How Does A Person Become A Hoarder?

becoming a hoarder

We hear a lot about hoarding these days especially with all the TV shows surrounding the now popular term. At ClutterBGone we get asked a lot why people hoard and how they become a hoarder. I thought we would take this opportunity to answer some of the questions we get asked.

What exactly is hoarding?

Hoarding was a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) however it’s now being studied as a mental health category on its own. Recent statistics estimate that one in four people with OCD are also hoarders. With these numbers more and more people are coming forward to open up about how hoarding is affecting all aspects of their lives.

What are the symptoms of hoarding?

There are many symptoms of hoarding, some of which apply to clutter in general.becoming a hoarder

Hoarders tend to live in cluttered spaces and have an inability to rid themselves of pretty much anything. You’ll see stacks and piles of everything from reading material to clothes scattered everywhere. A hoarder’s idea of cleaning up is to move a pile of something to a new spot without discarding anything. People with hoarding tendencies are more often than not procrastinators and have minimal social lives.

How can I help someone I know that is a hoarder?

Before attempting to assist anyone with hoarding tendencies you will need to educate yourself about hoarding. Hoarding may not make sense to you, but it’s a real mental heath issue and needs to be treated as such. Never remove any belongings of a hoarder. This can cause great emotional distress and could threaten your relationship with this loved one. You ultimately will lose their trust, this is something that is very important if you have any hope of helping the individual.  Instead, see if they would like some assistance in organizing their belongings or better yet, help them find professional treatment.

What is the difference between hoarding and just plain clutter?

It may seem that there is a fine line between hoarding and clutter however when assessed properly you can understand the difference greatly. Hoarding falls under a category of mental health all on its own whereas clutter is actually a matter of sorting, purging and organizing. We all live with clutter at some point and can get through it ourselves or with professional help like ClutterBGone, but hoarders cannot get it done on their own at all. Think of it like this, having a messy home versus living in a home where you’ve lost most functionality.

I hope we have answered some of the questions we get asked quite a bit about hoarding. If you have any more that you need answered, or if you need any assistance in getting your clutter under control, just reach out to us here.


Is Clutter Affecting Your Relationships?

clutter and relationships

In many of the project’s ClutterBGone has worked on, we’ve seen the impact that clutter has on relationships.  Clutter can have a negative impact on family and friends and can be a factor in a deteriorating relationship. Here are a few ways that clutter can affect a relationship.

Clutter makes you feel tired and depressed

Clutter is overwhelming. Most people living with clutter just can’t find the energy to get started let alone declutter an entire area. Clearing the clutter and living in an organized space gives you a feeling of accomplishment and gives you the energy to do what is important to you. Clutter is also depressing. Feelings of hopelessness can increase with clutter. Relief can come, at some extent, from getting organized and reducing the clutter in your lives. A new, organized space gives a feeling of starting anew with a renewed sense of energy that your family and friends will see right away.


Most disorganized people are procrastinators. Everything is left to the last minute or even later. They find it difficult to put things away immediately and leave it until the clutter has grown into a pile that seems impossible to get to the bottom of. Bills get paid late or not even at all. Interest charges mount, your credit rating is negatively affected and we know that finances are the biggest cause of arguments in a marriage. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to turn this around with a system that we create just for you.

Harmony at home

Clutter is also a cause of arguments at home. clutter and relationshipsThe home may always look like a bomb has gone off. Even though your home may be clean, clutter can make it look messy and dirty. If one partner is a neat freak and the other let’s clutter dominate then we have a recipe for arguments. Let’s clear out the clutter, get organized and reduce the things that put a strain on relationships. Lord knows there is enough of those already!

Clutter is isolating

Many people who live with clutter admit that they don’t want to have people over. They are embarrassed with the condition of their home. Social contacts get reduced and you start to miss out on important social activities. Relationships are important to our mental well being. Don’t let clutter rule your social life.

Don’t let clutter negatively affect your family and friends. Let ClutterBGone show you how to declutter your life and improve your relationships. Just contact us here to get things started.

Do You Have These Pieces Of Clutter In Your Home Right Now?

pieces of clutter in the home

Most of us aren’t able to objectively identify items that are no longer needed. We keep things because we think they have value or we think we may need them some day. Unless they are really broken beyond repair we tend to hold onto things we just don’t need or use. That is how clutter accumulates. Here is a quick list of some of the more popular items we find in clients’ homes that really need to go.


