Published 9th of December 2021
Not everyone who has clutter in their property is a hoarder, but these decluttering tips for hoarders are designed to help anybody and everybody organise their home.
Hoarding is a recognised condition where people find it extremely difficult to part with their belongings, leading to an uncontrollable amount of clutter that can take over an entire home and living space. According to Hoarding UK, there are a number of items which quickly build up, including clothes, magazines, bills, newspapers, old medication, canned food and receipts.
Whether you’ve come here to find advice for yourself or a friend in need, we’ve compiled a list of easy-to-follow tips to help you declutter your home and give yourself some breathing space.
Declutter your home checklist
1. Ask for help
If you’ve got to a point where the clutter in your home has become unmanageable, even just the thought of organising through the items can be overwhelming.
Enlist the help of a friend or family member to make the task feel less daunting and more achievable. As the saying goes: a problem shared is a problem halved.
You can ask them to help with the more manual work of sorting through your items or to simply offer moral support to keep you motivated and on track.
2. Create a plan
With the help of your friend or family member, break down the task into smaller steps. Rather than feeling like you need to declutter your entire home in one go, you can create a checklist of smaller jobs to give you that motivating hit of satisfaction each time you cross off a task.
But, where do you even begin?
Organise your plan by rooms that will have the biggest impact. This could be the room with the most clutter or even just a single clutter-filled cupboard or wardrobe that disrupts your day-to-day life.
Decide how much time you’d like to spend decluttering per day and on which days you’ll be doing it.
Think about what you will do with the items you’d like to keep and consider your options for items that you’ll be getting rid of (we’ll come back to this later).
The way you choose to tackle the clutter is completely up to you, although we strongly recommend starting with clearing out any obvious rubbish or waste.
3. Dispose of any obvious rubbish
To give you a more accurate picture of the belongings that need to be sorted, start by removing any rubbish.
Get yourself a bin bag and remove any empty packaging, food wrappers and items which you no longer need but cannot be sold or donated. Make sure to recycle any old newspapers, magazines, to-do lists and unimportant paper documents.
As a quick win, this won’t take you long and you’ll be surprised to see how much better you feel after.
4. Use the four box method
Now that you can see what you’re working with, it’s time to organise your belongings into separate groups, also known as the four box method.
The four groups you will need to organise your items into are as follows:
- Keep - essential items that you need on a regular basis, be very strict with yourself here.
- Sell - items that you no longer need, but are in a good enough condition to sell.
- Donate - items that you feel would benefit a local charity shop or collection.
- Store - items that you do not immediately need but are causing unnecessary clutter in your home.
If the item doesn’t fit into any of these groups, it’s time to say goodbye and throw it away (or recycle if possible!)
For items that you’ve chosen to store, consider the types of items you’re storing - are they belongings with a sentimental value? Bulky furniture? Or a collection of books you cannot face donating? Make sure to find yourself a local container storage facility that offers collection and delivery services so that you don’t need to transport the items yourself.
5. Take regular breaks
As a hoarder, decluttering your home can be an emotional and draining process.
Don’t forget to give yourself regular breaks as a reward for organising a particular messy section or room – and make sure you have your favourite treats lined up to enjoy whilst working your way through the mess!
6. Store or shred important documents
Pieces of paper can become a nightmare, taking up space in drawers, on desks or littered around different rooms in your home.
While you can recycle unimportant documents, you may find yourself left with a large amount of important documents still causing unnecessary clutter, from bills and contracts to documents with personal information printed all over.
If that’s the case, arrange them into two piles: store or shred.
For documents that you no longer need but have sensitive information printed on them, use a document shredding service to get rid of them in a secure and environmentally friendly way. Throwing them straight into the bin could mean your personal information landing in the wrong hands, so it’s always best to be safe.
If you have a number of important documents which you cannot get rid of but are causing clutter in your home, consider placing them into secure document storage.
With services such as the ones offered by Shredall SDS Group, you can rest easy knowing your documents are tracked and indexed, ready to retrieve when you need them, but not taking up valuable space in your property.
Make sure to avoid hoarding in storage
If you have decided that some of your items would be best placed in storage, be careful that you don’t just transfer the problem from your home to the storage unit.
Only move items into storage if you know for certain you will need it at a later date. You can run the items you’d like to store by a friend first to make sure they’re not best being thrown away. If it starts to become a problem, follow the same decluttering steps as you’ve taken for your home in your storage unit.
If you’re worried that yourself or someone you know has an uncontrollable amount of clutter and you’d like to help, you can find support and resources on the Hoarding UK website. For assistance with nationwide shredding to securely dispose of documents, get in touch with our friendly team today. Or, if you’re local to Nottingham, talk to us about our mobile container storage.