Are you a hoarder? Is your house cluttered up with items from the ground up covering your passageways? Do you find it exceptionally hard parting with these items? Well, you are not alone. According to the American Psychiatric Association, 2-6% of the population suffer from a hoarding disorder, with it affecting more men than women.
The Main Reasons Behind Hoarding
There are a few reasons that people hoard items. According to Mayo Clinic, the main reasons are:
- Not wanting to part with items, as they may be used in the future
- Certain items hold sentimental meaning
- A feeling of safety around familiar items
- Not wanting to waste anything
Another reason people hoard is because they either grew up very poor and weren’t allowed to own many material objects, or they had things taken away from them at a certain period of their lives and they want to hold on to their material objects for fear of losing them.
Well, this article is here to provide solutions to your hoarding problem and help declutter your home. Let’s begin!
Best Tips for Decluttering
1. Wash the Dishes
Every house needs a clean kitchen, especially as dirty dishes attract unwanted insects. Make it a habit to clean the dishes every night so that you wake up to a clean kitchen. If you haven’t cleaned your dishes for a while, take everything out the sink and pour in some warm water with dishwashing liquid and begin with all the cutlery.
Once the cutlery is washed, place the crockery in the warm bubbles, and let them sit there for 30 minutes, then begin cleaning. If you find this kind of work tedious, put on some music you enjoy listening to, as it will help pass the time.
Once everything is dry, neatly place everything in an orderly fashion, where it belongs. Since you may have many knife collections, it will help to have a few stainless-steel magnetic knife holders on the wall or fridge to hold all your knives in an orderly fashion.
2. Clean the Bathroom
The first step is to make sure the toilet is flushed and clean. Then take all cosmetics and other items off the bathroom counter, and place it in the bathroom cabinet. Clean the counters, sinks and taps, and clean the bath or shower with bleach. Throw all dirty towels in the wash, and mop the floor.
3. Focus on Clothes
If you are a hoarder, you probably have way too many clothes. Some clothes you may have not even worn for years, in the hope of fitting into them again one day. The best solution is to get 5 boxes and sort them out as follows:
- Box 1 – Clothes that you regularly wear in the summer and winter that need to be washed
- Box 2 – Clothes that don’t fit you any more and can be sold, given away to charity, or gifted
- Box 3 – Clothes that are torn, moldy and ragged to be thrown away
- Box 4 – Clothes you like but haven’t worn in over a year to be sold, given away to charity or gifted
- Box 5 – Clothes that you don’t wear but hold sentimental meaning for you. For instance, a red cardigan belonging to your grandmother who has passed on. Keep only 10 items maximum.
Once you have done this with all the clothes lying around the house, you will notice that there will be more space open for you to navigate around the home.
4. Attend to Papers
Are there important papers lying all over the house? The first step is to grab all of them and place them in a big box. Once you have done that, you can slowly go through them and see if there are any unpaid bills, or important letters from the government.
You will also be able to weed out all those pieces of paper that can be torn up and thrown away. If you have receipts, keep them in envelopes that have the year and month on them, and keep it in a special drawer in the study, in your file cabinet, or in a box in the cupboard.
5. Organize Your Holiday Decorations
Do you have Christmas decorations and tree ornaments scattered all around the place? Get a big box, wrap it in red and green paper, make it look as attractive as possible, and place the Christmas decorations inside. Store it in the basement, attic, or corner of the cupboard to be taken out for Christmas.
The same goes for all the decorations and ornaments of other special holidays such as Halloween, Channukah, Easter, Thanksgiving etc.
6. Make a Gift Box
Find all the little trinkets you have been storing up over the years – extra tools (which should ideally be kept on a stainless-steel magnetic tool holder), extra makeup that you’ve never touched, perfume you don’t use, handbags, scarves, pocket knives etc. and keep them in a gift box.
This is for all your friend’s birthdays. As soon as a friend’s birthday arrives, polish or wash the unused object, wrap it and give it as a gift that you know they’ll enjoy. This way you can spread a lot of happiness around without having to spend much cash other than the wrapping and the card.
7. Keep a Whiteboard
Instead of writing important dates and addresses on notes that travel from kitchen counters to the floor, rather write everything down on a magnetic white board attached to the fridge. This way once you attend to all the important information, you can rub it out and clean the board, so that it’s ready to be written on again.
Next to the board, you can keep a whole range of colorful magnetic markers in an orderly fashion, all next to one another.
8. Keep Your Bedroom Clutter Free
If you are a hoarder, you probably have trouble sleeping, as your bedroom is piled up with clothes, half eaten meals and papers. The first thing to do is take everything off the floor, place it on the bed and vacuum the floor.
Afterwards get rid of all the half-eaten food and candy wrappers as quickly as possible. Next, place the clothes in the clothes boxes mentioned above. You then want to take off all the sheets and vacuum the bed. Follow up by washing all your sheets while placing new ones on the bed. You’ll be feeling better already.
Also, take all water bottles out of the bedroom, so that no water spills on your floor. Keep only one cup by your bedside if you find yourself very thirsty during the night.
If you love putting on hand and body cream before you fall asleep, do so, but make sure to place these bottles of cream back inside the bathroom cabinets after using them, rather than leaving them on the bedroom floor.
9. Organize the Pet Food
If you are a hoarder, it is very likely that you have many pets. Make sure the pet food is all put together and stored in a bin outside the home. If that isn’t an option, store all the food neatly in a bin away from the bedrooms. Make sure that all their bowls are washed clean, and that they have fresh water to drink.
Make sure to clean all the cats’ litter boxes, and pick up any of your dogs’ feces. Deep cleanse any furniture that has been urinated on by your pets.
If you find yourself owning too many collars, leashes and winter wear for dogs, pass it on to your other animal loving friends who will genuinely appreciate the gifts for their pets.
Also, if possible, do yourself a favor and take your pets to the groomer to be washed, trimmed and made to look clean and beautiful. You can do this three times a year, and all the rest of the days you can tend to your pets grooming needs yourself.
10. Taking Care of Sentimental Objects
If you have many fond memories from past loves and family members that have passed away, take a dedicated amount of time to wash and polish everything sentimental you own. Then, keep a space in your cupboard especially for these items so that you can look at them every day and be reminded of them.
If you have photos, get them framed and place them on the wall, so that their memories are never forgotten. Keep the color of the frames uniform so that they look nice and neat, and make sure the shape of the frames is similar too. Also make sure there is a photo hung on every nail you knock into place, as you don’t want random nails sticking out of the walls.
Don’t feel bad if you are a hoarder. Often, it is a trait that is passed down in families, as people tend to repeat the environments that they grew up in. However, now you have these handy tips to follow to declutter and get rid of the mess, so take the time out to do so, and you’ll eventually have a clean, clutter-free house that you will love waking up in!