ClutterBGone has found so many pairs of prescription glasses in homes that have not been worn in many years. In some cases, we have found 6 or more. Besides the pair you use now, keep the most recent pair in case something happens to your current prescription and donate the rest, so the frames can be reused.

Food containers

How many containers do you have without a lid? How many containers do you have that are really stained? The food container drawers are one of the most disorganized areas in a kitchen. If it can’t be used, or doesn’t have a matching lid, get rid of it.


Do you dread opening your closet in the morningpieces of clutter in your home? Does it take you too long to find what you want to wear? Time is valuable in the morning and a cluttered closet can get your day started off in the wrong direction. Styles change, seasons change, heck even our bodies change. Pair down what’s not worn.

What about those single socks you’re saving? You know the dryer will never cough up the matching pair again. Donate any clothing that no longer fits or is in need of repair. A neat and organized closet or drawer will make you more productive and reduce your stress. Let us show you how.

Check the fridge

I love to grab some take out when I am in a rush or just don’t feel like cooking. But, I am never going to use those packets of condiments that are left over. We see them all the time in the fridges of clients. The same holds true for salt and pepper packets in the cupboards. Rather than trying to save a penny or two keep your kitchen clean and organized and toss them out!

Do you dare take a look in your junk drawer?

ClutterBGone has seen it all in junk drawers. Do you really need all those elastics, pieces of string, plastic forks and other useless items? I realize the need for a drawer to keep miscellaneous items (I don’t like the term junk drawer) but many people use this drawer as a drop point for items that will never see the light of day again. Make a point of going through this drawer several times a year and throw out what hasn’t been used since the last clean out.

Old electronics

Let’s speak to something all men can relate to. I’m not just talking single men but to all the husband’s out there as well. Many of you hold onto old electrical cords knowing you will find a use for it later but, you never do. What about that collection of TV remotes you’re holding onto?  Cell phones too. Why hang onto the older technology when the reason we upgrade is for the newer technology? Recycle or donate these items. You know you’ll never use them again, so why not give it to someone who will.

Small appliances

If you have any small kitchen appliances that no longer work I implore you to toss, recycle or donate them. You’re not going to suddenly enroll in a repair class and if they no longer work, why have them take up the space?

Reading material

We find older editions of magazines and newspapers in a lot of our clients’ homes. The rule of thumb is to toss out the previous issue when the new one comes in. If two editions have not been read by the time the third edition arrives it may be time to think about cancelling your subscription to save the money and avoid clutter. There’re so many other ways now to stay informed besides printed copies.

These are just a few of the many pieces of clutter that ClutterBGone has seen in many homes. We know what to look for and can help you keep your home organized and clutter free. Just contact us here to see how ClutterBGone has assisted others in the GTA.

5 Emotions That Chain You To Clutter

emotions chaining you to clutter

We as people, care about stuff. We get attached to things for a variety of different reasons and this is normal. However, when we become emotional attached to too many things it will lead to clutter and clutter by itself will bring with it a whole host of issues like expense, stress, space and being in a state of disorganization. Let’s look at five emotions that may be chaining you to your clutter.


Are you hanging on to items that used to belong to a loved one? An emotional attachment to items is tough to break. Be assured, you don’t have to keep everything that is given to you, no matter who gave it to you. Determine what’s worth keeping and give yourself the OK to donate, sell or trash the rest. ClutterBGone has helped many clients sift through their sentimental items and create wonderful ways to store or display what’s kept.


Some people accumulate things to feel good about themselves. The idea of one’s self worth is not determined by the amount of “stuff” they own. Your possessions are not an extension of you. A lot of peoples’ self confidence comes with the items that they own, whether they realize it or not.


Clutter has a profound effect on our mood and self esteem. A study conducted by a U.S. psychologist confirmed a link between clutter and depression. Sometimes the levels of depression were even higher than in some OCD participants. We all want a neat and organized space but not all of us have the time nor the tools to maintain it. That is where ClutterBGone comes in. We love seeing the changes in moods and outlooks after we have completed projects in many of our clients’ homes.


What do a lot of people do when they’re bored? emotions chaining you to clutterThey go shopping! Shopping has almost become a sport. Have you seen the malls on weekends? If you go shopping when you’re bored, you know you’re going to be purchasing items that you really don’t need. Make a point of jotting down exactly what you’re going shopping for and stick to that list. Better yet, keep your hobbies, books, music, whatever you like to do, nearby. Spend time with the family doing things. Make a list of things you want to do when you get bored and start working on that list by yourself or with friends and family.


