Decluttering For Hoarders

Here are some tips to get started to save on space.

By Kelvin Low      27 August 2019

If it is extremely difficult for you to discard your items, you may have a case of hoarding. But it’s hard to toss away stuff that is still usable – especially when an it may be useful or become valuable in the future. Many items also have sentimental value, are unique and irreplaceable, or too big a bargain to throw away.

So, how to get organized? Here are some tips to get started to save on space.

Start Slow

Don’t go through your home and throw everything out at once. Write down or make a map of all the rooms you want to tackle. Do one space at a time, starting with the most cluttered. You can even turn this into bonding time, try decluttering as a family!

Collect Memories, Not Things

It is very tempting to buy souvenirs on trips, or keep that small memorabilia from various events and trips overseas. You may feel bound to it sentimentally, so you can consider snapping a photo of it instead of keeping it physically.

One In, One Out

Do you really need it? Impulse buying is a sure way of increasing clutter. If an item is really a must-buy, exercise a one-in-one-out policy. Whenever you bring something new home, you have to remove or donate something else.

Rent, Don’t Buy

If you need something only once in a blue moon, consider renting or asking your circle of friends if anyone can lend one to you. This will considerably cut down the amount of stuff you amass over the years for one-off projects.

Fill Your Luggages

It’s part and parcel with almost every household, luggages of different sizes. Unless you travel for a living, these will sit around for months, untouched. If you have a place to store your luggage, might as well maximize the storage potential by filling it with all those random items you’ve been meaning to put away. Don’t forget to put a label on it in case you need to retrieve an item!

Get Storage Boxes Only After Decluttering

You may be tempted to use the new storage products you buy to store items which otherwise you would have discarded. What’s worse? Buying the snazzy but wrong storage solution that doesn’t work in your living space, just adds to the clutter. Remember, containers only hide the clutter, but do not get rid of it.


Most of the stuff we hoard may be of little to no value, or you’re too busy to list the item for sale on trading portals. Rather than having regrets of throwing away functional items, donating means they’re going to end up in a good home. In Singapore, there are a few local charities which will accept old items that are in good condition, it will help needy families or even support their day-to-day operations.