All hoarders would dearly love to be able to be cured from collecting debilitating amounts of clutter. However, hoarding is an obsessive compulsion, and a total cure is not often possible. Having said that, it is possible to learn how to control the compulsion and we are about to reveal the six essential steps that can help to regain a measure of control.
Dispelling negative feelings
The hoarding compulsion is something that is all in the mind. It is not a physical disability or illness, purely a mental syndrome, and therefore, as such, it is possible to retrain thought patterns and beliefs onto a more positive plane.
Dealing with Self Condemnation
If you are a hoarder and you are serious about wanting to de-clutter, you must first learn to be less judgmental about both yourself and the actions that your compulsion drives you to. Although on first hearing it may sound contradictive, hoarders are actually very self critical; nobody actually feels more repulsed by what it is that you do, more than you, yourself. The result is that you get totally destructive criticism from both your own inner thoughts, and also the thoughts of those around you. This multi facetted attack makes you lose all self respect, and plunges you into despair and depression. In fact the criticism you level upon yourself is tantamount to the worst form of self abuse, and so it is vitally important that you understand the nature of your affliction and learn to empathize rather than criticize, and concentrate on seeing it for what it is, a compulsion, and not a want or a desire.
Concentrate and Rejoice in the Positive
The main aim of your rehabilitation is to de-clutter. Each and every time that you succeed in discarding a piece of clutter, you should recognize the significance of what you have achieved, and celebrate each discard as an important victory.
The six way plan for successful de-cluttering
Slowly, Slowly Does it.
You will find it easier to take small steps rather than trying to cure yourself of hoarding in one fell swoop. Unless you are strong willed in the extreme, any attempt at total de-clutter will be doomed to failure, and any such failure will only worsen your self-despise. However, if you spend just fifteen to twenty minutes each day concentrating on a small amount of De-cluttering, it can and will work. You must be careful however not to go beyond your allotted time. After each successful de-clutter, relax and enjoy the moment; build your success, little by little.
Building New Habits
Just as you must try to discard your old, bad hoarding habits, you must also try to adopt new positive habits. Just start with small simple habits, such as opening your mail each day, or putting away a few clean shirts. Once you ingrain a new habit, look to gain other new positive habits.
Thinking Well of Yourself and Your Achievements
It is important that you recognize and celebrate your progress. Think in terms of the future and imagine that future as a place that is becoming less and less cluttered as your progress. Think of this future as a place of beauty, and should you suffer a small failure, do not scold yourself too harshly. Accept it for what it is and get straight back on the road to de-cluttering. Just take each small step, one stage at a time. Do not think about how much more there is to do; only how much you have done to date. Remember, if you find the strain too much to bear, do not be afraid to seek professional help, but remember; others can only support and encourage you. It is you, yourself that must do all of the hard work, but the rewards are enormous. You will get your self esteem and self confidence back and be able to rejoin society once again.