Practical tips for dealing with a hoarder: Where to start and what to expect

Dealing with a hoarder can be overwhelming and intimidating, but it’s crucial to remember that recovery is possible with the right support and approach. If you’re looking for practical tips for dealing with a hoarder, here are some helpful suggestions to get you started.

  1. Educate yourself on hoarding disorder: Learning more about hoarding disorder can help you understand the underlying causes and behaviors associated with hoarding. This knowledge can help you approach the situation with empathy and compassion.

  2. Start with small steps: It’s essential to understand that hoarding disorder is not something that can be solved overnight. Encourage your loved one to start small, perhaps by decluttering a small space or room.

  3. Be patient: Hoarding disorder is a complex condition, and recovery can be a long and challenging process. Be patient with your loved one and celebrate even the smallest of successes.

  4. Set boundaries: Living with a hoarder can be stressful and overwhelming, but it’s important to set boundaries to protect your own well-being. This may include setting limits on the accumulation of possessions or seeking outside support to help manage the situation.

  5. Encourage professional help: Seeking professional help is a critical step in the recovery process for individuals with hoarding disorder. Encourage your loved one to seek therapy or counseling to address the underlying emotional issues and develop coping strategies.

  6. Practice self-care: Supporting a hoarder can be emotionally draining, and it’s essential to take care of yourself. Make sure to prioritize self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, and spending time with friends and family.


Remember, recovery is possible, and your loved one is not alone. With patience, empathy, and professional support, you can help your loved one overcome hoarding disorder and improve their quality of life.