Clutterers Anonymous (CLA) is a twelve-step program for people who share a common problem with accumulation of clutter.

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Clutterers Anonymous (CLA) is a 12-step recovery program intended to assist those who battle with hoarding and accumulation of clutter. CLA was founded in 1989 as a fellowship of persons who share their experiences, courage, and hope while working toward recovery. 

Hoarding is a complicated condition defined by the inability to discard or give up items regardless of their true worth. This issue might result in an accumulation of clutter that interferes with everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and socializing. Moreover, hoarding may create severe grief and impairment for both the hoarder and their loved ones. 

CLA’s 12 steps resemble those of other 12-step groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). The program encourages people to accept responsibility for their acts, ask forgiveness, and, if feasible, make reparations. The 12 stages are aimed to assist people in identifying the underlying reasons of their hoarding behavior, developing healthy coping methods, and finding a road to recovery. 

The first stage of CLA is to acknowledge helplessness in the face of clutter and hoarding. This phase teaches people to recognize their inability to manage their hoarding habit and its detrimental effects on their lives. The second stage in the rehabilitation process is acknowledging the need for a higher power. This higher power might be any notion or belief system that gives direction and assistance to the recovering person. 

The third phase of CLA is deciding to surrender one’s life to this higher force, and the fourth step entails doing a moral assessment. This stage encourages people to reflect on their previous actions and identify any personality flaws or unfavorable habits that may be contributing to their hoarding behavior. 

The fifth step is to acknowledge one’s shortcomings to oneself, a higher power, and another person. This stage is intended to assist people in letting go of shame and guilt and beginning the healing process. The sixth step is to become willing to have these flaws eradicated, and the seventh step is to humbly ask a higher power to do so. 

Making a list of all those injured by the hoarding habit and being willing to make apologies to them is the eighth stage. The ninth step is to make direct reparations whenever feasible, unless doing so will do oneself or others damage. 

The eleventh stage is continuing to conduct personal inventory and acknowledging faults without delay. The eleventh step is attempting to strengthen one’s conscious connection with a higher power via prayer, meditation, or other spiritual activities. The twelfth and final phase is spreading the CLA message to those who may be battling with hoarding behavior and using these principles in all aspects of life. 

Also, CLA stresses the necessity of finding a sponsor, or a more experienced member who can give advice and support during the recovery process. As people move through the 12 stages, sponsors may give practical counsel, share their own experiences, and provide accountability. 

One of the distinguishing characteristics of CLA is its emphasis on fostering community and connections among its members. Individuals are encouraged to attend regular meetings where they can share their experiences and offer one another support. CLA also offers tools and assistance to family members and loved ones who may be struggling to comprehend and manage with hoarding problem. 

CLA is not meant to replace standard medical or psychiatric therapy for hoarding problem, but rather to supplement it. Individuals are encouraged to engage with a therapist or other healthcare professional, if necessary, and to seek further help outside of the group.