Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Hoarding can cause many difficulties in treatment and self-care, especially for people who don't feel that hoarding is a problem in their lives. Whether or not you believe you need treatment for hoarding, here are some steps you can take to try to care for yourself:

  • Stick to your treatment plan if you're receiving treatment. It's hard work, and it's normal to have some setbacks over time. But treatment can help you feel better about yourself and understand what's driving your hoarding.
  • Try to keep up personal hygiene and bathing. If you have possessions piled in your tub or shower, resolve to move them so that you can bathe.
  • Make sure you're getting proper nutrition. If you can't use your stove or reach your refrigerator, you may not be eating properly. Try to clear those areas, so you can prepare nutritious meals.
  • Reach out to others. Hoarding can lead to isolation and loneliness, which in turn can lead to more hoarding. If you don't want visitors in your house, try to get out to see friends and family.
  • Look out for yourself. Remind yourself that you don't have to live in squalor and chaos — that you deserve better.
  • Take small steps. If you feel overwhelmed by the volume of your possessions and the decluttering task that lies ahead, remember that you can take small steps. With a professional's help, you can tackle one area at a time. Small wins like this can lead to big wins.
  • Focus on your goals. To keep motivated to declutter, focus on your goals — living a healthier and more enjoyable life.
  • Do what's best for your pets. If the number of pets you have has grown beyond your ability to care for them properly, remind yourself that you aren't doing them any favors. They also deserve to live healthy and happy lives, and that's not possible if you can't provide them with proper nutrition, sanitation and veterinary care.
May. 25, 2011