Tips to Declutter Your Home and Avoid Hoarding

Tips to declutter your home

Hoarding is a recognized disorder. Persons suffering from hoarding disorder will face persistent difficulty in discarding or parting with their possessions. Hoarders tend to excessively accumulate any and all items they possess, regardless of actual value or use. They experience distress at the thought of getting rid of the items.

Hoarding does not happen suddenly. Anyone can slowly and unknowingly fall prey to a little hoarding. It’s when the habit is constant and seems to be completely normal to them that it becomes a disorder.

Here are some tips to declutter your home, office, garage or shed and avoid hoarding.

1. Make checklists and schedules for cleaning
Have a basic schedule of things that need to be cleaned regularly around the house. Avoid procrastinating during your time at home. Your task lists could be for daily, weekly and monthly routines.
2. Return items back to where they belong.

Clutter tends to grow when things are not put back in their right place after use. To keep the home uncluttered, assign specific locations like cupboards, shelves and drawers to items. It not only helps adults but kids too, in being tidy and organised. This will also identify items that are not really being used but are adding to the hoarding mess.

3. Go at it one room at a time

Don’t try to do the whole house or everything at once. Clear out or organize one room, then move on to the next after a few days. This gives some clarity for the person doing the task, as well as allows the affected person to get used to the change.

4. Start a room de-clutter with ‘The Three Boxes Rule’

Label three sizeable boxes – ‘Keep, Donate and Throw Away’ – and place them in the center of the room. As you go through items in the room, identify which box they should go into and place them accordingly. If items are too big or heavy to fit in the appropriate box, label the item itself and keep them together. Items of real value, like family heirlooms or valuables, should be handled carefully and retained.

5. Separate clothes and then do honest stocktaking

Once you pull out all the clothes, identify the ones that you don’t wear or really haven’t worn in a few months or a year. These should immediately go into the Donate box. Seasonal clothes should be separated, packed and set aside for use when actually required.

6. Try a kitchen contents reduction test

In your kitchen, keep only appliances, utensils, crockery, cutlery and other accessories that you actually use and can’t do without. If you’re not sure of what you do and don’t use, try out the ‘One-Month Cardboard Box Test’. Empty drawer contents/cutlery, and put utensils/crockery into big labeled cardboard boxes for one month. Put the item back into its original location only if you have used it during that period. After the month if it’s still in the box, give it away.

7. Reduce an item daily

One of the most transforming experiences is simply reducing one item each day – either by discarding or donating. You may be genuinely surprised at how many unnecessary things have been lying around and unused for so long.

8. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - immediately

Complete your cleaning process at each step. Items that are set aside to giveaway to friends or donate to charity – deliver immediately. Put them in your car or make arrangements to pick or drop them off. Do not let them remain there longer than a day. Donating unwanted items can be a very satisfying experience. Bags and boxes marked as trash or recycling need to go out the same day.

Hoarding is a mental condition but it also brings misery for all those affected by it. Hoarding causes serious health issues as the accumulation of excess rubbish, food and waste leads to an unsafe environment for human habitation. The above tips to declutter your home will help you effectively. Recovery involves understanding the condition, communicating and then dealing with the cleanup process. Anyone affected by hoarding should be handled with care and patience.

Contact Bio-Cleanse for Hoarding Cleanup

If you are in need of hoarding cleanup, contact us at Bio-Cleanse Pty Ltd. We can assist in returning the premises to a habitable state, free of biohazards. If the tips to declutter your home do not work, you can contact us. Our hoarding cleanup team is well equipped and trained to deal with any level of hoarding situation. What seems like a big problem to you is actually quite normal to us. We don’t judge and are always confidential. We have seen it all before. We operate 24×7 in Bowral, Mittagong, Moss Vale, Goulburn and Canberra. Call 0409 037 634 or email at

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