Hoarding television programs are often very popular.  Many who watch these programs cannot understand how a person can live this way, but the viewers misunderstand something fundamental.  Hoarding is a mental issue, and most of those who hoard are not necessarily cognizant of their behaviors.  We are not professionals in caring for a hoarding issue, so please do not take what we say as advice.  Consult a professional.

There is a difference between what constitutes a hoarder and a pack rat.  This difference, however, can be very slim.

There are plenty of people who hold onto certain items as sentimental.  While it may be junk to one person, ashes of a dead pet for example, it is of real, tangible value to the owner.  This may be annoying to some, but this is not the definition of a hoarder.

Those who have a feeling a family member may be a hoarder should contact a professional like we said above.  Hoarding is a serious problem with serious consequences and should be diagnosed by a professional.

The best way to make the determination is with something called a “Clutter Image Rating,” found on all search engines quickly and easily.  This will help make a determination if professional intervention may be necessary.

Hoarding vs. clutter comes down to behaviors.  A hoarder may or may not exhibit all of these behaviors.  What this is, however, is a start to making a proper determination.

  • Incessant buying or saving of items of no apparent use;
  • Avoidance in discussing the issue;
  • Distress when things are moved or thrown away;
  • Unsanitary or dangerous living.

Cleaning the home is of utmost importance out of safety for the individual, and those involved.  .