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How to Declutter When You Live with a Hoarder

Decluttering When You Live With A Hoarder – 10 Helpful Tips!

Learn how to declutter when you live with a hoarder with these practical and helpful tips.

How to declutter when you live with a hoarder

Living with a hoarder can be frustrating, stressful and embarrassing and even unsafe.

The problem is that hoarding is a psychological condition, which means that a hoarder can’t just stop hoarding even if they want to, without professional help.

No amount of nagging, threatening or begging will change their behavior.

However, there are a few things you can do that may help the situation and allow you to declutter your home even while living with a hoarder.

Related: 7 Practical Decluttering Tips for Hoarders and Packrats

Tips on How to Declutter When You Live with a Hoarder

#1. Understand that Hoarding is a Serious Disorder

You will need to treat the hoarder in your life with patience and compassion.

This isn’t easy to do when someone experiences real panic over the thought of throwing away even a scrap of paper and has loaded your home with useless junk that makes it impossible for you to relax on the sofa, cook in your kitchen or even take a shower in comfort.

But it is a necessity to deal with the problem in order to have any hope of getting your home decluttered.

#2. Learn Everything You Can about Hoarding

To better understand what your hoarding partner is going through you will need to learn as much as possible regarding hoarding.

Consider joining hoarding anonymous at www.hoarderanonymous.org. You can learn how others have helped people who have hoarding problems.

Deal with the Problem Head On, but with Compassion

While you can’t simply ignore the problem you need to deal with the problem with as much compassion as possible.

#3. Have a Sincere Talk with the Hoarder

Start by having a talk with the hoarder and try and get them to agree to see a hoarding professional to start dealing with the problem.

Reassure them that they have your support throughout the counseling.

#4. Designate a Storage Space for the Hoarder’s Stuff

Designate one room in your home, your garage, or rent or buy a large storage shed in which the hoarder can keep their stuff.

Explain that this is their space and that as long as they keep the area safe and free of fire hazards, they can keep anything they want in this space.

#5. Help the Hoarder Move things to the Designated Space

Help the hoarder move their items to the designated space.

However, allow them to be in control to avoid you having any urges to throw away items you may think are useless.

This will help make moving the objects as stress free as possible for the hoarder.

Keep in mind that moving the hoarder’s items from the rest of house will take some time and there may not be any way to rush the process without causing a great deal of distress to the hoarder.

#6. Set Boundaries

Make it clear that any shared space in the home has to be kept clutter free.

You may need to remind your partner to pick up items they leave laying around and move them to their special room.

#7. Continue with Professional Help

Try and keep the hoarder working with hoarding professional.

Hopefully, the hoarder will be able to deal with their hoarding problem and eventually be able to allow their hoarding area to be cleaned up.

#8. Focus on What You can Control

Remember, you don’t have control over other people’s actions.

Acknowledging and accepting this reality will help reduce the stress and frustration you feel about your home not being as clutter free as you would like it to be.

So, focus on what you can control (your own actions) and declutter your home as best as you can. No need worrying about what you can’t control.

How to Declutter When You Live with a Hoarder – Final Thoughts

Please keep in mind that what these steps may look easy to accomplish the process can be extremely difficult and change will occur slowly if at all.

Even when the area is cleaned up, the hoarder may still struggle with the problem of hoarding for the rest of their life.

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Did you find the tips on how to declutter when you live with a hoarder helpful? Leave your comment below.

Decluttering when you live with a hoarder

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Kathleen Esposito

Friday 4th of March 2022

thank you for the tips . . it’s a struggle . .

Carol

Friday 4th of March 2022

Hi Kathleen,

You are welcome. Just take it one day at a time!

Sarah

Sunday 11th of October 2020

I've dealt with hoarder for 30 years. First, my in-laws. Then my husband.

The only tips that you list that work are #6. Set Boundaries and #8. Focus on What You Can Control. But kudos to you for listing those two tips. Most TV shows and websites are way too focused on the hoarder, and emphasis it is up to the hoarders to change, and ultimately determine the condition of the home. That doesn't work.

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