Celebrating progress: How to acknowledge and celebrate small wins in the hoarding recovery process.

Dealing with hoarding disorder can be a long and challenging journey. The process of decluttering and organizing a hoarder’s home can take a significant amount of time, effort, and patience. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged by the enormity of the task ahead.

However, it’s important to remember that progress is not always measured in significant milestones. Celebrating small wins and achievements along the way can help motivate your loved one and keep them going through the recovery process.

Here are some ways to acknowledge and celebrate small wins in the hoarding recovery process:

  1. Set achievable goals: It’s essential to set achievable goals that your loved one can work towards. Small goals that can be accomplished in a day or two can help build momentum and give a sense of accomplishment.

  2. Acknowledge progress: Take time to acknowledge the progress your loved one has made, no matter how small. Celebrate every step, from sorting and organizing a small area to discarding a single item.

  3. Encourage positive self-talk: Help your loved one to replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Encourage them to focus on their strengths and accomplishments instead of dwelling on their struggles.

  4. Celebrate with rewards: Celebrate the achievement of a goal with a small reward. This could be as simple as a favorite meal, a movie night, or a special activity.

  5. Document progress: Keep a record of progress, including before-and-after photos, to show the progress that has been made. This can help to motivate your loved one and keep them focused on the end goal.


Remember, hoarding recovery is a journey, and progress is not always linear. Celebrating small wins can help your loved one stay motivated and positive throughout the process. Encourage them to take it one step at a time and celebrate each achievement along the way.