Top 7 Helpful Decluttering Tips for Hoarders

When your home is filled with so many random items you probably haven’t touched or looked at in several years, the thought of decluttering can be daunting. It’s okay- I can help you! Use these decluttering tips for hoarders to help you ditch the overwhelm so you can get started and get the job done.

Do you know that feeling when all of your stuff surrounding you starts closing in on you? You turn around in your home and all you can see are mountains of things that are in the way and you need to do something with. But what? It’s overwhelming and paralyzing.

I know that feeling myself. I’ve been there and it’s a terrible place to be in. But, I took on the challenge and tackled that clutter! Now, my home is the oasis I always wanted it to be.

And, the good news is that with some work and dedication, you can also eliminate those mountains of clutter and actually enjoy living in your home again.

I gathered up my top 7 decluttering tips for hoarders (and clutter bugs) to share with you and help you get to the other side of that clutter mountain!

NOTE: I am using the term “hoarder” to refer to people who have too much stuff. I am NOT talking about people who have a true hoarding disorder which is a medical condition that requires treatment and help from a professional.

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Why People Accumulate Too Much Clutter

People hold onto clutter for many reasons, and it’s important to know what they are. Once you can identify the reason(s), it takes away some of the hold or power that your clutter has on you and helps you to let go of it.

Common reasons people hold onto clutter include:

  • Security – Holding onto these items provides a (false) sense of security. As long as you have those items, everything will be ok, only that’s not at all true.
  • Fear of not having when they’re needed – This can lead people to hold onto silly-sounding excesses of items like 5 crockpots or 15 quilts. 
  • Attachment – Holding onto items handed down from family members, gifts from friends that you’ll never use, or collections of collectibles that might be valuable one day.

Top 7 Decluttering Tips For Hoarders

For people who just have a small clutter problem, decluttering might be a fairly simple task. However, hoarders have a much harder time tackling the problem because the amount of work needed to declutter is daunting and the thought of getting rid of their stuff is scary.

These decluttering tips for hoarders will make what was once an overwhelming task into one that’s manageable. To take a deeper dive into the world of decluttering, check out this post I put together on how to declutter fast and stop being overwhelmed

1. Stop Bringing In More Stuff

We all bring new stuff into our homes. However, you can’t even begin to declutter if you’re still bringing new things into the house.

In order to get a grip on your clutter problem, you have to stop bringing in new stuff. If that sounds difficult, just keep in mind the money you’ll save by not buying more stuff (win!).

2. Take It In Small Doses

If you have been accumulating clutter for an extended period of time, the prospect of tackling such a huge job is sure to send you running back to bed to pull the covers over your head.

You don’t need to get this job done over a weekend. In fact, I don’t recommend trying to tackle it all at once. It’s just too much.

Instead, take it in small doses. Try doing one room at a time. If that’s too much, go even smaller by breaking up a room into sections and tackle one section at a time. Maybe it’s a drawer, a closet, or a shelf.

As you make progress, you’ll likely find that you gain momentum by building onto the success of your progress.

3. Throw Away The Trash

One of the easiest ways to actually get started – and see a big improvement – is to grab a trash bag. Walk around the room and simply throw away any and all trash that you see. This is a very quick way to drastically reduce your clutter!

This may include: 

  • Old shoes with holes in them
  • Old receipts
  • Used food or product packaging
  • Junk mail
  • And more!

4. Choose A Starting Place

Once you have picked up all the trash, it’s time to pick a place to start decluttering. One of my most important decluttering tips for hoarders is to start decluttering the space that bothers you the most.

You know, that area that makes you cringe every. single. time. you see it. That means it’ll be a visible place, so I’m not talking about a drawer or cabinet.

Maybe it’s a shelf or your bathroom or kitchen counters. Those are great places to start if you can’t pick a place because they are usually fairly quick and easy to tackle and give you a rewarding confidence boost when you see the results.

To help yourself keep track, download, and use this free calendar I put together to help you have a decluttered home in 31 days

5. Make A Plan For Your Stuff

How will you get rid of the stuff you decluttered? Have a plan ahead of time so that once you do the hard work of decluttering, you can get those items out of your house quickly. 

Letting them sit around while you try to figure out what you want to do with them runs the very strong risk of changing your mind and not actually getting rid of them. The job isn’t done until you get those unwanted items out of your life!

6. Take It Slowly

I’m a fan of taking your time when it comes to decluttering. It’s exhausting work when you have a large job to tackle, and it can also be emotionally draining. 

Besides, all that clutter didn’t magically appear overnight or over a week. There’s no need to get rid of it all at once either, so take it slowly and tackle it in small doses.

7. Enlist Help

You may want to do this by yourself and that’s ok. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process or the aspect of getting rid of some of your things, ask a family member or friend to come help and support you.

I want to be clear – that doesn’t mean that they should do the job for you. Anytime anyone declutters someone else’s stuff for them, they run the risk of decluttering the “wrong” things. 

Instead, friends and family can offer emotional support and help lighten the workload towards the direction of the person decluttering.

Decluttering Tips For Hoarders: Final Thoughts

Decluttering isn’t an easy task, but with these decluttering tips for hoarders, you can overcome the overwhelm and tackle the job. Take it slowly, create a plan, and get to work – you will feel so much better once you’re done!

More Decluttering Help


  1. Janita, Frugal Fun Finance

    September 28, 2023 at 12:54 am

    Hi Katie,
    Great article full of helpful tips! I love your point about taking it slowly. When you start decluttering, it can be exciting to clean and get rid of as much junk as possible. However, this can lead to burnout and exhaustion. As you say, tackling one room or even one section at a time can help you stay on track. It’s a marathon, not a sprint!

    I also agree regarding enlisting the help of family or friends. If you have roommates, they can also be a great source of support. If your family or friends want to declutter, you can take turns helping each other declutter as well! If this is a bit too invasive, as you say, they’re a great source of emotional support. You can schedule a regular time to meet to chat about decluttering progress – maybe over lunch or coffee.

    In your opinion, what’s the most challenging room or section of a room to declutter and why?

    – Jani, Frugal Fun Finance

  2. Sage

    July 11, 2023 at 11:23 am

    You are a lifesaver! Since my mom passed away, I’ve been helping my dad declutter their home. It’s been so challenging, and I’m scrambling for new ideas to get the house organized. We ended up getting a dumpster rental in Orlando to haul away all the junk we were throwing out which made the process a lot easier. I will definitely be referring back to this post for ideas!

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