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Help for Hoarding Syndrome

Updated on November 26, 2017
TheWritingnag profile image

Writing Nag is the pseudonym for blogger Patricia Biro. She writes about home, finance, creative writing and anything and everything vintage

My mother is a hoarder...

Or maybe it's your father, brother, sister, cousin, friend or yourself. Hoarding or Compulsive Hoarding Disorder is a real issue in the United States and the rest of the world (the British show Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder on Channel 4 is equally as popular as US hoarding reality shows.)

There are many questions that could be asked as to why these shows are so intriguing to viewers. Maybe your home or a neighbors home looks like it could qualify for an episode. Or do you watch these reality shows to get control of your cluttered house?

Are there more compulsive people these days or are we just paying more attention to this type of behavior and getting an intimate look at how others live in squalor?

America is a nation of collectors and it looks like we need a lot of cleanup. We collect, save and stash away our treasures until our houses and storage areas are packed to the ceiling. Clean up or removal has become big business, just ask the owners of the 1-800 Got Junk? Company.

I just watched a neighbor's house get packed away by Code Enforcement. Today the house has a sign on it "Bank Owned." The driveway and the front lawn were littered with boxes, clothes and garbage bags. It took a team of workers, two large dumpsters and family and friends more than a week to clear the house out. While I'm not a hoarder I do have issues with letting things go and clutter can get out of control pretty quickly.


What causes hoarding?

Could the current recession be to blame for this type behavior? Studies show that when people feel deprived or go through a period of want the result is often this behavior.

With the success of the A & E show and the TLC show Hoarders: Buried Alive, more people are questioning whether their friend or family member might have this mental health issue. This is usually a treatable problem. Hoarding is thought to be related to an obsessive compulsive disorder. There is help available whether you yourself or your friend has a problem.

While you might have problems with clutter and/or organizing your home; there is a difference between being messy and being a packrat. When the behavior gets out of hand the person is often endangering themselves and the people who live with the individual. For some people clutter is just a procrastination problem, they simply keep putting off cleaning up the mess.

Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder UK

Is there help for obsessive compulsive behaviors?

Yes, professional help is available.

Hoarding is a serious mental health disorder and many people can find it almost impossible to declutter their living space. Some people choose to live in a cluttered, messy room or house. But hoarders takes clutter to an entirely new level. Hoarders will often not let you into their house because of the shame they might feel. Most know that they have a problem but they feel overwhelmed and don't know where to begin. Friends can't do all the work but they can be that support system when the inevitable clean up is addressed.

The compulsion to accumulate food, garbage, clothes and other items can put the hoarder into a dangerous situation. If you have a friend who is in a dangerous situation, you should contact a mental health professional for help on how to help your friend. Children involved in these situations are especially vulnerable.

1. Help!

While most people hide their disease, most often their closest friends and families know about it. This may be a difficult subject to bring up but if it is affecting their health or welfare you may need to broach the subject. This can be an obsessive-compulsive disorder and is usually not a simple fix. Some people have a difficult time letting go because they often associate the things they hoard with their memories and can't separate the two. And no they can't just throw things away and will often resent a friend who offers to help.

2. Excessive shopping can result in hoarding.

Researching hoarding, hoarders disease or hoarders syndrome may help you understand your friend but don't claim to be an expert. A therapist, mental health professional and often a professional organizer will be able to help the hoarder, if the hoarder wants help. Remember you are just their support system, don't assume you can fix the hoarders problem by offering to clean up. People have a deep attachment to the stuff they hoard and removing the items can often make the hoarder accelerate their hoarding behavior. Consider asking the family for help if you don't feel that you can bring up the subject directly.

3. Being a supportive friend

If your friend agrees to get professional help try to be supportive, loving and patient. What seems easy to you is often painful and difficult for the hoarder. Because this is often diagnosed as a mental health disorder don't expect that it will be easy to get through. Many people often face a lot of therapy and sometimes will work with a professional organizer for follow up care. It is important for your friend to know that there is help available.