Clutter creates frustration. Trying to find something in your disorganized closet or walking into a room full of clutter can create a feeling of complete frustration. Or maybe you have organized a room only to see it disorganized again a days later. We see this all the time and have the experience and tools to get your clutter under control and keep it that way.

If you recognize any of these emotions when it comes to clutter in your life, then it is time to bring in a professional organizer to help. ClutterBGone has been serving the GTA for over 7 years now and would love to help free you from the emotions of clutter. Just contact us here to get started.


The Negative Side Of Clutter

Clutter is negative

I doubt that anyone has ever thought of clutter in a positive way. Even the real hoarders would admit there is nothing positive about clutter. Clutter affects our lives in a host of negative ways. Let’s look at the negative side of clutter that has a negative impact on our lives.

Clutter Frustrates

Your looking for something that you need now. It’s important and needs to be found. Having to sift through clutter is time consuming and annoying. It raises your frustration levels and anxiety, neither of which are good for your health.

You’ve started a project outside and its starting to get late. You need something you know is in the garage. With all the items that you’ve put in the garage you have a tough time finding it. Dinner is ready, the kids need to be fed and you still haven’t found what you need. Again, frustration sets in ruining the rest of your evening.

Clutter is distracting

Clutter keeps you off your A game. It distracts you.clutter is negative Clutter and disorganization at work reduces your productivity. You spend more time looking for things and less time actually working on that project with an impending deadline. How many of you have started working on one thing only to get distracted once you start sifting through clutter that is around you? Not very productive is it?

Clutter is disruptive

Few things impede forward progress like clutter. It kills momentum in its tracks. In the distraction of looking for what you need, you get side tracked into tending to another issue or losing interest in the one you needed to complete.  Often times, that momentum is hard to get moving again in the right direction.

This happens everywhere. At the office. In your bedroom closet. Your desk. The kitchen. Every time you have to sift through the clutter to find what you’re looking for, you lose momentum. This often leads to another unfinished project left hanging over your head.

Clutter costs you money

Over 20% of North Americans can’t locate their bills and end up paying late fees because of it. Over $1 billion is not redeemed annually because of gift cards that can’t be located.clutter is negative Talk about a waste of money. Your time is worth something too. The average person wastes almost an hour a day looking for items that they have. What else could you do with that time? Are you one of the millions that rents an outside storage locker for items that can’t be stored at home? Being disorganized can hit you right in the pocketbook.

So, you see, there is a lot of negativity surrounding clutter. ClutterBGone has seen firsthand the effects of clutter and has helped many clients eliminate their clutter and create a system to stay clutter free. Give us a call at 905-642-5669 or contact us here to discuss how we can reduce the clutter in your life.


Keep Your Everyday Zones Clutter Free

clutter free homes

There are a few spots or places that we use every single day that, when they become cluttered, can cause anxiety and bring your productivity to a halt. Each of these spaces are easy to accumulate clutter. Let’s take a look at them and see how we can keep clutter at bay.

Your workspace

Whether you work from home or go to an office we are spending a great amount of time at our workspace. clutter free homeWe make a living here, conduct business meetings or even manage our household finances from here. When our work space is cluttered, it reflects on our productivity, anxiety and our attitude towards others. We can’t find what we are looking for which results in wasted time. Lost documents can cause frustration, lost time and even cost us money. ClutterBGone has helped to organize many home and business work spaces resulting in improved productivity and reduced anxiety.

Your computer

Don’t forget the computer, it can get cluttered too! Think of your computer as a filing cabinet and understand all the information that gets stored in there. The inability to find what we are looking for costs you time and money

Your closet

Each and every one of us goes into our closets several times a day. Many of our clients have told us that the closet is the most disorganized area of their home. It can make for a very stressful start to your day. Get rid of what you are no longer wearing, can’t fit into anymore, has long gone out of style, doesn’t belong to you in the first place, and is never going to be repaired. ClutterBGone loves organizing closets and can’t wait to show you how an organized closet can change your day.

Your car

We spend so many hours in our car each day either going back and forth to work, going shopping or running the family around. The car is no different than your home. What is in the trunk, the glove box, or the back seat? Too busy to have your car serviced when it was due? Not only will an organized car look and smell better but it will save you money when you don’t neglect the maintenance.

