Living With A Hoarder: What It’s Like, How to Cope

Living With A Hoarder: What It's Like, How to Cope

Living with a hoarder can be difficult. The constant mess and chaos can be overwhelming and stressful. If you have a loved one who is a hoarder, it’s important to learn how to help them. In this blog post, we will discuss what living with a hoarder is like, and how they impact your life. We will also provide tips to cope with this condition.

How Does Living With A Hoarder Feel Like?

How Does Living With A Hoarder Feel?Hoarder is often used as a term to describe someone with an excessive collection of items, but it is much more than that. Living with a hoarder can be incredibly challenging, both emotionally and physically.

For those of us who live with hoarders, every day feels like walking on eggshells. We never know what might set them off or when they will have one of their “episodes.” These episodes usually involve them becoming extremely defensive about their belongings and lashing out at anyone who tries to remove anything from the home.

It’s an isolating experience, living with a hoarder. Friends and family often stop visiting because they can’t handle the mess or the constant stress. This only makes things worse for the people living with the hoarder because they feel even more isolated and alone.

How Does A Hoarder Affect Families?

Living with a hoarder is really tough on families. It’s hard to keep the house clean, and it’s hard to have people over when the house is a mess. And, it’s hard to live with someone who is constantly bringing new stuff into the house and never getting rid of anything.

If you’re living with a hoarder, there are some things you can do to try to help them. First, have a conversation with them about the problem and try to get them to see how it’s affecting the family. Next, help them come up with a plan to declutter the house. Finally, offer support and encouragement as they work to declutter.

Moreover, a hoarder impacts the family in a number of ways. Such as;

Physical Impacts

When you are living with a hoarder, your home is usually cluttered and crammed full of stuff. This can make it difficult to move around, and it can be dangerous if there are things blocking exits in case of an emergency.

The clutter can also attract pests, which can spread diseases. There are even numerous physical impacts they create, such as;

These physical impacts often lead to emotional ones as well. For example, anxiety and depression are common among people who live with hoarders. This is because they feel like they’re constantly living in a state of chaos and they can’t control the situation. As a result, they may withdraw from family and friends and become isolated.

Moreover, they may start to hoard things themselves as a way to cope with the stress of living with a hoarder. This can create a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. If you’re living with a hoarder, it’s important to get help.

Emotional Impacts

It’s not just the physical aspects of living with a hoarder that can be tough, but the emotional impacts as well. It can be really hard to see your loved one living in such conditions, and it can be hard to deal with their hoarding behaviors.

You may feel like you are enabling their behavior if you help them clean up or get rid of things. And, you may feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells around them, trying not to upset them or trigger a hoarder episode.

Families may also start to distance themselves from the hoarder because they are embarrassed by their living conditions. This can cause a lot of tension and arguments within the family. There are numerous emotional impacts a hoarder can create such as;

If you’re living with a hoarder, it’s important to get help. There are many resources available to help you deal with the situation. You don’t have to live in a cluttered and dangerous home. There is help available if you reach out for it.

How To Help A Hoarder?

How To Help A Hoarder?If you live with a hoarder, you know how difficult it can be. The constant mess, the inability to find anything, and the stress of living in an unsafe environment can take their toll. But there are things you can do to help your loved one. Here are 11 tips for you to help your loved ones with hoarding disorder.

Encourage Them To Get Help

If your loved one is resistant to the idea of getting help, try to find a way to encourage them. Perhaps you can offer to go with them to their first appointment. Or, you can research treatment options and present them with a list of options. Whatever you do, try to be understanding and patient.

As they might not realize how serious the problem is, it’s important not to be confrontational. Instead, try to have a conversation about why getting help would be beneficial. Moreover, try to be supportive and understanding throughout the process.

Help Them Declutter

One of the best ways to help a hoarder is to help them declutter their home. This can be a daunting task, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to do it all at once. Start small, and work your way up. Maybe you can start with one room or one area of the house.

It basically refers to helping them get rid of the stuff they don’t need. This could involve going through their things with them and helping them to make decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of. This can be done by organizing items into piles, such as keep, donate, sell, or trash.

Educate Them About The Dangers Of Hoarding

Many hoarders are unaware of the dangers of their condition. They may not realize that their homes are unsafe, or that their clutter is putting them at risk for injury. Helping them to understand these risks can be an important step in getting them to seek treatment.

In fact, hoarding can pose serious risks to both the hoarder and those who live with them. For instance, it can lead to fires, falling hazards, and even eviction. Helping your loved ones to understand these risks may be just what they need to finally seek help for their condition.

