5 Tips to Help a Hoarder

Hoarding is a serious mental health condition that can cause someone you love to trap themselves in a dangerous living space. Hoarders often collect and save possessions that they don’t need and pile them in their homes, making the property unlivable. Some hoarders even save trash and garbage, creating an in-home health issue. If you know someone who’s a hoarder, use these tips to help them.


  • Educate yourself. To someone who isn’t a hoarder, hoarding behaviors can seem frustrating and irrational. It’s important to remember that hoarding is fueled by underlying emotions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Educate yourself on this debilitating condition before you offer help.
  • Don’t enable. One of the first steps you can take to stop hoarding is to refuse to enable hoarding behaviors. For example, if your sister is hoarding antiques, reject her invitation to go antique shopping. If your aunt is a compulsive shopper, invite her out to dinner—not the mall.
  • Offer to help clean. Some people who hoard collect so many things that they have trouble navigating their home. This can cause the hoarder to feel like treatment is futile because they’ll never clean out the mess. Let your hoarder know that you’re there for them—and that you’re willing to help them clean up when they’re ready.
  • Make it easier to clean up. Resist the urge to clean out the hoarder’s house for them. This won’t address the root of the problem and will likely cause the hoarder to repeat their behaviors. Instead, offer to make things easier by hiring a company that provides dumpster rentals or home cleanouts in Camden County on their behalf. Make sure you get explicit permission from the hoarder first before you hire a cleanout service.
  • Help your loved one find treatment. It’s not always easy to find a good therapist. Give your loved one a hand by encouraging him or her to seek treatment, and review qualified mental health professionals and therapists in your area.


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