There has been a lot of attention in the media about compulsive hoarding, especially with the popularity of shows like “Hoarding” and “Hoarding: Buried Alive”. There are an estimated 3-6 million people in the United States that have a hoarding problem that affects the quality of their life.

What Is Compulsive Hoarding?

Are you a compulsive hoarder?According to Drs Tolin, Frost and Steketee in the book “Buried in Treasures” hoarding has 3 parts.

  1. Acquiring, but not discarding, a large number of possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value.
  2. Living spaces are so cluttered that the space cannot be used for its intended purpose.
  3. The clutter, acquiring, and difficulty discarding causes impairment or distress to the people who live in that environment.

Why Do People Hoard?

  • Problems with attention
  • Inability to organize their things
  • Can’t make decisions
  • Beliefs about usefulness and waste
  • Perfectionism
  • Emotional attachment to possessions
  • Enjoy shopping and acquiring things

What Can Be Done to Help?

The hoarder has to want help. They have to be part of the process to declutter and discard their possessions. You cannot argue with them or make decisions for them. They have to want to change their environment.

Often the best results happen when the client is working with team of professionals – a therapist and a certified professional organizer and a supportive friends and family group. Call me if you have any questions – (205) 222-0099.