Overcoming Hoarding: 12 Tips
Compulsive hoarding, also known as hoarding disorder, is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them, according to MayoClinic.org. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of value, occurs.
People with compulsive hoarding may not see it as a problem, and this makes treatment challenging. Below are some tips to overcoming hoarding, pulled from Oprah.com:
- Just because you can think of a use for an object, doesn't mean you need to keep it. If you haven't used an object in over a year, if you didn't know you had it until you found it, you can probably live without it.
- More is not necessarily better. Try to get rid of the extras.
- Categorize items into piles. A pile of things to keep, to donate, to sell or give away, and to throw away, but don't make too many piles and stress yourself out.
- Don't overthink. If the decision takes you more than a couple of minutes for a particular object, you're making it too complicated.
- Learn to get past the imperfections- you don't have to do a perfect job, just a good enough job.
- Only Handle It Once (OHIO). If you pick something up, make a decision and put it where it belongs.
- Be brave. The people who gain the most are usually those who are willing to risk the most.
- Understand what you're afraid of, and recognize when your fears are irrational. Ask yourself, what's the worst that can happen if I throw this out? How bad would that really be? Then discard it and watch for whether or not that bad thing happened.
- Be patient. No one overcomes compulsive hoarding overnight. Take it one room at a time.
- Keep the ball rolling. Clean things as they come along before they become overwhelming problems. Once you start, don't stop. Create a pattern, 5 minutes a day, 30 minutes...
- Be strict with yourself. Promise yourself a reward for doing it.
- Know when to ask for help. Compulsive hoarding is a potentially serious mental health issue. If you can overcome it on your own, great. If you can't, get help from someone who has experienced it.
For further information, visit WebMD.