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What Kind of Hoarder are You?

When many people think about hoarders, they envision homes stacked from floor to ceiling and wall to wall with every manner of debris and garbage a person can stuff into a given space. At its extreme, this is a realistic definition of hoarding. But, as with most everything in life, hoarders come in many degrees, from the radical hoarder of every imaginable piece of stuff they can gather, to the more particular collector of exact items that eventually overrun the space they occupy.

What Kind of Hoarder are You?

Classic Hoarder – As seen on television, classic hoarders suffer from a psychological disorder which, at its extreme, can be defined as a mental illness. They can’t let go of anything, even obvious junk. They feel there’s potential in their junk, maybe not now, but someday. When that mysterious day comes along, they plan to be ready. They defy anyone who tries to reduce their pile of collected, unorganized garbage to a manageable level.

Selective Hoarder – Another class of hoarders is comprised of those who are more selective in their acquisitions. They hoard specific categories of items, and they may consider themselves to be collectors rather than hoarders, but the result is similar. These folks may hang on to every magazine they ever subscribed to, every souvenir they ever received or brought back from their travels, or every article of clothing they ever owned. They can’t part with anything that may ever have seemed useful. They differ from the classic hoarder in that they at least limit their hoarding to functional items, whereas the classic hoarder keeps everything, useless junk included.

Pack Rat Hoarder – The final category of hoarder is more easily recognized as a pack rat. This broad category encompasses more people than you may think. The pack rat stockpiles stuff to ward off the inevitable disaster that may or may not strike. They stockpile toilet paper, cereal, or other nonperishable items so that they are always prepared for the next flood, blizzard, or other natural disaster. They see this behavior as totally normal.


Hoarding has acquired a bad name in society. At its extreme, it is a limiting, disturbing condition. But if you take a look at yourself, you may see a few characteristics of the hoarding complex in your own behavior. That little quirk just might be what defines you. For more info, contact us today.