Self-Help Tips and Techniques



Answering Yes to many of these questions may mean you have a serious issue and should seek professional assistance to make your household safe and secure and useable again. 

  1. Are any household exits blocked by storage?

  2. Are any interior doors unable to open completely due to storage and clutter?

  3.  Are the bathtub, toilets, and sink in poor working order or unable to be used due to storage?

  4. Are the kitchen area, sink, stove, and refrigerator not working or inaccessible due to clutter or disrepair?

  5. Are you not able to enter and use all rooms due to your accumulation of possessions?

  6. Are you unable to sleep in your bed because there is little space left for you on it? 

  7. Are there any situations that could cause safety concerns such as dangerous electrical cord connections, storage of large quantities of newspapers, books, and miscellaneous paper, clothing, or purchases filling up your dwelling? 

  8. Are you accumulating a large number of pets? Are pet “accidents” causing unsanitary problems? 

  9. Are you unable to deal with ants, rats, mice, roaches adequately? 

  10. Are there narrow paths leading through your house lined with storage or clutter ?



These quizzes are NOT intended to be diagnostic tools.  If you suspect that you or a loved one suffers from hoarding disorder, please seek an evaluation by a mental health professional trained in the diagnosis and treatment of Hoarding Disorder. 


Dr. Nestadt offers six anti-clutter strategies for compulsive hoarders

  • 1. Make immediate decisions about mail and newspapers. Go through mail and newspapers on the day you receive them and throw away unwanted materials immediately. Don’t leave anything to be decided on later.
  • 2. Think twice about what you allow into your home. Wait a couple of days after seeing a new item before you buy it. And when you do purchase something new, discard another item you own to make room for it.
  • 3. Set aside 15 minutes a day to declutter. Start small–with a table, perhaps, or a chair–rather than tackling the entire, overwhelming house at once. If you start to feel anxious,take a break and do some deep-breathing or relaxation exercises.
  • 4. Dispose of anything you have not used in a year. That means old clothes, broken items, and craft projects you’ll never finish. Remind yourself that many items are easily replaceable if you need them later.
  • 5. Follow the OHIO rule [which apparently doesn't work in Ohio, because I'm from there]:Only Handle It Once. If you pick something up, make a decision then and there about it,and either put it where it belongs or discard it. Don’t fall into the trap of moving things from one pile to another, again and again.
  • 6. Ask for help if you can’t do it on your own. If you feel these strategies are impossible to carry out and you cannot cope with the problem on your own, seek out a mental health professional.

Source: "Compulsive Hoarding and 6 Tips to Help", by Terese J. Borchard

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