Signs of a Hoarder

Hoarding Signs To Watch Out For

Hoarding SignsHoarding is not just an occurrence on a television show, but rather a more common condition than many people realize. A hoarding condition is not solely a disorder that leaves a home in disarray. Health hazards, social tension, and physical limitations can accompany the clutter of hoarding, among other issues. Some people who are hoarding may be unaware of what they are doing, or even in denial. Family members and friends may suspect a hoarding condition is the cause. There are signs to be on the lookout to determine if a hoarding condition is prevalent so the issue can be immediately addressed in order to minimize potential damages:

  • It is normal for homes to have a bit of clutter, but when clutter is making parts of the home unusable, there is a bigger issue at hand. Clutter should not impede upon home functionality.
  • De-cluttering is a terrifying thought because it would be classified as a sizable job that would take more than just a couple hours to complete.
  • Parting with possessions is difficult. If an attempt is made to physically remove items from the home, strong resistance and combative behavior may be encountered. An attachment to these items, no matter how valueless they seem, has developed, so the individual will not easily concede to giving up the items.
  • Items lack value. Someone who is hoarding may have accumulated items that lack value to the average person. Some of these items may include old newspapers, expired food items, duplicate items, various broken items, and any other item that is perceived to possibly be of some use for a hypothetical situation or of no use at all.
  • Possessions keep accumulating. There may be an issue of compulsive shopping or just the refusal to throw items away that results in the increase of item. This may also result in financial problems due to the excess spending.
  • There is nowhere to store belongings out of sight. The belongings have reached massive proportions that make it impossible to keep everything in closets, cabinets, and organizers. As a result, items are scattered across various surfaces.
  • The individual may be undergoing a medley of emotions. Anger may accompany their defensive behavior if someone attempts to touch items or suggests throwing things out. Aside from combative behavior, a hoarding individual may also experience anxiety or other mental illnesses, such as depression.
  • Social isolation may result due to embarrassment. Family tension may have increased or there may be embarrassment of other people viewing and judging the living conditions, so in order to eliminate the additional stress, the person who is hoarding may not permit others in his/her home. Additionally, relationships may deteriorate because people may refuse to visit as well.
  • Unsanitary living conditions are prevalent. Perishable food items, waste (i.e. feces, urine, etc.), and other biohazards can produce unsanitary living spaces. Bacteria, illnesses, insects and vermin, and other health risks often accompany these conditions.

There are various levels of hoarding. The living conditions can vary from minor disruptive clutter to extreme clutter that puts health and safety at risk. There are dangers that can accompany hoarding clutter, which is why it is important to seek help for a hoarding condition. The physical cleanup process can be accomplished by professional specialty cleanup services if the situation is too difficult to handle without assistance. Hoarding is a mental condition so it is imperative to seek help from a mental health professional in order to confront the main problem and minimize the chance of the situation reverting back to unlivable hoarding conditions. Knowing what signs to be on the lookout for will make it possible to properly help hoarding individuals in their time of need.


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