Getting Rid of the Hoarder Within

IKEA Live LAGOM Storage Containers - Pikalily Blog

Hoarding is a disorder that causes someone to keep an excessive amount of items and store them in a rather chaotic fashion (learn more about hoarding on the NHS website). This is often how rubbish accumulates , and homes and garages can become messy.

While hoarding isn’t something that everyone faces, it is probably more common than you realise, and if it is something you think you may have, it’s certainly advisable to discuss this with a doctor or health professional as there may be some underlying health issues causing it.

If you do find yourself hoarding bits and pieces around your home, and certain areas starting to get a little chaotic, you might want to address this. You may have noticed your home is getting cluttered, your attic is hard to enter, or your garage hasn’t been able to fit your car in it for some time. This can leave you feeling like your home is a shade of its former self, and you might be desperate to refresh and reupholster your space.

This can absolutely take place, but you must deal with these issues correctly. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Implement Simple Rules

It is possible to overcome these urges to keep everything. Implementing simple rules is perhaps one of the most effective. First, head around the house and label items that are to be kept no matter what. You’d likely know what these are. Sentimental items, important electrical equipment, entertainments or your collections. And then, allow everything else to be temporary.

In other words, implement a rule that says if you do not use or move something within three months, it must be sold or thrown out. Of course, you might not use your blender for that amount of time, but it doesn’t mean you should throw it out. Think of items that you aren’t using and are unlikely to use – these need to go! Especially if you have more than one.

A simple rule like this can ensure your home continually feels fresh, junk never piles up, and you manage your purchases effectively.

‘Do I Really Need It?’

Whenever you desire a non-urgent home item, it can be important to ask yourself that question. Of course, you might really want it. You shouldn’t feel bad for wanting things, your hard earned money is often there for you to purchase it. But we’d just recommend waiting one or two weeks before you head back to the store, or buy it from your online wishlist.

If you decide that you do still want it in that time, give it a purchase! If not, you can likely do without it, and you have saved yourself some money. This rule might only work for one item out of ten, but if it does, you’ve still saved yourself money and something to remain potentially stored for a long time.

Consider Everything

There are some items that we often consider exempt from getting rid of. For example, our clothing. It can be quite common for people to collect clothing in their wardrobe for decades. You can be sure there are people out there with clothes they had bought in the 1970’s still taking space in their wardrobe.

Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. But if you haven’t worn those items in years, and they hold little sentimental value to you, it’s probably time to get rid.

Leave everything on the table. For example, check out the main storage zones such as your garage and attic, and consider what might be viable for sale or throwing out. Do you really need that old TV or VCR – videos aren’t making a comeback anytime soon! With a simple search of your property, it won’t be hard to find a list of items that fit these descriptions, and that you can look in a new light. You might even make a few pound by selling them online or taking them to a local charity shop (see below).

Consider Donating

Donating can be an extremely good thing to do. Donating old books, clothes, equipment and assorted belongings to charity stores can all be for a good cause, and not only that, but they could find an owner who would really appreciate them.

Of course, be sure to check the value of items before simply donating them, even though that sounds awful to say. However, it’s been known for people to donate items of value to charity stores without knowing their true value, so if you have some vintage furniture items, consider getting them valued before simply disposing of them.

For example, having your collection of classic first edition books appraised before donating them anywhere might help you find a small fortune. That money might be better used in an even bigger donation, and could help you out for good measure.

After all, most belongings have some form of value, some negligible, but some that might be worth a second look. If you don’t consider getting rid of those items in the first place, you’ll likely never know what they are.

Find A Professional Service

Sometimes, you just have to pull off the plaster or band-aid. Many people might want to get rid of junk, but never quite find the time. Others might find it difficult to let things go, even if they know they want to get rid of them. Others might simply find it way too inconvenient to drive everything to the trash heap or to sell them online.

This is where a household rubbish removal service can help, as the professionals will always do a good job. Simply label and pack all of the items you aren’t interested in keeping, call the service, and arrange a date for them to come and collect it. Then you can enjoy the renewed space in your home thoroughly without having to worry how you’re going to orchestrate all of this, or waste a full weekend on it all.

Get Professional Help

Of course, sometimes a hoarding issue goes deeper than the simple accumulation of goods over the years. If you truly think you might have a problem, then it can be worthwhile to get professional help. Luckily, there are a range of professional therapists to help treat this issue, and it is often very treatable.

It can be hard to know which part of the line you fall on. Many of the people who read this will not have a problem at all. But for the few that might, consider these symptoms:

If you feel irritable at the thought of throwing an item away, feel severe anxiety when doing so, have trouble organizing or categorizing your belongings, purchase items in bulk quantities, dislike inviting people over, have trouble cleaning your home due to the mess, or experience social problems, such as isolation, disconnecting from your family,  financial difficulties and a lack of personal health maintenance, there’s a high chance you have a hoarding issue.

Chief among all of these is others mentioning to you that there’s a problem. Professional help can often lead to a much brighter and renewed life, so be sure to consider it.

Be There For Someone Else

While we’re on the subject of hoarding difficulties, it might be that you have someone else in your life like this. Judging them is not the best route forward, but offering to help and referring them to help as mentioned above can. Sometimes they might not be ready to change, but talking to a professional in their stead can be worthwhile.

Got Something to Add?

Have you had any hoarding experiences in the past? Share your tips with us in the comments section below.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Helen, Nial and Lewis


Welcome to Pikalily, an award-winning food, travel and lifestyle blog. We are Nial and Helen, a happily married couple from Northern Ireland, who share a passion for food and travel among many things. We became parents to our beautiful boy Lewis in 2017. Follow our adventures through the blog.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

Content not available.
Please allow cookies by clicking Accept on the banner

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.