Do you know someone in your life that has a problem with clutter? Odds are that you do, maybe even yourself. A sensitive issue can be how to correctly deal with and help someone that has an issue with all of the extra things in their life. This can range from a messy house, disorganization, and expressions of “wishing that it would clean itself up”, to severe problems such as hoarding.
What are the three top ways you can help others get rid of clutter? My top three are listed below with explanations afterward.
- Help those who are asking for help!
- Find time to talk about their clutter and ask if they want help
- Refer your family member or friend to a professional
Help those who are asking for help
You might not even realize it, but a family member or friend might be asking for help right now. This doesn't mean that you need to start cleaning up someone's house because they seem to be a bit disorganized – most people would get upset, and rightly so! But, if you notice them saying things like, “...so much STUFF!”, or, “I can't get rid of it all...”, or, “this house is never clean”, it might be a good time to talk to them about ways to get rid of clutter. Referring them to a good resource or telling them about ways you have dealt with decluttering is a great way to start. Often people feel so overwhelmed that they take no action instead of making the first small step that is needed. Do you remember a time when you have felt this way? Think about what a change could have occurred if you had someone around to help you take that first step. Remember that this isn't about making them change, it's about helping them change in a way that they want and need to.
Find time to talk about their clutter and ask if they want help
Maybe the people in your life that have an issue with clutter don't outwardly mention it to you. This can be a difficult subject to broach, but you certainly should if their clutter represents a problem that is affecting other people in their lives. Find some time to talk one on one with this person and let them know that you think there are ways that their life could be improved and made easier – most people really do want to make life easier; it is when people are confronted and told they are wrong and they need to change that it can be hard to persuade them. Think about times that you have been talked to about different subjects; don't you respond better to helpful, truthful, and kind advice, as opposed to just being told that you are wrong and need to change? Keeping this in mind is important, as well as remembering to be truthful throughout the conversation. If you want to help you will tell them that you think there are some changes that would be helpful and offer solutions or at least offer to help them find and work through solutions. If you are not willing to do this you should probably not talk to them about this subject.
Refer your family member or friend to a professional
Sometimes there are conditions that are beyond our control. Most people have heard of the TV show about hoarders. This is an actual condition that can result in real personal danger and unsanitary living conditions. If you have tried to help someone and you feel that they are putting themselves into actual dangerous and unhealthy living conditions you should seek out professional help. They will continue to need your help and support, but conditions can get to a point where you and the person you are trying to help may not be able to find a solution. Getting professional help can relieve the stress that you yourself are likely to be feeling as a result of trying to help and give the person in question a better shot at overcoming their condition.
Helping someone with clutter issues can be very tough and very rewarding. Even if you yourself have issues with clutter you can still help! Sharing what works, what doesn't, and how you deal with certain problems like motivation, personal mental blocks, and general helpful tips can be a great help.
Keep up the decluttering and leave comments below if you have questions, comments, or additional information to share!