Living a clutter-free life

Most people have lots of items in their home, and that's fine, but it can become a problem if clutter starts to have a negative impact on your day-to-day life, safety and your health.

Too much clutter can turn into what is called a hoarding disorder. This is when someone acquires an excessive amount of items and stores them in the home in a way that interferes with everyday living. It affects the quality of that person's life or others around them.

Many people are still embarrassed to talk about hoarding as an issue, even though it is thought to affect 1.2 million people of all ages in the UK.

National Hoarding Awareness Week aims to break the taboo around the subject.

What support is available?

If you (or somebody you know) is being affected, remember… you’re not alone.

Support is out there. Your GP or your local Health Centre should be your first point of contact.

If you don’t know how to start the conversation, download the Icebreaker from the ‘Resources’ section of the National Hoarding Awareness website:

We've also created a brand new booklet to help you identify whether you or someone you know may have a problem, and take those first simple steps to a clutter-free life.

There are lots of hints and tips as well as information about agencies and organisations who can also help.

Read the booklet and take your first steps to decluttering your home.


Nigel’s story – “I wasn’t living, I was just coping”

Resident Nigel hoarded items over a period of ten years. The clutter became so bad he couldn't access his bathroom, and he was cut off from the outside world.

He said: "Once you start hoarding, there's no switch to say 'stop'; you just carry on doing it and you think you need stuff that you don't. That's the worst part of it; you think you need everything you've got. It became a bit of a nightmare. I just was coping, that's all I was doing. I wasn't living, I was just coping day by day."

The video at the top of the page shows how Nigel turned his life around with the help of his housing officer.


Also in this section:

Other support and advice available