Where to Start? A Step-by-Step Guide on Tackling Rooms and Areas in a Hoarding Cleanup

Hoarding cleanup can be an incredibly challenging and emotionally exhausting process. If you or someone you know is dealing with a hoarding issue, it’s essential to have a systematic approach for a successful outcome. This comprehensive guide walks you through tackling rooms and areas in hoarding cleanup, helping you transform your space into a clutter-free haven.

Assessing the Situation

The first step in tackling hoarding cleanup is recognizing how severe the hoarding disorder is. It’s important to be honest when evaluating the clutter and how it’s impacting your daily life. If the hoarding problem seems overwhelming, don’t hesitate to seek help from mental health professionals. Their expertise can be invaluable in finding effective strategies for addressing the underlying reasons behind hoarding behavior.

Setting Realistic Goals

Setting realistic, manageable goals is essential when you’re ready to begin the hoarding cleanup process. Tackling the entire house can be incredibly daunting, so it’s better to break the cleaning process into smaller, more manageable tasks. Focus on one room or area at a time and gradually work through the house. Remember, progress—even slow progress—is still progress.

Creating a Hoarder Cleaning Checklist

A thorough hoarder cleaning checklist will help you stay organized and on track throughout the cleaning process. A comprehensive checklist will categorize tasks and include timeframes for completing each task. You can approach each room or area methodically and prevent unnecessary stress.

Professional Help for Hoarding Cleanup

Sometimes, the sheer amount of clutter and the emotional challenges of hoarding cleanup make professional help necessary. Professional cleaning services have the necessary tools, techniques, and experience to streamline the process, making it more manageable. Feel free to seek professional assistance if the task is too daunting or emotionally challenging.

Decluttering and Organization

As you begin the hoarding cleanup process, decluttering and organization are the most critical steps. This involves sorting through the clutter and deciding what items to keep, donate, or discard.

When decluttering, it’s essential to be ruthless in your decision-making process. Holding on to no longer needed or valuable items will only delay your progress and hinder your ability to maintain a clutter-free environment. After you’ve decided what to keep, the next step is to organize the remaining items.

This may involve purchasing storage solutions such as shelving, bins, or baskets. Having designated places for your belongings will make maintaining order in your home easier and prevent future clutter accumulation.

Donation Guidelines and Resources

After decluttering, you’re likely to have several items that you’ve decided to donate. Many local organizations and charities accept donations, so research to find the ones that best align with your values or the type of items you have. When donating items, ensure they are in good condition and usable by others. Following each organization’s specific donation guidelines is essential, as these can vary between charities.

Establishing a Cleaning Schedule

Once you’ve decluttered and organized your home, it’s essential to establish a cleaning schedule to maintain your progress. Sticking to a regular cleaning routine ensures your living environment remains orderly and clutter-free.

Allocate specific timeframes for cleaning and re-evaluating your belongings to prevent the accumulation of unnecessary clutter. Consistency is key, so adhere to your cleaning schedule as closely as possible.

Psychological Aspects of Hoarding Cleanup

Recognizing the emotional challenges that can arise during hoarder cleanup is essential. For many, letting go of possessions can be overwhelming and emotionally exhausting. If you struggle with these feelings, seeking emotional support from friends, family, or mental health professionals can make a significant difference.

Maintaining a Clutter-Free Home

With your space finally cleaned and organized, it’s essential to ensure that hoarding behaviors don’t resurface. Continuously update and implement your cleaning routine, regularly evaluating your belongings and preventing the accumulation of unnecessary clutter. By doing so, you’ll be able to maintain a clean and orderly living environment conducive to improved mental health and overall well-being. 


Tackling a hoarding cleanup may be an overwhelming and emotionally draining process. Still, by following a systematic approach and seeking emotional support, you can regain control of your living space and enjoy a cleaner, more organized home environment. Remember, the journey to a clutter-free life may be long and challenging, but taking it one step at a time and staying committed to your goals makes all the difference.