Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

How to Help a Loved One with a Hoarding Disorder

If you have a loved one suffering from a hoarding disorder then you will be comforted to know that you’re not alone. There are many hoarders and the problem can develop in anyone with the right conditions. All it can take is one life pitfall to cause you to cling to things in excess. Thankfully, there are ways to help them let go and many have overcome this difficult challenge.

Take Small Steps to Clean and Organize

When working with your loved one, it can be a very sensitive subject that takes time to adopt a new mindset. This will depend on how long they have been hoarding and how ingrained it is in their mind. Some people can’t throw away things like dental floss which is a major issue. You might find they rationalize why garbage shouldn’t be thrown away. If you’re trying to help them, then don’t make the mistake of trying to cure them overnight and throw everything away. The first step is for them to accept they have a problem and from there you can work at a slow pace to clean and organize the home. Perhaps create a schedule where they are obligated to throw away something every day. It’s the small steps that make a difference here.

Help Them With Decision Making

You might need more information to help with hoarding and staying informed is half of the battle. You need to know the dos and don’t of handling someone with this condition, and in some cases, psychiatric intervention might be necessary. A hoarding situation can turn life-threatening after a while, especially if there is biological contamination present including mold, mildew, and certain toxins from poor home upkeep. You must remember that they are sick and need help, but some hoarders can bounce back rather quickly and are easier to reach. Gauge the situation and use your best judgment regarding taking action.

Give Emotional Support to Encourage Change

Emotional encouragement is incredibly vital during a hoarding phase of someone’s life. Oftentimes, there is a concrete reason why the disorder started and it can be anything from the loss of a job to a death in the family. Hoarding can also be a learned habit from your immediate environment growing up so if you had parents with the disorder then you’re more likely to emulate that behavior. However, you have the power through professional services and a support network to turn things around. Acceptance of the condition will lead to them working with you to devise possible solutions like treatment or a cleanup service. You should never lose sight of the fact that this is an illness that can be treated, and recovery time will vary for each individual so remain patient and sympathetic to their needs. They need to know they’re loved during this challenge and it can go a long way towards rehabilitation!


Hire Professional Cleaning

If this is an ongoing problem then you’ll notice that the hoarding gets worse over time if not promptly addressed. This is where an emergency cleaning service will come in handy as your reliable solution to help gut a house and get it livable again. According to Florida Emergency Cleaning Response, “The longer people have been hoarding, the worse the cleanup situation will be. Not only is it hard and challenging work, but it’s also extremely dangerous.” Indeed, there are more elusive threats in a hoarder’s home than a normal mess because of biological threats that can’t be handled by someone inexperienced. You need a professional response team to address the hazards of the area and keep everyone safe during the process.


These are some of the best steps you can take to help them get over this difficult condition. There are degrees of severity, so what starts as small might have the potential to grow over time into something more severe. It’s important to distinguish between collectors and hoarders because they are two different things. There are many collectors out there who might seem like hoarders, but they simply just have a hobby and passion. The main difference is that hoarders tend to keep unnecessary items.