The hidden risks of living with a person with hoarding IssuesHow to persuade a hoarder to accept help is a challenging proposition, but not impossible to achieve.

Hoarders are people who have difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. Hoarding can cause significant distress and impairment in various aspects of life, such as health, safety, social relationships, and work performance. Hoarding can also affect the well-being of family members and friends who are concerned about the hoarder’s situation.

If you know someone who is struggling with hoarding, you may wonder how to approach them and offer your help.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when confronting a hoarder to accept help:

Be respectful and empathetic.

Hoarders often feel ashamed, embarrassed, or defensive about their behaviour and living conditions. They may also have strong emotional attachments to their possessions and fear losing them. Therefore, it is important to avoid being judgmental, critical, or angry when talking to them. Instead, try to express your genuine concern and compassion for their well-being and happiness.

Be specific and realistic.

Hoarders may not recognize the extent or severity of their problem, or they may deny or minimize it. They may also resist change or feel overwhelmed by the idea of decluttering. Therefore, it is helpful to be clear and concrete about what you are offering and what you expect from them. For example, you can say something like, “I noticed that you have a lot of newspapers piled up in your living room. I’m worried that they might pose a fire hazard or attract pests. Would you be willing to let me help you sort through them and recycle some of them?” Avoid making vague or unrealistic suggestions, such as “You should clean up your whole house” or “You should get rid of everything you don’t need.”

Be supportive and patient.

Hoarders may have difficulty making decisions or letting go of their belongings. They may also experience anxiety, guilt, or grief during the process of decluttering. Therefore, it is important to be supportive and patient with them. Acknowledge their efforts and progress, no matter how small. Praise their strengths and abilities, not just their weaknesses and challenges. Encourage them to seek professional help if needed, such as therapy or counselling. Do not pressure them to do more than they are ready or willing to do.


Be consistent, and follow up.

Hoarding is a chronic and complex problem that requires ongoing attention and intervention.  It is not enough to help a hoarder once and then forget about it. You need to be consistent and follow up with them regularly. Check in with them to see how they are doing and if they need any further assistance. Remind them of their goals and motivations for decluttering. Help them maintain their achievements and prevent relapse.

To persuade a hoarder to accept help, it is better to realize he or she may not accept our help, and confronting a hoarder to accept help can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. By following these tips, you can increase the chances of having a positive and productive conversation with a hoarder and help them improve their quality of life. If you need further help, please don’t hesitate to contact 1st Hoarding Clean Up, Vancouver’s experts in decluttering services.