A hoarding disorder is a condition where a person acquires a large number of items (clutter) and stores these items, often in a chaotic manner.
Hoarding can become a significant problem if:
- the amount of clutter interferes with the person's everyday living – for example, the clutter prevents the person from using their kitchen/bathroom/living rooms.
- the clutter is causing distress or negatively affecting that person's quality of life or their family's quality of life – the person who has acquired the objects may become upset if anyone suggests tidying up the possessions or getting rid of any of the items
Many people who hoard are reluctant to acknowledge the problem or have little awareness of how the hoarding is impacting their life or the lives of others. Often there are psychological reasons for the hoarding - some negative events in a person's life which find their expression through the accumulation or handing on to physical things. Letting go of these objects can be difficult and this is why getting help from a professional declutterer can be useful.