Your garage

Speaking of the car, how organized is your garageclutter free zones? Most garages that we have organized starting out as extra storage spaces. How often have you said “just put it in the garage for now”? As a result, you’ll find almost everything in the garage but the car! Get your garage organized so you know where everything is and you can get your second most valuable possession (your car) in the garage to protect it, and you, from the elements.

The kitchen

We saved the best for last. The kitchen is the focal point in our home. Not only do we prepare our daily meals here but the kitchen has become a space for talks and discussions. People are in and out of the kitchen all day so it is easy to become cluttered. Keeping a kitchen organized allows you to be more productive during meal prep. It becomes more inviting for conversations. Let ClutterBGone into your kitchen to get it organized and to develop a system designed for you to keep it that way.

Our teams at ClutterBGone know the areas in a home that cause grief and we have the experience to leave the trouble areas in your home organized and clutter free. Reach out to us here to get started.


How Do My Friends Stay So Organized?

Do you have a friend that seems to be always organized and clutter free? Do you pop in sometimes unexpectedly and their home always looks so neat and tidy? There’s no secret to how they do it but continue reading and I’ll share how you can do it too.

One in, one out

This could be the mantra of ClutterBGone, especially with clothing.Related image Unless you are replacing your entire wardrobe, you need to get rid of one piece of clothing for every new one you bring into your home. This doesn’t only apply to clothing, same goes for all other items entering the home. If you are bringing in an item to replace one that isn’t working, make sure you are putting the old one out as soon as the new one comes in.

Be prepared to donate

I keep a box or bag in my home for items I want to donate, it’s clearly marked “Donate” so all family members know where it can be found. We constantly place items in it that we no longer need or use. Once filled or every couple of weeks or so, we take it in to our local donation center and start again. It helps to keep the house clear of items that are not used by any of us.

Keep the counters clear

Cluttered counters or any horizontal surfaces can make an entire home look cluttered no matter how tidy the rest of the house is. It’s so easy to put something down on a surface with good intentions to get back to it later but never do. Keep all your flat surfaces clear of all clutter to maintain a neat and organized look.

Shop with a purpose

Never go shopping without a list and a need. Remember the old saying, don’t go shopping on an empty stomach? The same holds true for shopping of any kind, not just groceries. Without a purpose to go shopping you will bring home more than you want or need. This just adds expense and clutter to your life.

Tidy up when you leave a room

Pick up everything when you leave a room and put them where they belong.Related image Dirty dishes, books and magazines, electronic devices, everything. It takes just a few seconds and will help keep your rooms looking neat and organized. You may have to drill this into your spouse and kids a few times but soon they will get into the habit as well.

So, you see there are no real secrets to how your friends keep their homes looking so organized and clutter free. It just takes a bit of knowledge and practice. ClutterBGone works throughout the GTA and has a few other tips we would love to share with you. Just contact us here to get started on keeping your home clutter free.


How To Keep Small Spaces Organized

Living in a really small space can sometimes feel like you’re living a real-life Tetris game. Living spaces are smaller now so we have to make do with what we have. Here are my suggestions for keeping small spaces organized.

Build upwards

The absolute best way to stay organized and take advantage of space is to go up. Whether you have the standard 8 to 9 foot walls or you’re lucky enough to have higher walls, utilizing the wall space can create more space for you than any other way. You can add a wall unit, add shelving or hang whatever you need on your wall space. You wouldn’t believe the spaces we have created for clients.

Take advantage of dead space

Take a look around your living space. Do you have space under a bed? Is there space over your closet shelf? ClutterBGone’ s organizers are experts at finding and utilizing space you don’t know you have.

Rotate your wardrobe

Rather than having all of your wardrobe items for the entire year crammed into your closet try keeping only a season or two in there at a time. organized small spacePack the off-season clothes and store them away (remember that dead space?). This will give you more space to work with and give your closet a more organized look.

Store items where they are used

Doesn’t it make sense to keep your dishes near the kitchen prep area? Are your glasses near the fridge? Storing items near to where they are used saves steps and results in less clutter with a more organized work area.

Keep it tidy

It goes without saying but a little bit of clutter can look like a lot in a small space and a pile of laundry quickly becomes a mountain. Do a little each day and things will stay more organized.

Look for smaller versions

Know the space that you have to work with. organized small spacesI love my coffee in the morning, especially those single serve pods, but I don’t have the space for the large machine. Instead, I found a great one serving machine that takes up about a third of the space. Do you need a four-slice toaster or will two do the job?  And if you live in a small space avoid the temptation of going to those big bulk stores. You will find you will need to store items everywhere giving your space a very cluttered and disorganized look.

