Can You Recover from Being a Hoarder?

You can recover from hoarding. It just takes time, patience, and professional help.

Hoarders can recover from their symptoms and go on to lead healthy lives over time. If you want to help a hoarder reclaim their life, the key is not to give up.

You need to be a consistent support system and do everything you can to learn about the causes of hoarding.

Working with a professional is vital to your recovery. You need guidance from an experienced person who thoroughly understands the disorder.

Our hoarding cleaning services keep your mental and physical health in mind. We work diligently to help hoarders learn healthier habits while we clean their homes.

By supporting a hoarder as they recover, you can achieve results that are much more likely to last than if you simply forced them to throw everything away.

What Is Hoarding?

Hoarding is a mental health condition that affects between 2 and 5 percent of the population. It’s estimated that 4 million people in the U.S. have hoarding disorder, although many more people who hoard don’t realize it.

People who hoard often have a tendency to acquire and save items in ways that other people don’t. This can be for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • The hoarder may feel compelled to collect things out of fear that they might need them later on when there is no evidence that this is actually true.
  • Hoarders may find themselves keeping items because they are worried about losing them if they throw them away or give them away, even though these belongings often have little or no value to anyone else who might encounter them.
  • Because hoarders develop psychological attachments to their belongings, tossing such items would be seen as throwing away part of themselves; therefore, many hoarders refuse to discard anything as meaningless as an old cereal box or an empty soda can (or even full soda cans).
  • More often than not, hoarding is also a symptom of underlying mental health issues. These can range from depression and anxiety to obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Encouraging a hoarder to clean up can be complicated due to these contributing factors.


Hoarders may have difficulty discarding items, even things other people would think of as trash.

When you think of a hoarder, you might picture an elderly person living in squalor. But hoarding can affect anyone at any age. In some cases, there may be underlying emotional issues causing your loved one’s hoarding tendencies.

Commonly hoarded items include:

  • Newspapers, magazines, and books (including college textbooks);
  • Old DVDs, CDs, photographs, videos, toys, and games;
  • Clothing, food, and household supplies;
  • Mail, greeting cards, and old bills.
  • Pet food, toys, or supplies
  • Prescription medications


Hoarding can have serious personal and relational consequences.

Hoarders tend to avoid people out of embarrassment about their situation. This alone can do damage to friendships and family relationships.

But if you are so shocked by your loved one’s hoarding situation that you lash out, they are also likely to continue to isolate themselves, even if you have good intentions.

It may be difficult for you to understand why someone would allow their home to become so cluttered that it is impossible for them to live there comfortably. However, hoarding is not about being lazy or just not wanting to clean.

Try to be patient and help them work through their challenges with a positive mindset.

Hoarders often have a difficult time accepting help.

A lot of hoarders don’t trust the people around them enough to get the help that they need.

They are so afraid of parting with their belongings, that they don’t want to allow anyone else to make decisions about their home.

Some hoarders are very defensive about their collections and might even get angry if you try to talk about how much clutter they have accumulated.

If you are a family member or friend of someone who hoards, you can (and should) try talking with your loved one about getting help for his or her hoarding problem—but proceed carefully!

Don’t make accusations or judgments. Before you try to offer advice on how your loved one should live their life, try to listen to them and understand why they are struggling.

Do Hoarders Ever Stop?

Hoarders can get better with the right support system. It takes time and effort, but it is possible.

Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Your family and friends are there to support you—don’t be afraid to tell them what’s going on and ask for their help in getting rid of the clutter.

Working with a professional can not only help you clean up. But it can help you identify the cause of the problem and figure out a healthy way to overcome your challenges.

The key to recovery from hoarding is to get help from professionals who understand the condition. They can give you the tools and resources you need to begin clearing the clutter in your home and your mind.

Hoarders911 is a one-stop shop for all of your hoarding cleaning needs. We work with you to address the mental health issues that are contributing to the hoarding before we start cleaning.

Our experts will assess the home to make sure it’s safe to enter.

Then, we develop a personalized plan for your unique situation.

We handle every aspect of the hoarding cleaning so you can focus on helping your loved one recover. From heavy-duty cleaning to pest control, our specialists can do it all!

Call today for a free consultation: 718 627 5781