Hoarding and clutter support

Hoarding is a complex mental health issue and it can often be hard for individuals affected or their families to find the help they need.

The perception from others can often be that hoarded items lack value, however, to the person collecting these objects or animals, they are of immense value and cannot be thrown away.

When ‘collecting’ begins to impact a person’s daily life, such as causing risks to personal safety, health and wellbeing or choosing possessions over relationships, then guidance and support should be offered.

Extreme collecting and squalid living not only affects the person demonstrating these behaviours, but can also affect family members, neighbours and animals.

Maroondah Hoarding and Squalor Network 

If you are concerned about your own behaviour, or about someone else, the Maroondah Hoarding and Squalor Network's website can offer guidelines and resources.

The website is a practical resource for community and service providers that gives valuable information on hoarding and squalor risks and where you can find help. 

Buried in Treasures Program

This self-help program is offered to community members who are wanting to reduce the level of clutter in their home.  In a safe, non-judgemental, small group setting, the program helps participants examine:

  • how they came to accumulate too many possessions
  • how to go about reducing their clutter
  • how to stay motivated to work towards their goals. 

The program consists of 16 x 2 hour weekly sessions and the group is facilitated by our Occupational Therapy Team.

Community members 18 years and older who are residents of Maroondah, Knox and Yarra Ranges can register their interest by calling Paula on 9294 5729 or emailing OT@maroondah.vic.gov.au 

For more information on the Buried in Treasures program download the Buried in Treasures program brochure(PDF, 335KB)

See also the Maroondah hoarding and squalor network Living a life less cluttered booklet(PDF, 2MB)

To enquire or make a booking, please call Paula on 9294 5729 or email: ot@maroondah.vic.gov.au 

'Making Space' support group

This informal group meets monthly and is open to community members living in Maroondah, Knox and Yarra Ranges local government areas experiencing or impacted by, excess clutter. Topics of interest are discussed, and practical ideas and tips are shared. Our Occupational Therapist and Specialised Support Facilitator facilitate the group.

The group meets monthly at Maroondah Council’s Federation Estate, 32 Greenwood Avenue, Ringwood (link to a map) on the first Tuesday of every month from 1pm - 3pm. 

To enquire or make a booking, please call Paula on 9294 5729 or email: ot@maroondah.vic.gov.au.

'Download the 'Making Space' support group flyer(PDF, 327KB)

Further information 


"The facilitators were lovely and very helpful and kind, gave everyone a forum to express their ideas and contribute, and kept sessions moving along very nicely.”

“Excellent work I am extremely grateful of their support…”

“The facilitators are wonderful, especially listening. They didn’t criticise when you said how you were feeling…”

“The facilitators were excellent, they were supportive in every way. Couldn’t ask for anything more and they did more than would have been expected of them.” 

Reflections from participants

"I am most proud that I can now walk in and out of the shops without buying anything – I never thought I could do this.” 

 “Accepting that I have a problem. I understand myself a bit better now.” 

 “I can now walk into the lounge room without having to weave around boxes and can sit at the dining table.”

“Taking the first step in addressing the clutter issue, looking at it with outside eye and making a start.” 

 “I find that I can now throw things out,   before I could not consider that.”

Feedback about the Buried in Treasures Program

“It was important to meet others dealing with similar issues and to discuss ideas and solutions.”

"Great to get ideas and support from like-minded people.  It’s wonderful to know you’re not alone in your struggles.” 

“Encouragement to look in to the problem and to go on working within the situation.” 

“Has definitely helped  a great deal.” 

“There are a lot more people experiencing this issue than I realised.” 



If you have any questions about Commonwealth Home Support Program, My Aged Care or Maroondah Council’s services and how to access them, call our Aged and Disability Services team on 9294 5729 or email maroondah@maroondah.vic.gov.au.

Language help


To communicate with us in a language other than English, call our interpreter service on 131 450.

National Relay Service

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service and give the Maroondah City Council number you want to call.