you to your main one. This way, the finish line is more realistic and something you can actually see yourself reaching.

Action and Results

Here we are. Now that you can apply our helpful tips, you can know that it is possible to overcome hoarding. Furthermore, it's more than okay to ask for help. Not everything is meant to be done alone. Therefore, talk to someone and explain your fears and thoughts. With their guidance and simply saying your thoughts out loud you can start walking the path of recovery.

Meanwhile, break down this process into multiple stages. Approaching each step individually will make the overall goal much simpler and doable. The key is to remain focused and organized. Don't let these items overwhelm you, and try not to spend too much time thinking about everything you are getting rid of. Take it one day at a time, understand the issue, and know that you got this!


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