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Definition of hoarding and cluttering

There is nothing wrong with someone choosing to collect certain things. Almost everyone collects something they value and or that brings them a level of comfort and pleasure. Unfortunately, some people take their collecting to the extreme. At the extreme, collecting can very easily turn into a hoarding disorder, which often results in a messy home environmental issue known as cluttering.

What is Hoarding and Cluttering?

In order for you to know when collecting becomes hoarding, it might help for you to know the hoarding definition. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the meaning of hoarding (hoarding meaning) in terms of being a disorder is “the compulsion to continually accumulate a variety of items that are often considered useless or worthless by others accompanied by an inability to discard the items without great distress.”

Definition of hoarding and cluttering

One of the byproducts of hoarding is the massive accumulation of things being collected throughout the house. This massive accumulation creates clutter that could eventually create a host of problems within the home environment. What is cluttering? According to the same Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of clutter or cluttering is “to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness.”

Hoarding Symptoms

Now that you have an idea about the hoarding definition, it might create within you a curiosity about how to tell if someone has a hoarding disorder. If you suspect you or a loved one might be suffering from such a disorder, you would certainly be interested in knowing what a hoarding disorder looks like. Here is a list of typical hoarding symptoms:

  • Obsession with the acquisition of items that aren’t really needed or for which there is no more space for storing
  • The act of refusing to throw “trash” away when it no longer has any value or use
  • A progression of inability to part with certain things for seemingly no reason
  • Living in a home environment that is cluttered, dirty, smelly, and highly disorganized
  • The exhibiting of traits like indecisiveness, perfectionism, avoidance, procrastination, and having great difficulty with planning and organizing things in the home
  • Messy and disorganized outside of the home (yard, garage, and trash area)

The Causes of Hoarding

Hoarding definition and symptoms

Knowing the hoarding definition means little if you don’t have some knowledge about the potential causes of hoarding. As you might imagine, a hoarding disorder is usually the byproduct of something that came from the past. With that in mind, here is a shortlist of hoarding disorder causes:

  • Trauma or loss created by natural disasters, the loss of an important relationship, sudden death in the family, health/injury issues, and abuse (sexual, mental, emotional, physical)
  • Existing mental health issues like Bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, PTSD, Obsessive/Compulsive disorder
  • Family history like being raised in a home where family members obsessively collected things
  • Being deprived of things at a young age that were wanted or needed
  • Fear of not having wants or needs met

Treatments for Hoarding Disorder

Based on the above information, you should naturally be interested in what can be done to treat a hoarding disorder.

Of course, the onset of any emotional/mental/psychological disorder will typically require some level of therapy. Treatment options like Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy are all evidence-based therapy options that offer hope in the treatment of a hoarding disorder.

Treatments for Hoarding Disorder

Other treatment options include medications that treat the psychological issues that can lead to a hoarding disorder and skills training that teaches individuals how to plan better and be more organized.

If you or a loved one are dealing with hoarding issues, we hope you are able to get the help that’s needed. When the time comes to let go and clean up your home, Clutter Trucker can help you do that. We offer a wide range of cleanup services, including the disposal of accumulated trash and garbage. For more information about our services and pricing, we encourage you to give us a call to discuss how we can help you restore order to your home.