Invest in space saving products

Products like shoe organizers, clear containers, appropriate hangers and other products offered can add to your storage space to help you stay organized. ClutterBGone knows all the latest space saving products and where to use them. We also have an inventory of organizing products ready to go.

If you need help organizing a small space, we have the team to help you. Just contact us here to get started.

Organizing Statistics That May Surprise You

organizing statistics

I wanted to share with you some interesting organizing statistics released by the Professional Organizers In Canada. I was quite surprised by some of these, as I’m sure you will be too.

The number of us that are disorganized

Eight of ten of us admitted to being disorganized. Most Canadians are at least somewhat disorganized at home, at work or with their ability to manage time. Add children to the home and you have a much higher chance of being disorganized. Surprisingly, younger Canadians in the 18 to 34 year range admitted to being disorganized more than older Canadians.

What is the most disorganized area?

Twenty nine percent of all Canadians say that their home is their most disorganized aspect of their life. organizing statisticsTake men out of the equation and that number rises to 34%. The basement is said to be the most disorganized area of a home. Not surprising since ClutterBGone has seen what the basement in many homes is used as – a storage area for goods seldom used. When you compare homes with and without kids 82% say a home with kids is disorganized. Only 21% without kids admit to being disorganized.

The office

Seven out of ten disorganized Canadians say that their workplace is disorganized. No surprise in that the desk is the most disorganized area in the office. In order to be at your most productive you need a neat and organized work space.

Have you ever tried to get organized?

Most have tried to become organized but one in six never have. Just over a third that have tried to get organized have failed. Sixteen percent have never tried to get organized and some don’t even know where to start.

Is it time for professional help?

Three in ten Canadians are willing to hire a professional organizer to help them get organized. organizing statisticsA professional organizer is trained in the latest organizing trends and knows all of the storage containers and systems that will work for you. Professional organizers are trained, skilled specialists who help people create order where it is lacking in their lives, so that they can make long-term improvements and keep disorder at bay. We take courses and are certified in what we do. We will come in and assess not only what needs to be done but how we got to this stage in the first place and then design a system that works for you to keep you organized long after we have left.

A large majority of Canadians feel that being disorganized negatively affects their lives. Just over ten percent admitted that being disorganized made them feel like a failure. Stress and anxiety play a large part in being disorganized.

Did you find some of these organizing statistics surprising? If you need help in getting organized why not enlist the services of a professional? ClutterBGone has helped many clients in the Greater Toronto Area and we would love to help you too. Just contact us here.

How Does The Pareto Principle Work In Downsizing?

pareto principal organizing

Do you know what the Pareto Principal is? It’s commonly referred to as the 80/20 rule. It states that 80% of the effort is gained by 20% of the people. Commonly, 80% of sales income comes from 20% of the customers. Teachers will spend 80% of their time with 20% of their students. You probably spend 80% of your time with 20% of your friends. You get the idea.

How does this principal apply to downsizing?

In our home

Once our kids have moved out (and I mean for good) we spend 80% of our time in 20% of the spaces in our home. organized hallwayWe use the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and our “TV” room but rarely venture into the other rooms. Spare bedrooms, home office and even the finished basement rarely gets used anymore. That’s a lot of extra room to have to clean, or at the very least dust. Consider downsizing to a more manageable living area. Use the equity gained in the sale of your larger home to do the things you really want to do.

Our clothes closet

Surely you have a lot of clothes hanging in your closet that haven’t been worn for a very long time. We all have our favourites that we love to wear. The rest just hang in our closets. There are two things I like to do in my closet. First, quite often I will reverse all the hanging items in my closet. organizingAfter I have worn something I will put it back with the hangar facing the correct way. After about three months I can see what has not been worn. It can be an eye opener. Secondly, I will sometimes leave the price tags on an item and date it with the date I bought it. When I use the item I will see how long it has been since I bought it. Sometimes another eye opener. The point is that 20% of our clothes are worn 80% of the time so unless you really love the piece and really need it, resist the urge and save the space and the money.

If you follow this principal when you are downsizing or organizing you will come to realize that you don’t really miss the 80% of items or space you once had.

ClutterBGone challenges you to adopt the 80/20 rule when you start the downsizing and organizing process for whatever reason you need to do so. If you need assistance with downsizing or organizing we can be easily reached by clicking here. We would love to show you how the Pareto Principal applies to you.