The definition of hoarding is to amass and hide or stow away. Hoarders have difficulty parting with their possessions regardless of what the value may be. Typically, what sets a hoarder apart from someone who is disorganized or lives in clutter is the type of items they have like newspapers, bags, boxes and even old food. If you, or someone you love, is heading towards being a hoarder here are a few signs to watch for.
The inability to throw anything away
Hoarders aren’t able to throw anything away. They feel an attachment to everything that they have regardless of its state or value. Often, they don’t see that they have a problem. Researchers have found that victims of hoarding have abnormal activity in regions of the brain involved in decision making – particularly in what to do with objects that belong to them. Not only do hoarders collect too many things but they feel unable to throw them out even if they are useless.
Anxiety sets in at the thought of discarding an item
Have you heard the term disposophobia? It’s the fear of losing things or fear of getting rid of something. It’s also known as ‘Hoarding disorder’. This disorder causes the sufferer to save everything and brings on anxiety at the thought of having to get rid of any of it. The heart rate elevates, the breathing increases and the sufferer would rather run away than face a decision.
The inability to sort, categorize or organize any possessions
Unlike somebody who is just disorganized or lives with clutter, a hoarder is not able to sort their possessions in any manner. Their possessions need to be close to them and organizing them or storing them in any manner is out of the question.
The loss of living space
Slowly the living space will disappear in a hoarders’ home. Possessions will take over all space that is available leaving nowhere to sit, sleep or entertain. Once this happens hoarders will become more isolated as they become embarrassed about their home and don’t want visitors. Visitors will judge or will want to intervene.
The home is becoming unsanitary
Keeping the home of someone who hoards clean is almost impossible. There are too many items to get to an area that needs cleaning. Dirty dishes pile up, left over food is left out, laundry doesn’t get done, toilets aren’t cleaned, etc. A dirty home can quickly become unsanitary or even unhealthy.
If you recognize the beginnings of any of these signs in, you or a loved one contact ClutterBGone here for a free assessment to see how we can turn things around and get your space organized and clutter free.