What is hoarding?

WHAT IS HOARDING

Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value.

The behaviour usually has harmful effects—emotional, physical, social, financial, and even legal—for a hoarder and family members.

SOMEONE WHO HOARDS MAY EXHIBIT THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIOUR:

  • Inability to throw away possessions
  • Severe anxiety when attempting to discard items
  • Great difficulty categorizing or organizing possessions
  • Indecision about what to keep or where to put things
  • Distress, such as feeling overwhelmed or embarrassed by possessions
  • Suspicion of other people touching items
  • Obsessive thoughts and actions: fear of running out of an item or of needing it in the future; checking the trash for accidentally discarded objects
  • Functional impairments, including loss of living space, social isolation, family or marital discord, financial difficulties, health hazards

ANIMAL HOARDING

While most hoarding involves objects, some hoarders “collect” animals. The Huron-Perth Hoarding Coalition works with appropriate agencies in these circumstances as well.