4 Abusing animals

If your friend keeps too many animals including kittens, puppies, cats, dogs or any other type of animal, immediate intervention is suggested. The Humane Society should be contacted or your local animal welfare office. These animals may need to be rescued and put up for adoption. Often these people think they are helping the animals but a rescue is strongly advised. No animal should have to live in the unsafe environment that is often a part of this life. Seek professional help immediately if you know the hoarder is hoarding animals. Animals have no voice. Animal Planet's reality show Confessions: Animal Hoarding, showcases the problems of animal hoarding.

5. Know that you are not alone.

This syndrome is characterized as a "need to acquire" according to psychologists. There are levels of hoarding and help is available for all types of hoarders. For more information on hoarding seek professional help. It's not as simple as organizing your home or asking for help to declutter.

If your friend agrees to get professional help for hoarding try to be supportive, loving and patient. What seems easy to you is often painful and difficult for the hoarder.

Tips and Warnings

  • Ask your friend if they would like help with their problem but don't force it upon them. If they're not ready for help, nothing you can say will change their mind.
  • If your friend agrees to get help don't expect miracles. This is often a long, painful process for the one who has an issue and their families.
  • Children can suffer long term effects from this obsessive compulsive disorder and will often feel overwhelmed by the clutter.
  • To watch television shows that feature people that have hoarding disease look at the A & E show Hoarders or the TLC show Hoarders: Buried Alive but know that this process is often not as simple as it may be portrayed on television.
  • Excessive clutter may be harmful to your health and is often a fire hazard.
  • Because this behavior is often diagnosed as an obsessive compulsive disorder it can't be changed overnight, look for professional help.

© 2011 Writing Nag

Is there a hoarder in your life? - How has hoarding affected you?

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    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 3 years ago

      I guess my Dad had some hoarder tendencies. Not this bad though. He mainly kept it confined to the cellar.

    • Peggy Ingalls profile image

      Maggie Crooks 3 years ago from Purgitsville, WV

      Well done! I have known several hoarders. One woman was a compulsive shopper as well as hoarding newspapers, food, and just about everything else you could name. Their plumbing was not working, and the roof over the bathroom had fallen in. There was enough space on their dining room table for one of them to eat. The things she bought from HSN and QVC mostly were never opened. Another hoarder I knew collected hats, very expensive ones. She had some real beauties. She also was bipolar. Both of these women were going to psychiatrists. The hat collector I knew in the late 80s, and the other about 15 years ago.

      At that point, I collected little houses. They were everywhere, but not all over the house to the extent I couldn't move around. My houses were in displays and on shelves. My son called me a hoarder, but my psychologist said I didn't qualify. Whew! Later when I bought a house of my own, I didn't need the little house anymore, because I had my own big house. I actually went to the Dollar Tree and felt no need to stock up on little houses.

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 3 years ago from Gloucester

      An exceptional lens on hoarding syndrome - really well put together with great information!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      There certainly is and I do so believe that the obsessive compulsive disorder definitely comes into play with it. It is somewhat under control but in times of stress gets worse. I can see why it happens but being a Libra (needing balance and organization) I find the hoarding very difficult to deal with.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I recently saw a hoarder in the news here in Toronto. He has so much stuff in his house that he was forced to live in his porch. I'm just the opposite, I like to have as less as possible.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      No, I've never known a hoarder (far as I know) and it would be a real challenge for me to be in such a situation, but spreading the word is a valuable thing to do.

    • Travel Shepherd profile image

      Michael Shepherd 4 years ago from Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland

      Yes, I like to keep everything in case there may be a use for it, but I am married to a woman who throws out everything that has not been used recently. So we live in compromise and harmony :-)

    • merfzel profile image

      merfzel 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Not a hoarder by a long shot (I like to purge my house of as much as possible just to make room for everyone :)) and I don't know one, but thank you for getting this info out there. I love to speak about mental health issues and help to educate people about them. There are those of us who have mental illnesses that cannot help it that we have a chemical imbalance... we don't choose the illness, the illness chooses us. Thanks again, and thanks for the visit and like on my "Take Mental Health Stigma out of Halloween" lens :)

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      No hoarder in my life, thank goodness. Great lens.

