How to Stop Hoarding

Jane Demerica's image for:
"How to Stop Hoarding"
Image by: 

Hoarding is the act of saving items, no matter what the item is. Eventually your home becomes over run with trash that should have been thrown away long ago. This is a psychological problem that can be worked through. You can stop hoarding and start living a more normal life. It takes a lifestyle change that requires you to re-program your thinking.

In order to stop hoarding you must:

1. Find out what causes you to hoard items that aren't necessary. You can seek help with a counselor to discover what makes you hoard these items. You have to understand that you have a problem before you can do that though. If you are reading this, you already know that you have a problem and that is the first step to recovery.

2. Treat the problem that causes you to hoard. If it was a bad experience with something in your childhood, confront that problem and understand that sometimes you have to let go of some things in order to live a healthy lifestyle.

3. Once you have figured out the cause and another way to deal with that cause, you can begin to recover from hoarding. Start in one room of your home and begin the clean up. Starting with the kitchen is a good idea. Purchase trash bags and begin your journey into letting go. Throw away anything that is out and out trash. For instance, if you hoard cans or jars, throw them away. There is no real reason to have a huge supply of these items. If you want to keep one or two for storage, that is fine, but throw away the majority of the jars and cans. Go through the refrigerator and throw away foods that are outdated or have mold on them. It is unhealthy to eat foods that are outdated. In fact, it can kill you.

4. After you have cleared out the things that are definitely trash, it is time to go through once again. Now it is time to decide what you really need and what you are just afraid to let go of. For instance, if you haven't used a piece of clothing in over a year, it is time to throw it away. Keeping things in your home that you don't use is hoarding. There may be some things that you can give away to someone else to use. Don't hold onto things that don't make any sense to hold on to. For instance, saving an old toothbrush is alright if you want to use it for cleaning, but you only need one old toothbrush for that. Throw the rest away.

After you have cleared all the items out of your home that you have been hoarding, dust and vacuum. The cleanliness of the house will make you feel better. It may be difficult to stick to the no hoarding plan, but you can stop the behavior if you put your mind to it. Only buy what you need. Throw things away that you don't use and don't allow yourself to keep things that are trash to everyone else, such as old paperwork. Take a deep breath and know that it will be okay. You have faced your fear and have learned how to stop hoarding.


More about this author: Jane Demerica