Start by having a talk with her, respectfully expressing your concern for her health and safety, and offering your assistance to help her declutter.
If she takes you up on it, most professional organizers recommend decluttering in small steps. Take one room at a time or even a portion of a room at a time. This will help prevent your mom from getting overwhelmed.
Before you start, designate three piles or boxes for your mom's stuff — one pile is for items she wants to keep-and-put-away, another is the donate pile and the last is the throwaway pile.
If you need some help with the decluttering and organizing, consider hiring a professional organizer who can come to your mom's home to help you prioritize, organize and remove the clutter.
The nonprofit group National Association of Professional Organizers has a directory on the website at napo.net to help you locate an expert in your area.
If she has a bigger, more serious hoarding problem (if her daily functioning is impaired, or if she is having financial difficulties, health problems, or other issues because of her hoarding) you'll need to seek professional help.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to NBC's Today show, KFOR-TV and is author of “The Savvy Senior” book.