Offer Emotional Support

Hoarding can be a very emotionally charged issue. Many hoarders feel a great deal of shame and embarrassment about their condition. As a result, they may be reluctant to seek help or even talk about the problem. Somehow, hoarding disorder is still seen as a taboo topic.

This is why it’s so important to offer emotional support to your loved one. Let them know that you’re there for them and that you understand how difficult it can be. This can go a long way in helping them to feel less alone and more likely to seek help for their condition. You can do this by including; listening to them, being understanding, and showing empathy. Also, this can be done by sharing your own experiences, if you have any.

Help Them To Store Their Things

Set Some Ground RulesFor many hoarders, the thought of getting rid of their things is simply too much to bear. If this is the case with your loved one, offer to store their things for them. This can be a temporary solution that can help them to declutter their home and get the treatment they need.

You can offer your home as a storage space, or you can research storage facilities in your area. Whatever you do, make sure that the items are stored safely and securely. You don’t want their things to end up in a landfill or being thrown away by mistake.

Be There For Them

Hoarding can be a very isolating condition. Many hoarders feel embarrassed and ashamed of their homes, and as a result, they withdraw from friends and family. It’s important to let your loved ones know that you’re there for them, no matter what. You can do this through your words and actions.

If you’re not sure what to say, try something like, “I’m here for you, no matter what.” This simple statement can go a long way in making your loved one feel supported and understood. Moreover, it is also important to follow up on your words with actions. This could involve helping them to declutter their home or simply spending time with them. Being there for them also means being understanding and patient. It’s important to remember that this is a process, and it will take time.

Set Some Ground Rules

If you’re living with a hoarder, it’s important to set some ground rules. For example, you may want to limit the amount of stuff they can bring into the house. Or, you may want to establish a rule that all clutter must be stored in certain areas. Whatever rules you decide to set, be sure to communicate them clearly and stick to them.

This is especially important if you have young children or pets. They are the most vulnerable members of the family, and it’s important to keep them safe. In addition, setting out some ground rules can help to make your home more livable and reduce the stress that comes with living with a hoarder.

Be supportive but firm

It’s okay to set boundaries and stick to them. Your loved one needs to know that you’re there for them, but that their disorder is not going to control your life. You need to find a balance between being supportive and firm.

On the one hand, you need to be understanding and patient. But on the other hand, you also need to be clear about what you will and will not tolerate. It may sound like a difficult tightrope to walk, but it is possible. Moreover, being supportive is not the same as enabling. You need to be firm in your resolve to help your loved one get through this disorder.

Also, don’t forget to take care of yourself. It’s important to set aside time for your own mental and physical health. Dealing with a hoarder can be difficult, and it’s important to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself.

Be Patient

This is probably the most difficult thing to do, but it is important to be patient. Patience is the key to dealing with hoarder disorder. Remember, this is a process and it will take time. But, if you are patient, you will be able to help your loved one get through this difficult time.

Also, the hoarder is something that you may not be able to change overnight. So, it is important to be patient and take things one day at a time.

Help Them To Organize Their Things

Many hoarders have a hard time organizing their things. This is because they often see value in everything they own, no matter how useless it may be. As a result, their homes are usually cluttered and chaotic.

In this case, you may need to help your loved one to organize their things. This can be a difficult and time-consuming task, but it is possible. Start by helping them to sort their things into categories. Then, help them to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.

Validate Your Own Feelings

Validate Your Own FeelingsValidating your feelings when you’re living with a hoarder is important. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, and even scared. Allow yourself to feel these things and don’t try to bottle them up. This is usually defined as feeling everything and anything.

You can try this in different ways like;

  • writing,
  • painting,
  • listening to music,
  • sculpting, and
  • doodling.

When you are dealing with a hoarder, it is essential to talk about your feelings too. Because there are times when you, too, can feel tired and annoyed. So, validating your feelings is necessary. In fact, doing so enhances your further help and you are better able to support the hoarder.

These are some tips that can show you a better way to help you understand, cope, and process your feelings. Otherwise, they will come out in other ways that may not be so healthy. Consider all the above-given tips in order to better help a hoarder you might love and cannot see as a suffers or hoarding disorder.


The bottom line is that living with a hoarder can be extremely difficult. It can be hard to find a place to live, it can be hard to keep your own things clean and organized, and it can be emotionally draining to constantly be cleaning up after someone else.

However, it is possible to make the best of the situation and even help the hoarder in your life get some help if they are willing to seek it out. If you are struggling to deal with a hoarder in your life, reach out to a professional for help. They can offer you guidance on how to best deal with the situation and may even be able to provide some resources that you didn’t know existed.

Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into what it’s like to live with a hoarder and how you can best cope with the situation. Thanks for reading!

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