Everyone has their own little hobbies, and now almost everyone has their own collection hobbies, and the things they collect are also diverse and varied.
And some people hoard things to an excessive degree, throwing away almost nothing, or they find everything useful and are reluctant to throw it away, so that their homes are filled with all kinds of things.
So, we prepared decluttering tips for hoarders here. Hope you can learn how to declutter a hoarder’s house in our article.
Traits of a compulsive hoarder
Hoarders say: “I’m afraid that if I throw it away, I might need it in the future”, “Because it can still be used, it would be a waste to throw it away”, “It’s so cheap, I must not miss it”.
Compulsive hoarders possess vast amounts of personal belongings and may experience high levels of anxiety when sorting through their belongings. When deciding whether to keep an item, compulsive hoarders most likely fail to consider some important factors, such as whether the disadvantages of keeping it will outweigh the benefits.
What is the psychology of a hoarder?
- Being able to control life at any time, being overly controlling or even greedy.
- Being a perfectionist, you want everything in your life to be organized and orderly and controllable, and if you can’t find a perfect way to keep everything neat and tidy, you procrastinate on it. Many times I can’t find something, but I just give up and stop looking for it.
In fact, hoarding behavior starts early in our lives and becomes more pronounced as we age.
Many times, when children grow up and leave home, people with compulsive hoarding may be experiencing loneliness that is difficult for outsiders to understand. An empty nest also means that there is more space for hoarding, and there are fewer outsiders visiting the home. No outsiders come to the room, which also means that one can always deny the current situation of the room and continue to accumulate items.
Common misunderstandings among compulsive hoarders
Some common cognitive distortions in compulsive hoarders identified by Stanford University behavioral expert and psychologist Dr. David Burns include:
Binary opposition thinking
If I can’t keep my entire house tidy and organized, I don’t have to try. If I don’t buy it now, I’ll never get it again.
Some people will say: I have trouble deciding what to throw away, I am just an indecisive person. He would equate his hesitation about choosing items with my indecision as a person, and ignore that in many other things, his decision-making was pretty good.
Deny the positive aspects
For example, you tidy the bathroom very well, and when someone compliments you, you think it was just an accident, and you did not focus and put your whole heart into making the area tidy. It’s possible that you’ve focused on the living room and there’s still a lot of stuff in there. You don’t realize that you have organized other small areas such as the kitchen and bathroom.
Bad Future Expectations
Some people have anticipatory anxiety about the future, thinking that throwing something away will cause something bad, that they still need it or that throwing it away will make someone unhappy. Or if you don’t buy it now, you will definitely regret it in the future. Some people keep items to escape this anxiety.
Always use “should” and “shouldn’t” to motivate yourself, and there is always a strict judge in your heart to urge you. For example, some people may think that I should have thrown away more things, and that I should not have had so much difficulty organizing things. If you often have to talk about what you should and should do, it will inevitably create an emotion called guilt and a constant sense of frustration.
Decluttering Tips for Hoarders
If you are a hoarder or you just want to know how to do hoarders declutter, check this part to get answers.
Focus on wider horizon
Whenever faced with choosing and hoarding items, it is recommended that the first step is to think about the longer-term benefits. Use the wardrobe to distance yourself. Have a clean and tidy wardrobe that does not cause stress to you, or leave more space for your lover’s clothes, which can reduce tension and conflicts between the two.
Rather than spending unnecessary time and energy on it, wouldn’t it be better to use this time and energy to do something you like with your loved ones?
Rethink the way you shop
- If something is of no use to you, or you already have another item at home that will expire if you don’t use it, or it will take up your space and increase your stress, then no matter how cheap it is, it is not a good one. choose!
- Ask yourself if you could use this thing today and do you have room for it in your home?
- Live in the present and focus on immediate and near-term needs. You must know that throwing something away is not a waste, and putting something in a drawer that is not used does not make it more useful.
Change your procrastination
Many compulsive hoarders have perfectionism. Perfectionism has high standards and requirements. If there is no system for arranging items, it will lead to procrastination. If they can’t do it, they will put it aside. This will make the messy problem more persistent and unresolved.
Procrastination is not only a time management issue, but also a behavioral pattern in response to fear and anxiety, whereby one avoids the work that needs to be done by doing unimportant work. This approach will only amplify your own frustration and make the situation worse.
Be brave to start
Decluttering can be grueling and easy to give up on, so you need to have some success from the start. So it is recommended to start with the room or area that is easiest to tidy up.
The idea is that items are handled only once, and if you pick something up, you need to put it where it belongs. Whether it’s a storage bin or a trash pile, don’t put it down and decide later. This decision won’t be made easier by procrastination.
If it’s broken, throw it away. If it’s contaminated with bugs, throw it away. If an item isn’t going to be useful at some point in the future, throw it away. Is there a place to put it? If not, either throw it away or get rid of something else to make room for it.
Overcome Your Obstacles
We all find reasons to avoid things we don’t want to do but need to do, and the one I hear the most is “I don’t have enough time to organize.” But is this true? When I was doing offline sharing classes before, I still remember that I used to think that I didn’t have time to do this, but when I really started to prepare the content, I still found the time.
“I don’t have anyone to help me, I don’t know where to start, what’s the use and it will get messy very quickly” This view is understandable before we start to organize, but it is based on a defeatist view.
When you decide to do something, you need to think about what else you can do, rather than focusing on what you can’t do.
If you want a comprehensive decluttering list, check out our latest series of articles:
75 Things to Throw Away Today (Part.1)
75 Things to Throw Away Today (Part.2)
75 Things to Throw Away Today (Part.3)
75 Things to Throw Away Today (Part.4)