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With the new year, our thoughts turn to taking stock and starting fresh. But for some people, moving forward can be a particularly daunting challenge because their homes — and lives — have been taken over by clutter.

Hoarding is a condition that results in excessive acquisition and saving of numerous items that often have little or no value. This behavior can have extreme negative effects for the hoarder and for others who live in the household. Medical experts tell us that individuals hoard for a number of reasons, including:

  • Emotional attachment to items that others might see as worthless junk.
  • Feeling that items might prove useful someday.
  • A belief that items may have monetary value.

What are some of the ways that hoarders and their families can get clutter under control?

Donating Items

For some individuals, letting go is easier if they know the items will go to good use. Remember that there are people in need in your community who would be delighted to get your extra clothing, warm blankets, housewares and other items.

To get into the habit of giving unneeded items to the less fortunate, set up a “donate” box in your home that you regularly add to. When it’s full, stop by your local donation center to drop off items you’ve collected.

Throwing Away

Some items simply aren’t useful for anyone, and they just take up valuable space and create clutter in your home. Items that are clearly trash — packaging containers, electronics that no longer work, ratty clothing and worn-out shoes, for instance — should go into the refuse or recycling bins.

Consider designating a throw-away day once a month to get rid of items that have no value to you or anyone else. These may include old makeup, old magazines, old sales fliers and other documents, spoiled food, broken electronics and clothing that’s beyond repair.

Using a Self-Storage Unit

Some items may be difficult to part with because you believe they’re valuable or may prove useful to you one day. For these items, consider using a self-storage unit.

Once you have your climate control storage unit, determine how much you can fit in the space, then begin packing your items accordingly. Group items you might need together in storage boxes, and label them so you can easily find what you need later. Take digital photos of your boxes or keep an inventory list for easy retrieval.

The new year is a time for new goals. By committing to donating some items, throwing away others and using a self-storage unit for your valued belongings, you can start the year off right with a clutter-free home.

If you are in the need of storage, learn more about our storage locations in the Houston, Texas area on our website.

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