Decluttering Solutions For Hoarders: Befriend A Dumpster

Posted on: 25 June 2015

If your home is beginning to look like an episode of Hoarders, you already know that it's time to take action and reclaim your life. You've probably read articles and posts, and maybe even bought a book or two, about how to declutter and organize your life. Many of them focus on sorting your collection of useless items into piles designated as keep, give away and sell with little focus on throwing away things you no longer need.

If you are a hoarder or have hoarding tendencies you already know this technique is just a recipe for disaster. It's your inability to make decisions about those broken and seldom used items that got you into this mess in the first place. Adding more opportunities to delay the inevitable just makes it harder and delays getting rid of your clutter. That's why a dumpster rental may be the best move you can make.

What's wrong with sorting and organizing into several categories?

For people with normal brain functioning, sorting belongings into the typical keep, give away and sell categories makes sense. It avoids waste, allows you to recycle your unused items and avoids filling landfills with trash. However, for people with a hoarding disorder or OCD, the brain does not function normally when it comes to handling their belongings.

Recent research indicates the area of the brain responsible for decision-making is often overactive when a hoarder faces deciding what to do with his belongings, making it more difficult to make a decision. Researchers believe that problems with decision making contribute to hoarding. This difficulty may be compounded when the hoarder is faced with too many options when sorting and organizing his collection of items.

How can renting a dumpster help?

Renting a dumpster to declutter the home provides several benefits to those with a hoarding disorder or hoarding tendencies. 

  • Provides two clear choices — keep or throw away.
  • Eliminates the need to haul items to the transfer station. Failure to throw away items is often attributed to lack of resources, such as a proper vehicle to transport the trash or the need to wait for trash pickup.
  • No need for bagging or bundling items as they can be tossed directly into the dumpster. 
  • Immediate access 24 hours a day. 

Isn't it wasteful to throw away things others could use?

That is exactly the kind of thinking that got you into this position in the first place. Your items have been sitting unused for years and no one has needed them yet. In fact, you probably don't even know what's at the bottom of those piles. If you or someone you know needed the items, they would have been used by now.

If you are serious about getting rid of the piles of junk in your home, you need to get past the idea that things are too good to throw away. While throwing away a perfectly good item may be wasteful, consider the fact that it will never get used at the bottom of your junk pile, either. You aren't really wasting the item because it was taken out of circulation long ago. 

Tips for decluttering

Decluttering your home can be a challenge, but you can eliminate some of the pitfalls by approaching the task with a positive attitude and following some simple tips.

  • Rent the dumpster for a limited time to avoid procrastination.
  • Place the dumpster close to the home for easy access. 
  • Work on one room, or a section of a room, at a time. This prevents you from becoming overwhelmed by the task at hand.
  • Take breaks when you get tired. Being over-tired can make decluttering more difficult and decision making harder.
  • If items haven't been used in a year or more, throw them away.

You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that throwing your old and broken items into the dumpster is strangely liberating. It frees up space in your house for the activities you enjoy and breathes new life into your home.