    • Klaartje Loose profile image

      Klaartje Loose 4 years ago

      My father is an obsessive collector. He sends me packages every week, packed with interesting stuff. But I live in a amall apartment and can't throw out what he collected... Plus I keep a lot of things around me. So my house is cluttered and I'm in the slow process of cleaning up my life ;-)

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I lived in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) during the war (NOT the World War!) and sanctions. As a result I tend to hang on to things that I know others would throw away. I'm certainly nothing like the reality shows you see. I do have clutter in my office though - it just needs a tidy up. Only thing is it soon reverts to chaos after a tidy up and I find it harder to find things after the tidy up!

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      I'm the opposite of a hoarder, people complain about how I get rid of anything I don't use or don't need to own, as I have zero attachment to material objects. However, others I know including family members have this problem to varying degrees. The odd thing is, such people often deny they have a problem and they're full of justifications for keeping every single item they have.

    • Carol Houle profile image

      Carol Houle 4 years ago from Montreal

      I believe a shopaholic is the same as a hoarder, and they're often well aware of it, especially when the credit cards max out. But telling them usually elicits anger or a negative response worsening the situation and increasing the shopping. Nice lens.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I've been in a position on more than one occasion to witness hoarding first hand when I had my own business. Hoarding is almost always due to a much bigger issue (fear of abandonment, agoraphobia, etc). Good job of spotlighting some of the main issues. And no, I can't watch any of those "reality" shows.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nice Lens. Good Collection.

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 4 years ago

      I am not a hoarder as I do my best not to accumulate stuff in the first place! I was married to someone who found it very difficult to let go of things (emotional and physical). I have since learned that this affliction is often a symptom of something far bigger and yes, mental health issues are at the basis of the real hard core hoarder's behavior.

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 4 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      Some of the hoarder shows are a bit over the top. Some folks can hardly walk through their homes, and need a path carved out just to get from one room to the other. I don't know if my wife and I are hoarders, but we do have a lot of unused junk squirreled away. We will be moving soon, so anything that has not been looked at in a year is going away.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 4 years ago from Albany New York

      Great subject for a lens. I can't bring myself to watch the hoarder TV programs....it's sad. Congrats on being in the top 200 lenses!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      This is such a serious condition. I'm glad you are giving light to this subject and helping those of us who are not hoarders to understand hoarding without being judgmental.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      I appreciate the honesty and sensitivity with which you wrote this lens. I am not a hoarder, but I have my issues with clutter. At least my professional organizer says I am not a hoarder. That tells you something I hire a professional organizer at times. It is hard to deal with stuff - and it is nice to have some one come in and help focus. When I decided to start an eBay business I was really worried about this, and I am getting a little panicky that I can't get the pictures up. But that is just a bump in the road. It is the sentimental things that are the hardest to deal with.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 4 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I have a lot of stuff in storage because I have a lot of inventory and packing stuff I have to store. One reason I'd like to retire is to be able to get this stuff out of my life and keep only what I really want to read. Anyone visiting me would think I'm a hoarder. My mother would not recognize me as her child. My mil was another story. She really was a hoarder. I've been through getting her house ready for sale. She didn't store junk -- just things she thought might be useful to herself or someone else later. It all become our problem. My husband wants to hang on to every broken thing, intending to fix it someday. He remembers having to flee his country with nothing and is, therefore, keeping all he has and buying more. Our problem is that each of us is willing to toss what we are quite sure the other will never use. I"m trying to get rid of stuff, but the process of having to haul everything to thrift stores or try to sell it or describe it for freecycle takes time I don't have. I have boxes ready to go -- just no time to take it. I have tossed several cans of no-longer-useful paperwork, but more keeps coming in the mail everyday. I don't think I'm really a hoarder, but I do have too much stuff around here and I lack the time to do a lot about it. It's much easier to accumulate it than to get rid of it in a socially responsible way.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      No hoarders that I know of right now but my Grandma's second husband sure was one and had of course gone through the depression and would say when asked about something, "Things are hard to come by you know." They were in a small house and back then he had 5 counsel TVs that were being used to pile stuff on. My Grandma love him and just accepted him as he was without distress and she managed to make things look as orderly and clean as possible, it sure was a lot to do after he passed on but Grandma's organization did help a lot. We have noticed Mom collecting all her old mail in these later years and we just help her gently go through it...she does it very neatly and I just think it becomes out of sight, out of mind. This sure is an issue getting a lot of attentions these day....congratulations on your Bravo Squidoo feature!

