Let’s face it, we all have a little bit of a hoarder in us. After all, who doesn’t love a good farmer’s market or the feeling of finding a hidden gem at a garage sale?
However, for more than 8 million Americans (about 2.6 percent of the population), hoarding can become a serious problem. It can lead to cluttered homes and apartments, financial strain, and even social isolation. So how can you tell if your love of collecting has gone too far? And more importantly, what can you do about it?
First, it’s important to understand that hoarding is more than just being a shopaholic or collector. It’s actually classified as an anxiety disorder that causes sufferers to excessively collect or hold on to items because they fear they may need them in the future. Well, if you or someone you know is a hoarder, here’s how to tackle the problem.
#1 Start With Baby Steps
Don’t try to tackle everything at once. Pick one area of your home or one type of item to focus on and go from there. Trying to see “the big picture” may be good advice for some areas of life. But with hoarding, it’s just too easy to get overwhelmed and give up.
Set some simple goals. For example, aim to declutter one room or get rid of 10 items per day. If you can do this without adding more, then you’ve cleansed your home of more than 3,600 items in a year. Pretty soon, that’ll start to add up!
Avoid buying new things until you’re done decluttering your home. The key is to make sure that each day is a net negative for bringing new objects into your home.
#2 Create An Organization System
A home organization system will help you keep track of what you own and make it easier to put things away. There are a few different things to consider when choosing a system for storing and organizing your belongings.
First, you need to decide what type of storage you need. For example, do you need long-term storage for seasonal items or short-term storage for items that you only use occasionally?
Second, consider how much space you have available. If you have a limited amount of space, you might need to choose a compact storage system that can be easily stored in a small area.
Finally, think about how easy the system is to remember and use. Implement systems that make sense to your psychology. That could mean drawing a map of your home and labeling it by areas, photographing papers and receipts for later destruction, or arranging clothes by colors. The main thing is that it makes sense to you.
#3 Throw Out Broken, Damaged, Or Useless Items
Let go of sentimental items gradually. Start with those that are least important to you and work your way up. It can be difficult parting with sentimental objects, but it’s a lot easier if they’re missing pieces or damaged in some way.
If you can no longer get any use out of it, then give yourself permission to throw it out. Deal with any guilt that may arise by telling yourself that you had no choice due to the state of the object.
#4 Donate Or Sell Stuff That You Don’t Need If It’s In Good Condition
This can be a challenging task, but it is important to remember that the donated items will go to people who need them and will appreciate them. Furthermore, donating items will help to create more space in the home, which can be valuable for both the hoarder and other members of the household. And the hoarder creates something invaluable to their efforts moving forward: momentum! Ultimately, donating useful items is one small step that can lead to significant improvements in the quality of life for everyone involved.
#5 Recycle Anything That Can’t Be Reused
Check for a recycling symbol if available. This symbol, which consists of three arrows forming a triangle, can be found on most products that can be recycled.
If the symbol is present, it means that the item can be recycled in most curbside recycling programs. However, it is always best to check with your local recycling center to find out what materials they accept.
Recycling helps to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and your home, which is a double-win if you’re environmentally conscious. It also helps to conserve natural resources, such as trees and water, and aids in the reduction of pollution.
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It can be tough getting started and keeping momentum. You may even need to seek professional help if you feel like you can’t overcome your hoarding on your own.
Remember that it’s a process. It takes time and effort, but it is possible to declutter your home and your life. Rent a dumpster and take your time combing through your belongings and carefully selecting items to keep or throw away. And if you need extra help getting your home or property in order, there’s a quicker way than taking it all on yourself– ask us about our local junk removal services.Contact the professionals at Mad Trash. Our junk removal experts can help you reclaim your living or working space in short order.