How to Survive Spring Cleaning With Hoarders

Certain types of people tend to own more things than most normal folks do. For instance, some toy collectors are considered hoarders in the toy community for the number of toys that they own. A lot of them have amassed quite a collection that is large enough to fill a warehouse and they show no signs of stopping anytime soon. The same can be said about any collector who has built quite an impressive collection over their lifetime.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to own a lot of things. However, not all homes are equipped with enough storage and organizing space to handle everything hoarders own.

Typical houses built by reputable and trusted builders, such as Win Win Contracting LLC, are usually constructed to comply with the typical building standards. If you’re the type of person who has the tendency to hoard stuff (i.e. you’re a collector or prepper), then you might need to have your home designed or upgraded with lots of extra storage space so that the risk of dangers due to clutter can be minimized.

How to Help a Hoarder During Spring Cleaning

For someone who has a lot of stuff at home, the thought of spring cleaning might be a little too overwhelming. Regular folks already find spring cleaning very challenging, imagine what it’s like for the hoarder.

Hoarding can lead to excessive clutter around the house. This excess can prove to be hazardous and can cause accidents around the house. Decluttering isn’t done to just make a home look and feel pleasant. It is also done to minimize household accidents and improve living conditions.

A person who buys multiples of the same item — say canned goods or cleaning supplies — in a grocery is not necessarily a hoarder. In most cases, that’s called preparedness, which is not exactly a bad thing.

If a person is just the type to have accumulated much over the years without really any strong desire to keep their stuff, then there’s hope for you. They probably just haven’t gotten around to cleaning up their mess at home.

But then there are those who like to keep acquiring items just because they want to. These are the type of people that will need some convincing to let go of a few items to keep their homes safe and improve their living conditions. If you’re helping out one of those folks then you’re in for a great spring cleaning challenge.

But the good thing is, there is something you can do about it.

Show compassion and empathy.

Coming to a hoarder’s aid for spring cleaning is more than just showing up with a broom ready to take on the clutter.

Emotional support is important as probably a lot of the things they have lying around have some sentimental value to them. Be sensitive and compassionate enough to listen to what they have to say as you go about sorting through all of their things

This might slow things down a tad but it will make the process a lot easier for your family or friend.

Help categorize items for decluttering.

organized shelf

On a very practical note, go through their stuff and put them in piles according to four categories:

  • a pile for keepers or the ones that they absolutely can’t do without
  • a pile for the trash or the ones that are broken and beyond repair
  • a pile for donating or items that are in decent condition but haven’t been used in the past six months
  • and a pile to make money off or those items that are in great condition but are not really essential

Start the clean-up job.

Planning is a very important aspect of spring cleaning. You don’t just go into battle without a strategy. Similarly, attempting to clean a hoarder’s house should be approached systematically.

1. Declutter first. You don’t need to go down the Marie Kondo route. You can start gradually to allow them to adjust to the system.

2. Divide the house into different sections to make cleaning easier. Take it one area at a time so it’s not overwhelming.

3. Be sure to take frequent breaks for meals, snacks, and breathers. It will be easier to work if you’re not hungry nor exhausted. Rest when you need to.

4. Prepare the necessary cleaning equipment and supplies. Be sure you have at least the basic tools on-hand.

5. Set-up storage solutions. Once you’re done decluttering and cleaning, organize a storage system that will make the house as clean and clutter-free as possible.

Be encouraging.

Letting go of possessions can be very challenging especially if they have great sentimental value. Stay positive throughout the process and keep encouraging your loved ones that they’re doing the right thing in decluttering and cleaning up. You don’t need to oversell it. You just need to be real yet positive, firm yet affirming.

Spring cleaning is never easy, especially for hoarders. Having a compassionate yet systematic approach in helping them might not solve their problems in one day but that’s a good start.

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