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What is hoarding disorder?

According to the Mayo Clinic, hoarding disorder is: a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.

Hoarding is very different from collecting. People who have collections of objects search for specific items, categorize them, and carefully display them. They are proud of their collections and often eager to show them to others. Hoarding is often a private behavior. Although collections can be large, they aren’t usually cluttered or dirty. Collections generally bring pleasure rather than the anxiety, distress, and other impairments that are part of hoarding disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of Hoarding Disorder:

  • Acquiring and saving an excessive number of objects for which there is no space or purpose
  • Difficulty in throwing away things – even things with little to no use
  • Gradual buildup of clutter in living spaces (clutter often builds to the point where rooms become unusable)
  • Feeling a need to save items, and being distressed by the thought of discarding them

What does the home of someone with advanced hoarding disorder look like?

  • Stacks and unorganized piles of items. Piles can get so high as to be a danger to inhabitants.
  • Clutter that impedes walking through a room or even using a room. For instance, a bathtub may be so full of objects that a bath or shower is impossible.
  • Buildup of food or trash to unsanitary levels
  • Bugs and vermin are common

Family members should never try to clean a hoarding situationon their own. There are many health risks associated with a hoarding cleanup. 

When we are called to assist with a hoarding situation, we are always careful to sort valuable or sentimental items from trash and debris. We provide turnkey services to help you focus on your loved one’s peace of mind while returning the property to a livable condition. Please call us anytime to help, or if you have questions about our services: 1-866-305-8001