The emotional toll of hoarding: How to take care of yourself while supporting a loved one

Dealing with a loved one who hoards can take a significant emotional toll on family members and friends. It’s not easy watching someone you care about struggle with hoarding, and it can be challenging to know how to help them while also taking care of your own emotional well-being. In this blog post, we’ll explore some strategies for taking care of yourself while supporting a loved one who hoards.

  1. Acknowledge your emotions: It’s essential to recognize and acknowledge your emotions as you go through this process. You may feel frustrated, angry, sad, or even resentful towards your loved one. It’s natural to experience these emotions, and it’s okay to feel them. Take some time to reflect on your feelings and find healthy ways to express them.

  2. Set boundaries: Setting boundaries is crucial when supporting a loved one who hoards. It’s important to be supportive, but you also need to take care of yourself. Set clear boundaries around what you’re willing and able to do to help. Be honest with your loved one about your limits and don’t be afraid to say no when necessary.

  3. Find support: Don’t try to do everything on your own. Find a support group or a therapist who can help you navigate the emotional challenges of supporting a loved one who hoards. Having a safe space to share your feelings and concerns can make a significant difference in your well-being.

  4. Practice self-care: It’s essential to take care of yourself while supporting a loved one who hoards. Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. It can be helpful to establish a routine that includes exercise, meditation, and other self-care activities.

  5. Stay informed: Educate yourself about hoarding and the recovery process. The more you understand about hoarding, the better equipped you’ll be to support your loved one. Attend workshops or seminars, read books, or seek out resources from organizations that specialize in hoarding cleanup and recovery.


Supporting a loved one who hoards can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Take care of yourself, set boundaries, find support, and stay informed. With patience, understanding, and the right resources, you can help your loved one on their journey towards recovery.