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Cluttering VS. Hoarding: When To Get Help? 

We all know someone who just can’t help but accumulate stuff and can’t seem to let go of even the most useless things. This could be just a simple clutter problem; or worse, the person has a hoarding issue. There is a fine line between people who are prone to clutter and those who are suffering from hoarding stuff. So how do we tell the difference? 

Hoarding vs. Cluttering

If you and your entire family are always busy and don’t have time to do chores every day, it is just normal to have stages of clutter which can be evident in the household—from big piles of books or mails, groceries, clean and dirty laundry, boxes and bags. You don’t have to worry; this can’t be considered a hoarding situation. It’s just that you and your family don’t have the time to properly sort and organize your stuff. Sometimes, you just don’t have the energy to put back your things in their right places. This can be sorted out by sneaking some clean-up time into your crazy schedule. If you can’t do this by yourself, there are experts you can hire to take the work off from you. 

Normally, what experts do is, sort your stuff and organize them into three categories: garbage, donations, and collectibles or keepsakes.  Keepsakes are stuff that can be returned to their rightful place in the household. That stuff that can still be used but you don’t want or need anymore can be collected and donated to any foundation. Recyclables and any other garbage can be properly disposed of and removed from your house. If there are tons of garbage collected, you can hire a Commercial Skip Bin or rubbish removal expert from Perth

Most people believe that when a person accumulates too much stuff and has a messy house, he or she already has a hoarding condition. What most people assume in this case is not necessarily true. It can only be called hoarding when a situation meets the following criteria: 

  • excessive accumulation
  • living spaces can no longer be used for their intended purpose
  • the amount of accumulated stuff is causing stress and conflict among the dwellers

Contrary to popular belief, people with hoarding conditions can be very well organized. People with this disorder are not necessarily messy. These people fall into “excessive accumulation” and they always have a hard time letting things go.

Signs you are hoarding

The first sign of hoarding is, getting too much stuff you don’t really need. These things you have over-accumulated will gradually turn into clutter, eating spaces to the point that you can no longer use these areas for their intended purpose. Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • having a hard time parting from or throwing your things regardless of their value
  • having problems with planning and organizing your stuff, like avoidance, procrastination and being indecisive
  • having a conflict with others who are trying to declutter your home 

How to keep clutter in check

A clutter-free home is essential for our physical and mental well-being. Studies have proven that a properly organized and clutter-free home is beneficial to our health. Indeed, decluttering your home can be very daunting. If that’s how you feel about this process of cleaning up and organizing your stuff, then you might want to follow these tips to make it less of a hassle and more of a pleasant experience for you.

  • Make it a habit. You can make cleaning or organizing your daily, weekly, or monthly routine. If you get used to your routine, then doing it will become quite easy and natural than distressing. Plus, if you make cleaning and organizing your stuff a habit, your clutter will be kept down to a minimum. 
  • Sell or donate stuff. You can also develop a system wherein every time you get new things, you have to get rid of some old ones. Unless something has a really special or sentimental value to you, you can get rid of it by selling or donating. This way, you can avoid excessive accumulation of things you don’t really need. You can get money to buy something new if you sell your old stuff, or you can also help someone who needs your stuff more than you do when you donate it. 
  • Buy only what you need. To spend money wisely, save a lot, and prevent excessive accumulation, just buy the things that you really need. 
  • Return your stuff to their rightful place. To have a clutter-free space, you should make it a habit to return things to their rightful place after using them. This will also make it easier for you to find them when you need to use them again.
  • Organize your storage. To clear space and organize your stuff, you have to organize your storage. You can have multi-functional storage to make use and maximize your available space. Furniture items with storage compartments are ideal because they serve two purposes without taking too much space.

Tips on how to organize your home or workplace

  • Make it more convenient to put things away. To make organizing and cleaning easier, as much as possible, avoid covers or lids. Like when you put away dirty laundry, it is more convenient to have an open laundry basket where you can just throw them in easily. Open containers for your toiletries or kitchen utensils are also advisable to get things done with less hassle. This is also applicable to your garbage system. Just like commercial skip bins that are easily opened for throwing rubbish easier, your skip bins should also have lids that can be lifted up without having to use your hands. 
  • Get rid of the things you no longer need. Instead of buying more storage for your stuff and adding more space-consuming items to your house, you should try to assess everything first. Start getting rid of old stuff you no longer use and free up some space.
  • Don’t procrastinate. If a certain space in your home or in your workplace is bothering you because it’s messy, then get rid of the clutter right away. Start with the clutter that’s most annoying and always complete the task.
  • Throw away expired stuff. Expired food that is stored in your fridge or cabinets should be thrown away immediately. It can save you space for more supplies, and it’s much safer that way. You don’t want to accidentally consume something that’s already expired, right?
  • Organize all your stuff depending on their usage and category. Group all your stuff together and place them closely with each other. It will be easier for you to find the things you need, from your kitchen to your office. All your workspaces at home and in your office should be clutter-free and arranged properly.