How to help a hoarder move into a small NYC apartment

Does someone you love exhibit classic hoarder symptoms? If so, you probably already know that hoarding is a serious problem that’s quite challenging to tackle. But if you thought the condition alone was challenging enough, know that an even bigger problem arises when it’s time for a hoarder to leave the space they are currently in and move elsewhere—to a tiny apartment in New York City nonetheless. The question is: how do you help a hoarder move into a small NYC apartment that isn’t equipped to handle half the things they hold onto? Is this something only the best movers NYC residents use daily can successfully assist with? Or can only you, a loved one, make this happen? Let’s answer these questions and then some!

What is hoarding?

If you aren’t fully aware of the condition, let’s get familiar with it before you take steps to assist the affected person. Hoarding is a mental health disorder. It’s when someone can’t stop collecting items and exhibits an inability to throw anything away, even if it’s not valuable. It’s not the same as collecting certain things or just having a messy room for a bit. Hoarders get really upset at the idea of getting rid of stuff, and their place gets so crowded that they can’t live comfortably.

When you’re helping a hoarder move into a tiny NYC apartment, it’s important to understand that hoarding is a real problem. It’s not something they choose to do—it’s more like a strong urge they can’t control. Often, it’s tied to other significant issues like:

  • feeling overly anxious,
  • depressed,
  • or having gone through something traumatic in the past.
A cluttered appartment
Before you decide to help a hoarder move into a small NYC apartment, you’ll need to get familiar with the hoarding disorder.

There are many misconceptions about hoarding out there. In fact, people with such issues are often unfairly judged, which can make things worse for them. It can lead to isolation and depression in those who aren’t already depressed, which, sometimes, can have disastrous, fatal consequences. Therefore, being aware that hoarding is not a choice but a mental illness is crucial when we’re helping individuals dealing with it move forward. After all, it’s what will make things smoother for everyone.

How can you help a hoarder move into a small NYC apartment?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of the condition let’s move on to the practical steps of successfully getting hoarders into their new tiny living spaces!

Pre-move preparation

When getting a hoarder ready for a move, the first step is to have a heart-to-heart chat about making things smaller. Approach this conversation with empathy and understanding, though. In no way should you put the blame on the other person, as that will only make matters more complicated. As you talk about the relocation, set some real and doable goals. That means making a plan that considers the hoarder’s feelings. This plan should have a schedule that doesn’t rush things but gives enough time to tidy up step by step. Here’s where local moving companies in NYC can provide a helping hand. Most of these aren’t only capable of helping with the actual moving part but can also help you pack up the place (or what’s left of it) once you’re done clearing up excess items.

As you prepare the initial steps, don’t forget to build a support team that consists of family, friends, mental health professionals, and even hoarding specialists. With such a team and movers, things won’t feel so overwhelming, and the affected individual will have people to lean on for both emotional and practical help.

Decluttering process

Now, let’s talk about decluttering–a super important part of helping a hoarder move to a smaller space, like a tiny Manhattan apartment. You need to be really respectful and patient here because most hoarders are super attached to their belongings. To make it simpler, start with the things that aren’t as close to their heart. You can sort them into four piles: keep, give away, recycle, or toss. But remember, the hoarder gets the final say on what stays and what goes. Pushing too hard can make them feel anxious and upset. After all, we want to go at their speed, not rush things and make the process more stressful than it has to be. Planning ahead for this vital part can make moving day with movers in Manhattan way less crazy. Also, it’s what will ultimately ensure the hoarder has an easier move.

A woman sitting on the floor researching how to help a hoarder move into a small NYC apartment
Take some time to research decluttering methods.

Logistics of moving to a smaller space

Moving to New York City is complicated enough for a person who doesn’t own many items, let alone for a hoarder. This city is all about compact living, so you’ve got to be smart about logistics. The hoarder needs to not only cut down on the things to transport but also find clever ways to organize what they keep. First things first, let’s check out the new apartment and see where things can be stored. Think vertical. Shelves and wall-mounted storage can be real game-changers. And how about furniture that can do more than one thing? Like ottomans with secret storage or beds that disappear into the wall, they are quite space-savers. All in all, you two must plan the furniture layout carefully so they don’t end up with a cluttered mess all over again.

Now, the actual moving in NYC? That’s a whole different story. We’re talking about tight staircases, tiny elevators, and busy streets. Luckily, there are many reputable residential movers in New York City who can handle all those tricky spots. Plus, they can give you the lowdown on the best times to move and help sort out permits and parking for the moving trucks.

After the move

Once the move is made and movers in Brooklyn have left the premises, the journey is far from over for a hoarder adjusting. Keeping their new apartment organized is something that’s not recommended but required. Why? Because it will prevent a return to hoarding habits. It’s like maintaining a steady course. This might involve checking in on them regularly and helping them establish routines to keep their space tidy and clutter-free.

But don’t underestimate the emotional side of things, as it’s still crucial even after the move. Those showing hoarder behavior might need to reach out to a counselor or connect with a local support group to get the right kind of help. Thanks to these, they should be able to adopt coping strategies and get a sense of belonging to a community that understands what they’re going through. And that, right here, is the recipe for long-term success in managing hoarding tendencies.

A therapist talking to her patient
The person with the hoarding disorder must get professional help.

It may not initially seem like it, but your help will be appreciated!

As you can see, if you want to help a hoarder move into a small NYC apartment, you’ll have your hands full. And no, you won’t be busy packing and carrying boxes. You’ll be busy understanding their feelings and finding practical solutions for making this work. Prepare for lots of long hours and compromise. But most importantly, don’t forget to provide support for the affected individual. Reach out to friends, family, and professionals. Moving a hoarder is a team effort, and only together can we ensure a successful transition and a start to a clutter-free, mentally freeing life for them.

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