    • desilegend profile image

      desilegend 4 years ago

      Just finished decluttering my wardrobe and found some Montana jeans I bought when 15 years ago. Throwing old things feels good but it's a sentimental feeling you leave behind when you need to throw it.

    • GardenerDon profile image

      Gardener Don 4 years ago

      My wife's Mom is a bit of a hoarder (an result of being raised in a very poor environment I'm sure) & has passed the trait on to my wife I think. She's incapable of throwing anything away, whereas if I buy a new shirt, an old one goes out to the Thrift Store. I keep joking that they'll be making a show about her!

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 4 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Wow. My mom and dad were English teachers and librarians ... and went through the great depression (the first one back in the 1930s) ... and I became a teacher and writer and a book lover. Yeah, I hoard "reading material" ... both hard-copy and digital. I really need to clean up and get a "Japanese-style Zen house" ... no bookcases, no papers, no magazines ... (that would drive me crazy, but you get the idea). You mentioned that folks sometimes become hoarders because they "lack something" or feel a need to achieve or feel like they are lacking achievement ... and buying or otherwise acquiring a thing or two allieviates the pain ... well, I think it does. I always admired those big mansions on late-night TV that featured "reading rooms" with floor-to-ceiling/wall-to-wall bookcases filled with books ... so much to read, so little time. Now I wonder if my OCD/ADHD has come to haunt me. (Is that a squirrel? Ooh, shiney!) ... Oh yeah, you've got a great lens here ... and I'm bookmarking it (see? I even hoard bookmarks!) for later reference. Congratulations on a Squidoo masterpiece!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      we have a friend that has 18 yrs of clutter to the ceiling. we been telling her since the maintenance man died that she is going to have to downsize. now the time has come and the owners need to get in and inspect the house. i reluctantly let her put some boxes in my garage. when i saw 8 of the boxes where magazines i lost it on her therefore goes my ulcers an chest pains. she makes excuses that i am going to read them..200.. and i yelled at her and said no you are not. you need to put them to the street,,stop lying to yourself. this is just an example. it is boxes and boxes of dry rotted junk. and she has a storage unit also and does not have a clue what's even in there. she sleeps all day from depression cause of this. we love her but we are not qualified to help without getting angry and yelling. shes got an excuse and will defend an outdated dry rotted item that is for the garbage. shes gonna have to move and is asking all of us to help her by storing her junk at our houses. not happening! she is ready for help and so are we. please help us to help her. she knows what she has to do but can't find the strength to let ANYTHING go. HELP!!!!!!!!

    • peterb6001 profile image

      Peter Badham 4 years ago from England

      It hasn't affected me but I don't it's a sad and sometimes dangerous illness! Some people have been crushed to death or get diseased in their own homes.

    • tophatpro profile image

      tophatpro 4 years ago

      Yes I tend to keep thing for far longer than I should. It's only now that I am in the middle of trying to pack my apartment up and move it across town how much of the stuff I need to throw out. I look at half the stuff and think, "why'd you keep that??"

      Maybe my mentality has changed now that I no longer have a job in the real world and instead am trying to build an income online. Before possessions were a symbol of how much I'd achieved. Now they are just a reminder of useless crap I bought that isn't important or really needed.

      I've also adopted a new attitude of if you haven't used it in the last 6 months, bin it. I'm finding stuff I haven't worn or used in the last 3 years! Of course there are exceptions to the rule like family photos etc.

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      My husband is a hoarder. It makes it very difficult to make the flat look tidy and is also difficult as we don't have much space, just a two bedroom flat.

