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Even Professional Organizers can Hoard

Even Professional Organizers can Hoard image indicating episode one with Amanda's photo

I was asked by a client recently what kinds of things I hoard? I definitely believe that everyone has something they hoard, that they just can get enough of. While we talked, it made her feel so much better to know that she wasn't alone, that even me, as a professional organizer, also has something that I hoard.

We need to start this conversation off with a true definition of physical clutter. Clutter is the items in our lives that are not serving their purpose or not being utilized the way they are meant to be utilized or not being utilized at all. Examples of clutter could be the extra 2 spatulas you own, or that t-shirt from high-school you keep in your drawer that you never really wear. Clutter is wasting space that you could be using for something else!

Another thing we should define is the difference between a hoarder and someone with hoarding tendencies. A hoarder are people who are diagnosed by a therapist that they are a hoarder. They need help psychologically and also they need help with their spaces as well. People with hoarding tendencies generally like to keep a specific item or thing in their home. For example, for someone who likes to cook, you may keep additional cooking items in your home, such as additional pots and pans and gadgets. Everyone has some level of hoarding tendencies! A professional organizer comes in to help manage those tendencies.

Commonly Hoarded Items list including handbags, jewelry, tools, toys, electronic cords, sentimental items, notebooks and planners, and hobby items.

What Amanda Hoards

I used to hoard binders! I have since overcome this hoarding tendency on my own but it also took time. I just felt like i had to hold on to them because they are expensive and I convinced myself that I would someday use them. I had to prove to myself that I didn't need them. I also used to hoard planners and notebooks. I love a great notebook and I would do different notebooks for different things. I found that they weren't a good organizing tool for me so I now use a digital planner.

I'm not a huge sentimental person, so I don't hoard a lot of sentimental items. Sometimes I will just take a picture of the item because I don't need to physical thing anymore. I had a lot of sports trophies so I took all of the plaques off to the trophies and put them into a shadow box so it took up 1/10 of the space that the actual trophies took up!

I also "hoard" tools. I really like a good tool. It's somewhat hoardy and somewhat not because each tool has it's own purpose. Each tool makes doing a specific job easier. From an outside perspective it could be looked at as a hoarding tendency but for someone who knows tools it's not really.

PODCAST NOTE: All about wanting to bring you guys in on Amanda's journey through organizing but also to talk to other business owners. If you or someone you know would love to be on the Podcast, have them send us a note!

Tips to Overcome Hoarding?

Tip One: You have to be ready and come to terms that they are hoarding

Tip Two: Creating a confined, physical barrier system for the items you are hoarding. For example: fitting the binders I own to a single cube bin. Sentimental items? Create a bin for each person to store their sentimental items in.

Tip Three: Be okay with getting rid of the things that don't serve their purpose. Those items are not serving their purpose by sitting in a box in the basement collecting dust. If you keep it, try utilizing it at least one or two times a year.

Tip Four: It's okay to get rid of gifts you've never used. Don't' feel obligated to keep those things just because they were a gift. Don't be afraid to regift

Tip Five: Create a temporary box. This box is something you put the extra items into that is difficult to get to but you know where it is incase you need it. If i haven't used these items in a set amount of time then I am going to get rid of them.

Tip Six: Take it one small step at a time. It's okay to keep some of the stuff! Ease into it! If you get rid of a bunch of items quickly, you might "relapse"


Everyone has some hoarding tendency and it's okay! Take your time going through the tips we mentioned to overcome hoarding.

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