Whether your parents’ home is cluttered with possessions or if they have started hoarding, cleaning up is going to require a plan. The first step and it may be most challenging – is getting your parents on board. Acknowledge that you know it is difficult for them to part with their things, but explain why it needs to be done.
Trash Talk - It make take many conversations before your parents reluctantly agree to “clean up a little.”
Cleaning Crew - Enlist some assistance. If you think you and your parents may butt heads over the project, it may be wise to get help from a professional.
Ready, Set, Go! - Pick a start date but know going in that it may take several sessions to finish the job.
The Power of Four - With your parents help, separate items into four categories: Keep, Sell, Donate, and Trash. Remove agreed upon items right away so your parents don’t change their minds.
Dump or Donate - Contact your local thrift store or similar charitable organization and have them come pick up items worth donating. Rent a dumpster if you expect to find a lot of trash.
Starting Line - Take one room at a time. Give your parents a choice of where to begin. Once that room is done, the progress may be very motivating for them.
As in the case of Kyle, the subject of a previous article on clutter, he got the house clean but it wasn’t long before his parents started letting things pile up again. Suffering from “Diogenes Syndrome”, they were incapable of taking care of daily tasks like sorting the mail so they put it aside and forgot about it.
Experts agree that in extreme cases like these it’s important to see a doctor to get the root of the hoarding problem, and treat the patient with the appropriate medication and/or therapy.
Have you tried to help your parents declutter their home? Share your experience in the comment section.