Compulsive Hoarding

Hoarding is a complex condition that involves collecting too many items and difficulty getting rid of them, which leads to considerable clutter. Collection often occurs with sale or free items, or with random materials of limited value, such as wrappers, papers, containers, strings, etc. Sufferers have a hard time letting go, throwing away, selling, or even giving away objects that may seem useless or worthless to most people. Objects may be kept because of an emotional attachment, for their informational value, or to prevent waste. The excessive amounts of items collected are often disorganized and buried in piles to the degree of limiting the use of living spaces, which can pose safety and health risks.

Associated Features

  • Collection can include books, animals, information, random memorabilia, bodily waste, foods
  • Builds and worsen over time as amount of clutter increases
  • Information processing problems with attention, memory, categorization, and decision-making
  • Limited social contact due to embarrassment and shame
  • Friends and family members are not invited to the cluttered home
  • Minimizes or rarely realizes the seriousness of the problem
  • Negatively impacts self-esteem as well as physical and emotional health
  • Clutter results in problems with day-to-day living