Clutter Vs Hoarding

Am I a hoarder? Is this the worst place you have seen? Do you think I am going to be a hoarder?

Ever since the TV shows came out, there is a great fear of hoarding.

Does having a lot of clutter make you a hoarder? No. Do all hoarders houses look like the inside of trash cans? No, they don’t.


There is a big difference between hoarding and having lots of clutter. Lets take a look at them.


* You have a big house and lots of places to put stuff.

* You like stuff and are comfortable with a “full” place. We all have different comfort levels in our space.

* You are a busy person and don’t purge on a regular basis.

* You know you want to get rid of things but don’t know where they should be taken.

* You replace something and the old one goes in the basement or attic

* Lets not forget about invisible clutter-you have clutter but its not in plain view-its all stuffed in closets, drawers, and cabinets

* You still feel comfortable having friends, repairmen, ect in your home


* Hoarding is defined as the aquisition of, and failure to discard, a large number of possessions. Clutter precludes activities for which the living spaces where designed (Frost and Hartl).

* Extreme indecisiveness and fear of making purging mistakes

* Severe emotional attachment to items

* You won’t let anyone help- you have the need for control

In a nutshell, hoarding is an extremely cluttered environment where there are a lot of strong emotions involved in the decision making process.

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