    • cgbroome profile image

      cgbroome 4 years ago

      I have an uncle who never married and is a hoarder. He lived in the same apartment for 30 years and was just kicked out last summer for the damage it has done. He is now living in a smaller apartment and has maid service coming twice a week to clean up. (He's paying for the service.) It's been nearly 6 months now and the apartment is still clean so we're hoping it stays that way.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Years ago, when I was in my twenties, I had a live in nanny job with a family. The woman was a hoarder. Of course, we had never heard of the condition back then, so her behaviour was a mystery to everyone. It was a very difficult condition and caused much grief for her family members. I hope she has received help.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      Yes, I do know someone who should be on the Hoarders television show, whose home is filled with floor to ceiling stuff. Every horizontal surface is piled high with stuff and there is barely a pathway to walk in his home.

    • juditpaton profile image

      Iudit Gherghiteanu 4 years ago from Ozun

      it is really horrible having hoarding disorder, unhealthy and antisocial, thanks to share the description of the simptoms.

    • TheGoGlobalBabe profile image

      TheGoGlobalBabe 5 years ago

      No thank goodness no one in my life is an extreme hoarder. We all have a little clutter in our closets but I think that is pretty normal. Most of us could find some clutter no matter how neat and clean we are. That`s why we have spring cleaning! I enjoyed your lens. Oh and thanks for the squid like on my lens by the way.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I used to until now when we have to travel for work.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      I believe there are many different reasons for hoarding, so every case is different. some people hoard because of feeling of insecurity, others got too far in consumerism, ...

      Thanks for some good points!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 5 years ago

      Yes, my husband is a hoarder. However, with patience and determination, and a lot of unconditional love, he was recently able to let go of a whole lot of clutter and voluntarily cleaned up the apartment. It's a beautiful thing to witness when someone finds the strength to let go of the clutter. it was worth the wait <3

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      My Mom used to like to save everything in the basement.

    • Angelina Gherna profile image

      Angelina 5 years ago from California

      My Grandfather got this way with his home and cats...we were only able to clean it up after he developed Alzheimer's and didn't have a grasp on the items being thrown out. It's very hard on bith the person hoarding and the family involved...and in my case very very costly.

    • TheWritingnag profile image
      Author

      Writing Nag 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      @stevel58: Yes I agree very hard to stop you have to make a conscious decision that you no longer want to live this way.

    • TheWritingnag profile image
      Author

      Writing Nag 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      @anonymous: That is sad, have they tried reaching out through Social Services in their area?

    • TheWritingnag profile image
      Author

      Writing Nag 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      @Linda Pogue: I think people who grew up in the Depression area saved everything. Because most of the time they did reuse.

    • TheWritingnag profile image
      Author

      Writing Nag 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      @Linda BookLady: I like blessing others with my stuff too, specifically books.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I used to have a hoarding problem. My house was okay except one room where my boxes were. However I've cut down on most of that now, mostly giving things to a charity thrift store.

      I love the idea of blessing others with my stuff, and don't like doing yard sales.

      Now I have one closet with boxes left to go through ... and it will be done soon, as I'm moving next year and refuse to take any clutter with me.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 5 years ago from Missouri

      My grandparents were not as bad as those on the tv shows are, but they saved anything they thought they might ever use again. The difference, though, was that they had sheds for the stuff. The house was always clean and neat as a pin.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I know someone who has tried to get help, but the personal organizers cost over 300.00 for each 1-3 hour session which this person can not afford. How sad!

    • stevel58 profile image

      stevel58 5 years ago

      So easy to start so hard to stop

    • indigomoth profile image

      indigomoth 5 years ago from New Zealand

      It's such a strange reaction to modernity. I hope as awareness grows more people will seek help.

    • DeannaDiaz profile image

      DeannaDiaz 5 years ago

      This is a true illness that is very misundestood.

    • maryLuu profile image

      maryLuu 5 years ago

      Fortunately in my life there is not a hoarder. But I've seen on TV a show about it and it's terrible for those that have a hoarder in their lives.

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 5 years ago

      Very informative. Knowingly or unknowingly some amount of hoarding does happen. Thanks for emphasising that we need to and can control it.

    • AstroGremlin profile image

      AstroGremlin 5 years ago

      Gee, I thought I was a hoarder because the trunk of my spacecraft has a few extra items. Hoping the best for folks for whom it's a serious problem.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      I definitely have more "stuff" than I need or want to and have begun working on streamlining and organizing. For those who have this problem in the extreme, I can easily see the extent to which it could adversely affect their lives and their relationships. Well done, and blessed.

