Many OCD sufferers are hoarders. We don't like to throw things away as we think that we might need them again one day. Most of the time we hoard things, we know we wont ever need again, but to put it simply we would rather keep them. We think its better to have something and not need it then to need something and not have it. This can create a fear of throwing things away, so hoarding can be a symptom of Obsessive compulsive disorder.

I am a self confessed OCD compulsive hoarder. I still have old school books (don't ask me why), childhood diaries, old makeup I know I would never use again, because its too old, and lots of other things.

One day my sister was rummaging through some of my old stuff, like she usually does. She spotted some old stuff and started throwing it in the bin. I had to stop her in her tracks. If she was to throw my hoarded possessions away that wouldn't cure me, I needed to be able to do it myself. She kept telling me that I don't need half of that stuff and found it very entertaining pulling out old letters and trinkets so she could have a laugh. It was then that I realized I was a hoarder. I had never realized it before. I thought to myself why I had kept them and came to the conclusion that It was because I thought I would need it again one day. I accepted that theory until I was going through some old clothes, (I was 20 years old at the time) and spotted my OLD SCHOOL UNIFORM. What a shocker I know, it was all cleaned and pressed like I had school the next day. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. That was the final straw, I had to do something about my OCD hoarding. I could understand wanting to keep something because I might need it again in the future but why would I need my school uniform? I left years ago.

In order to stop OCD hoarding, the key is start small and gradually increase your treatment.

Here are some tips I used to help myself overcome my hoarding behavior:

Step 1:Find something small that you have had for a long time. Ask yourself how long you have had it and if you have ever needed it in that time. If you have had it for a long time and never needed it proceed to step 2, if not find something else and repeat this step.

Step 2 :You now know that you have had the item for a long time but never needed it. So ask your self why you would need to keep it any longer. You kept it because you thought you may need it again in the future, but until now you haven't needed it, so what are the chances that you will need it in the future?

Step 3: Throw the item away. Now ask yourself if that was a major impact on your life. If the answer is no then walk way and forget all about it if you can. It may help to have a distraction ready straight after. You could throw it away on your way to work on garbage day so when you get back, even if you wanted to retrieve it, it wouldn't be there. It may also help to have someone with you who can urge you to throw it away by reminding you that you don't need it.

If you do feel that throwing the item away has caused severe anxiety, keep reminding yourself that you have had it for a long time and never needed it and probably wont in the future.

Step 4: If you've made it to step 4, you are now ready to throw away more items. You can now find something you haven't kept as long as the previous item and throw it away.

This step plan to stop hoarding is not an experts treatment plan. These are tips created by me that helped me to overcome my hoarding syndrome. I do not claim to be an expert but I know from personal experience that it can help. By using these tips I am not entirely cured of my OCD hoarding, but it has certainly helped and I hope it helps you too.