Tips to Help a Hoarder

Hoarding is not laziness

Janice Tovey
3 min readNov 5


Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash

Hoarding is a serious and distressing condition, and while it may make an interesting tag line for reality TV, real people face severe consequences and are suffering from this harmful disorder.

Even if you are not one of the individuals buried under mountains of paper, books, boxes, blankets, or old magazines, small hoarding tendencies may affect your quality of life.

Hoarding disorder is a psychological condition. A person experiences extreme anxiety and distress when attempting to discard things. It is not a nice way to live.

Hoarding may go beyond household items and papers. Some individuals hoard animals who are often not properly cared for.

There is an importance distinction between hoarding and collecting. Collecting is usually conducted in an organized and methodical way. Hoarding on the other hand is done haphazardly, and the items being saved usually are without much monetary value.

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. Mayo Clinic

Hoarding behaviors often worsens with age. Often appearing in adolescence and gradually worsening in the sixties and seventies. Anxiety and depression often accompany hoarding behavior.

Some individuals are aware they hoard, others are oblivious. Sadly, a traumatic or stressful life event like divorce or death can trigger the onset of hoarding behavior.

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Collecting useless items like napkins or newspapers is quite common and the most obvious symptom. Often there is fear that the item may be needed sometime in the future, even though it is eventually lost. A house often becomes inhabitable, one room at a time. Shelves, chairs and tables become buried.

Do you know someone who purchases items they don’t really require? This can also be a sign. We all do this to a…



Janice Tovey

My passion is writing. I also love reading, teaching, animals, nature, music, and humor. I am curious about everything and enjoy writing about all things.