Addressing the underlying causes of hoarding: A holistic approach to hoarding cleanup

Hoarding is a complex issue that often stems from underlying psychological or emotional factors. While cleaning up a hoarder’s home is a necessary first step in addressing the issue, it is essential to understand and address the root causes of hoarding to achieve long-term success.

A holistic approach to hoarding cleanup involves addressing the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of the problem. Here are some strategies for addressing the underlying causes of hoarding:

  1. Seek professional help: A mental health professional can help identify and treat underlying mental health issues that may contribute to hoarding behavior, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma.

  2. Encourage open communication: Encourage your loved one to talk about their feelings and emotions surrounding their hoarding behavior. By listening without judgment and validating their experiences, you can help them feel heard and supported.

  3. Address any physical limitations: Physical limitations, such as mobility issues or chronic pain, can make it difficult for hoarders to keep their home tidy. Addressing these limitations, such as with home modifications or physical therapy, can help make it easier for them to maintain a clutter-free living space.

  4. Help develop organizational skills: For many hoarders, the clutter can feel overwhelming and paralyzing, making it difficult to know where to start. Helping your loved one develop organizational skills, such as breaking down larger tasks into smaller, manageable ones, can help them feel more in control of the process.

  5. Encourage healthy coping mechanisms: Many hoarders use their possessions as a way to cope with negative emotions. Encouraging healthy coping mechanisms, such as mindfulness or exercise, can provide them with alternative ways to manage their emotions.


It’s important to remember that addressing the underlying causes of hoarding is a process that takes time and patience. By taking a holistic approach and providing your loved one with the support they need, you can help them achieve long-term success in their hoarding recovery journey.