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 5 years ago

      Informative lens.

    • rallo-smith profile image

      rallo-smith 5 years ago

      I can't imagine living like this. It's really sad.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      Great Lens, very informative; and it inspired me to do a little housecleaning too. I like how you've incorporated items that help people get organized; a place for everything and everything in its place.

    • profile image

      MentalHealthIssues 5 years ago

      Hello. Your lens looks as good as it is informative. I have seen some of the shows on TV about hoarding and it breaks my heart to see people that are in obvious pain. Great lens! Thanks Scott

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I have a few challenging areas that I have to stay on top of like my fabric stash and art supplies but thankfully we can still live an orderly existence. :)

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 5 years ago

      My husband has learned over the years to see the ownership of material things as temporary. He used to hoard things, was quite attached to the thought of what he might use that thing for in the future. He's learned to shuffle stuff now instead of hoard it - it seems he's learned to be more fluid in the collection of material items and is no longer stagnant. He knows that it's ok to let go of the old, because the new is always there on the horizon.

    • profile image

      Tamara14 5 years ago

      I'd say it's a combination of some habits of older generations and a simple procrastination issue. I've been having problems with my upstairs neighbor, an angry old lady who collected literally everything thinking it would be of some help in case some catastrophe occurs. It was a horror living below her and the smell in our building was describable. She died and things obviously went back to being normal, but all that time we had no institution to turn to because our "smart" government thinks it's a private property and no one should interfere. I don't see a smart solution being presented yet but I see more and more younger people acting that way. It seems to be physiological issue as well.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 5 years ago from Missouri

      Many people in my grandparent's generation were hoarders, though many were fairly neat about it. My grandmother never threw out papers or magazines, clothes or fabric of any kind. She re-purposed everything, eventually, but it was a mess to clean out her house when she moved. Blessings.

    • TheWritingnag profile image
      Author

      Writing Nag 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      @kimmanleyort: Good points!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 5 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I don't think I qualify as a hoarder, but I do have guilt and difficulty throwing things away. Fortunately I don't buy a lot of stuff, so it is mostly hard to give aways things people give me as gifts that I don't really use but have sentimental value. Great tips for helping hoarders.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 5 years ago

      This is an important topic. I think hoarding is more prevalent today and not necessarily because of the recession. I believe that it is due to a culture of consumerism that identifies meaning with things. Hoarders need to get to the source of what they're really looking for.

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 5 years ago

      I get this! I feel like I narrowly escaped this diagnosis. I wrote a lens on it too so I'd never forget. Nicey done.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I might be.. although.. honestly I tell myself that I don't like to waste :) Blessed!

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      This is a great eductional lens on the subject of compulsive diorders. Congrats

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I am a big pack rat,I like my things.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I could be if I let myself be. Angel Blessings.

    • RetroMom profile image

      RetroMom 5 years ago

      Luckily there is none. Great lens.

    • bossypants profile image

      bossypants 5 years ago from America's Dairyland

      Your lens offers kind and generous instruction for those dealing with hoarding disorders. Your definitions and clarifications are helpful because I think we often use the term hoarding casually to describe clutter and mess. Interesting topic well examined!

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 5 years ago from McLaughlin

      Hoarding is a disease. But Americans have so much "stuff" they don't use--I think clutter is starting to overtake us. Less really is more. Thanks so much for this article.

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 5 years ago

      Like a lot of things in our society today, I think it's something that has been put front and center by the media and that's a good thing. Agreed that hoarders can not usually recognize the problem from within and it's someone from the outside who needs to help. Great lens. Blessed...

