Clutter-Buddies: a volunteer program to assist clients undergoing group cognitive behavioural therapy

Cassandra Crone, Zach Angel, Simone Isemann, Melissa M. Norberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present study was to assess the feasibility and efficacy of an in-home decluttering and discarding program delivered by undergraduate student volunteers. Participants with hoarding disorder (n = 6) attended a 15-week CBT program and began Clutter Buddies at Week 12. Clutter Buddies consisted of eight, weekly 2-h decluttering and discarding sessions that included motivational interviewing and routine outcome monitoring. Participants completed questionnaires assessing hoarding severity, clutter, and cleanliness of the home at baseline (pre-CBT) and at post-treatment (post-Clutter Buddies) and reported how satisfied they were with the Clutter Buddies program at post-treatment. Overall, participants reported reduced clutter and hoarding symptoms and a cleaner home at post-treatment as compared to the start of group CBT, with 66.67% of participants achieving clinically significant change. Additionally, participants self-reported high levels of satisfaction with the Clutter Buddies program and consistently expressed interest in receiving more and longer sessions. As volunteer-led home assistance increases the accessibility of treatment without increasing its cost to clients, integrating a volunteer-based in-home program may improve CBT outcomes for individuals receiving treatment for hoarding disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100559
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • hoarding disorder
  • CBT
  • decluttering
  • home sessions
  • client satisfaction
  • student volunteers


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