How can I help a hoarder?

Hoarding disorder is a complex mental health condition characterized by persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. Hoarding behavior can lead to significant physical and emotional distress, as well as safety and health hazards. It can also affect the lives of family members and friends who are concerned about the hoarder’s well-being.

If you know someone who displays hoarding behavior but does not recognize it as a problem, it can be challenging to know what to do. In this blog post, we will explore some ways to help a loved one with hoarding disorder.

  1. Educate yourself about hoarding disorder

    The first step in helping someone with hoarding disorder is to understand the condition. Hoarding is a complex mental health issue that requires specialized treatment. Learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for hoarding disorder to better understand what your loved one may be going through.

  2. Approach the subject with empathy and understanding

    It’s crucial to approach the conversation about hoarding disorder with empathy and understanding. Hoarding is often a symptom of underlying mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression. Try to approach the topic with compassion and sensitivity. Explain that you’re concerned about their well-being and want to help them get the support they need.

  3. Listen actively and avoid being judgmental

    When you talk to your loved one about hoarding, make sure you listen actively and avoid being judgmental. Hoarders often feel ashamed and embarrassed about their behavior, so it’s important to create a safe and non-judgmental space for them to open up. Listen to their concerns and validate their feelings.

  4. Encourage professional help

    Hoarding disorder is a mental health condition that requires professional treatment. Encourage your loved one to seek help from a mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychologist. Explain that hoarding is a treatable condition and that seeking help is an essential step towards recovery.

  5. Offer practical support

    Offer practical support to your loved one to help them overcome their hoarding behavior. For example, you can help them declutter their living space by organizing and sorting their possessions. You can also help them find a support group or a professional organizer who specializes in hoarding disorder.

  6. Be patient and persistent

    Recovery from hoarding disorder is a long and challenging process. It’s essential to be patient and persistent in supporting your loved one. Encourage them to seek treatment and offer ongoing support throughout their recovery journey.


In conclusion, helping someone with hoarding disorder can be a challenging and sensitive process. It’s crucial to approach the topic with empathy and understanding, listen actively, and encourage professional help. By offering practical support, being patient, and persistent, you can help your loved one overcome their hoarding behavior and lead a happier and healthier life.