7 Cleaning Tips for Hoarders

Look, you are probably not a hoarder in the clinical sense of the word. Hoarding is a disorder with recognised psychological effects. However, if your house is not a sanctuary and is actually a place that leaves you stressed then this article may be for you. This article contains 7 cleaning tips for hoarders, to help you get on top of your current situation and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

cleaning tips hoarders

7 Cleaning Tips for Hoarding

Evaluate the Situation & Create a Plan

How bad is your current situation? How many years have you spent collecting this clutter? Is it something you can manage on your own? Do your family support you getting on top of this situation. Is it something you can fix in one day or will it take some time?

It’s okay if you don’t fix it all today. It’s better to have a plan that you will stick to then to create some unreasonable expectations where you will likely fail. That’s why our first cleaning tip for hoarders is to make a plan. Your plan should cover one room at a time and set deadlines for task completion. Otherwise, you’re probably never actually going to clean up this mess. 

Understand Why the Hoarding or Clutter Happened & Why You’re Cleaning Up Now

If you want to clear up your declutter, you need to do this for you. You need to know why you have made the decision to clean up your hoarding now. You need to know why the clutter happened in the first place. If you haven’t resolved the initial issues that caused the problems in the first place, chances are they could happen again.

Set Manageable Goals

As I mentioned, when you are a hoarder who is looking to clean up, it’s important to set manageable goals. This is such an important cleaning tip for hoarders, that I thought I would mention it again. If you’ve spent years creating clutter, you are unlikely to resolve this issue overnight. A manageable goal maybe 1-2 rooms at a time over a few weekends. Start with a small room or area so that you can feel some early success. This will keep you motivated.

A good place to start is by looking up the “SMART goals” framework on Google. Here’s a picture to illustrate how it works:

SMART Goals - cleaning tips for hoarders

Credit: Kazoohr

Make Sure You Have the Right Supplies & Process

The following list is not an exhaustive list but it’s a good starting point. 

  • Heavy-duty trash bags – throw out the rubbish.
  • Empty boxes – some cardboard boxes are good to place recycling and papers in. You may also need some heavy-duty storage boxes – for things that don’t belong where they currently are. You’ll also want boxes for those things that are too good to throw out.
  • Buckets and mops – you should clean after you have cleared the floor.
  • All-purpose cleaners/disinfectants, sponges and cloths – you’ll want to wipe down all surfaces after you have cleared them.
  • Broom/dustpan, vacuum cleaner and extra bags if necessary – you are likely to generate a lot of dust whilst cleaning after hoarding, so you’ll want to vacuum when you have cleared a room. 
cleaning caddy for clutter cleanup

Donate or Sell What You Can

Not everything should be thrown in the bin. If an item can be salvaged it should be divided into either a donate pile or a sell pile. If you try to sell some items, either via garage sale, facebook marketplace or similar, you need to set yourself a strict deadline to sell it. If you don’t sell it within that timeframe, donate it to charity so it doesn’t just become clutter again. Otherwise, you are not actually resolving your hoarding problem. 

Use the “Box Technique”

This is probably our best cleaning tip for hoarders. If you can’t decide whether to keep something or not, put it in a box. Put that box in your shed or garage. If you haven’t used it or opened the box after 6 months, then it’s time to donate that item to charity. 

Know When it’s Time to Reach Out for Help

Sometimes, the idea of cleaning clutter around the house can just be too overwhelming. If you are stressed and continue to put off cleaning, then it may be time to reach out for help from a psychologist and/or cleaning professionals. Professional psychologists can help you dispassionately look at a situation and make better decisions about what to do with items around the house. 

free help for hoarders

Call Mindspot for free help in Australia 1800 61 44 34

Professional cleaners can also ensure that that your house is cleaned thoroughly after the clutter is gone.If you would like to discuss how we can help you with clutter in your life, please get in touch today.

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