    • Demaw profile image

      Demaw 5 years ago

      It is a very sad condition. Even when they run out of space in their homes they might use up their money with storage units and even apartments for their stuff.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I know one - they keep everything until it is about to all fall off their overloaded shelves and squash them. I don't live near them anymore, but I think of them and send prayers.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I don't think I'm compulsive, but I definitely have too much stuff. A lot of it is inventory. The problem is finding time to sort through everything. I do throw stuff away when I sort, but now the added burden of having to take time to shred and recycle to get rid of things or lug it to a thrift store or wait around for freecyclers makes getting rid of stuff I no longer want or need much more difficult than it used to be. I feel guilty just throwing away things I think someone could use, but many places won't take any clothes that need mending. In the past few years I've taken many carloads of very good items, including china and glassware I don't need to thrift shops, but it seems I haven't made a dent in the estates I'm trying to sort through from our parents. What I want to get rid of, my husband wants to keep, and vice versa

    • DogWatchColumbus profile image

      DogWatchColumbus 5 years ago

      What a great and informative lens! An Angel Blessing back at you;0)! Thanks for blessing my "How to Keep Muddy Paws Out of the House".

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Well, I have been guilty of hoarding some things that really are not useful any more. But with will power I will one day separate myself from them. Can't understand why people hoard junk, however, and some even take it from rubbish tips. Hoarding animals is definitely a worry and thank God I don't fit the categories you mention above. This lens is an inspiration to get cracking and get rid of stuff that has no value or place in our lives. Blessed and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012 and also on Motivation, hugs

    • TheWritingnag profile image
      Author

      Writing Nag 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      @yayas: You are very welcome I enjoyed your lens!

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 5 years ago

      I feel badly for anyone who has such difficulties with hoarding. There are so many things that might contribute to such behavior. I do not think that there is a simple answer or solution for someone who struggles with hoarding, but I do feel it is a very serious issue.

      Thank you so much for your Angel Blessing on the Scavenger Hunt in My Grandmother's Attic page. I surely appreciate your support.

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      The TV shows have helped us understand what an emotional problem it is for a hoarder to throw away anything. And how often there is some underlying problem.

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 6 years ago from England

      I don't know a hoarder but I am fascinated when watching the TV shows on them.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      I must say I'm a bit of a hoarder, but not to the 'problem' extent. I see not rubbish, but useful material in almost everything and hate to throw away.

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 6 years ago from Gloucester

      Great information here on hoarding syndrome! Blessed.

    • TheWritingnag profile image
      Author

      Writing Nag 6 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      @pacrapacma lm: I love books too and it's always a struggle to pare down my collection!

    • pacrapacma lm profile image

      pacrapacma lm 6 years ago

      This is an important topic. You covered it well. My husband thinks I'm a book hoarder, but I think I'm still in the collector category.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I've always been a collector and that's encouraged in my family. It's worrisome to see that a tendency like that can become so all-consuming and even life changing. Very sad.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 6 years ago from Virginia

      My eyes are open to the disease without watching one entire episode of TV, I live this with a homeless friend. You might wonder how a homeless person can be a horder simply, placing most of your most valuable things as a storage unit and routinely operating from the same unit leads to some interesting life's choices. I believe there are a number of people who do this just from what I have observed. Interesting, very interesting lense.

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 6 years ago from England

      I'm glad you mentioned that the person has to want to have help. It's no good trying to help someone who doesn't seem to want it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have been watching a lot of the hoarder shows lately and I really feel for people that have to go through this. I do hope more people can be helped. Great lens :)

    • sociopath-free profile image

      sociopath-free 6 years ago

      The hoarding shows are fascinating to me. Your recommendations will help someone for sure.

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 6 years ago

      There most certainly IS a difference between cluttering and hoarding. One of the key elements, at least in my experience, is that you can be cluttered yet clean, but hoarders often can't distinguish between trash and treasure, resulting in health hazards. Very nice job on a delicate and difficult subject.

    • profile image

      HelenHoliday 6 years ago

      I knew someone who had this problem, but she managed to hide it pretty well. I don't hoard, but I have difficulty letting go of things I think I might need "later on." I suppose that's the first step...

    • kwhiting644 lm profile image

      kwhiting644 lm 6 years ago

      Like this page. I am decluttering as we speak. I'm going to go visit some of your other lenses. Thx.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I do have a lot of clutter but not to the extent of someone with Hording Syndrome. I am working hard on doing some de-cluttering.

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 6 years ago

      I'm so glad that A&E has shined the light on this disorder so that people can see that it isn't just a matter of having a little clutter and that it is a treatable disease. Great lens.