Tips for Helping Hoarders Get Rid of Clutter

Hoarding is known as the persistent struggle to get rid of possessions regardless of how valueless they are. Living with someone suffering from hoarding can be stressful, but they know that they can’t help it, and they are likely distressed as well.

Hoarding disorder can lead to a truly excessive accumulation of useless items that can effectively eliminate all your living space. Here are a few tips you can use to get started dealing with hoarding, and when it’s time to start cleaning up, we can help.

Step 1: Start Cleaning Up

It’s important to start with simple goals such as clearing out doorways and hallways, and the best way to do this is by talking with your family members about the dangers of blocked paths, tripping hazards, and fire safety.

You can remove items from these places to create the space to move around your home freely. Once you have done this, start taking a look at the bedrooms, bathrooms, and the kitchen.

Talk to your loved ones and tell them about the benefits of being able to get to their bathroom without the risk of tripping, of being able to cook a meal, and just being able to sleep in a clean room. Then, start separating items that hold no sentimental value.

Step 2: Find a Place to Store Valuables

Hoarders may see value in items that hold no value, but a quick web search can often tell you what items hold any real value. You may find some items with value amongst the others, and it is a good idea to simply set these aside to deal with later. Consider renting a storage unit to put them in for the time being.

Step 3: Donate Immediately

If your loved one is willing to get rid of an item that isn’t completely useless, then donate it immediately before they can change their mind. This can prevent them from having the opportunity to keep it and still give it a second life to be useful.

Step 4: Sort Through Clothing

It’s a good idea to start with clothing that doesn’t hold much sentiment. This will give you the opportunity to start working with the hoarder to pick out clothing that actually fits, is in good shape, and he or she actually wants to wear.

For clothing that is in good shape, but does not actually fit your loved one, look into taking them to a consignment shop. The rest should simply be disposed of.

Step 5: Move Through Paper Garbage

Paper garbage should be separated into three categories, and you can work with your loved one to do this. The first category is paper items that can be recycled, and the second is documents with personal information that need shredded.

The third category includes documents that have value, such as bank statements, and these will be kept. So, make sure to keep these carefully separate, or even better, scan what you can and shred the originals.

A great way to approach this is to work on sorting the documents for a while and then recycling and shredding for a time until they are all sorted.

Step 6: Hire Professional Cleaners

Hoarding can often go on for years and lead to an overwhelming amount of items. Often the best way to deal with this is by bringing a professional junk removal company that deals with hoarding. This can help ease any tensions between you and your family member and take a lot of the weight off both your shoulders.

Professional junk removers can deal with unsafe garbage such as rotten food and animal droppings. Additionally, they can bring in dumpsters to immediately dispose of all the garbage.


Hoarding can lead to a lot of physical and emotional stress for you and your loved one. But with help and understanding, you can both work through the problem and return their living space.

Contact Us

At Boston Junk Removal, we offer skilled specialists experienced in dealing with sensitive hoarding situations. If you or a loved one are struggling with a hoarding situation, contact us at 781-399-4808 to schedule an appointment. You can also connect with us on Facebook for more helpful tips like these.