Compulsive hoarding is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by the excessive acquisition of, and inability, or unwillingness to part with large quantities of objects stored in the living areas of the home and creating distress or impairment.

Compulsive hoarding behavior has been associated with health risks, impaired functioning, economic burden, and adverse effects on friends and family members. When significant enough to impair functioning, hoarding can prevent typical uses of space such as cooking, cleaning, moving through the house, and sleeping. It can also be dangerous if it puts the individual or others at risk from fire, falling, poor sanitation, and other health concerns.

Hoarding is a psychological disorder associated with or categorized as a symptom of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). It’s a higher form of collecting excessive clutter, accumulating filth, and “disposophobia,” – the fear of throwing things away. Many call these people pack rats. Hoarders have a very hard time getting rid of anything in their possession. Those with a hoarding disorder may be disorganized and may not even recognize their problem. Homes of hoarders may look as if they were ransacked.

There are three main characteristics of hoarding. The first, the acquiring of many useless possessions that the hoarder is unable to discard. The second, living in a space that is so cluttered and full of filth that rooms cannot be used for their intended purposes. The third is significant distress or inability to accomplish basic daily activities. Simply owning a lot of stuff does not make someone a hoarder.

Symptoms associated with hoarding include:

  • Saving broken, irreparable, or useless things
  • Purchasing more than is needed
  • Buying large amounts of useful items and storing them away for future usage, but may not need them any time in the near future
  • Taking materials out of the trash on a constant basis
  • Having a hard time discarding anything for fear of accidentally throwing out anything important
  • Collecting junk mail, newspapers, magazines for years, just to have
  • Having long lists or records of certain things, even after they are no longer useful anymore
  • Saving items that aren’t needed because of the possibility of others perhaps needing them in the future

It’s difficult for these compulsive hoarders to throw away anything because they have an emotional attachment.

It’s also challenging for hoarders to let anyone into their house because they’re embarrassed for anyone to see their ‘mess’. Hoarders need good support and professional help. Children, family, and friends of hoarders need to know that there is help out there for hoarders. They should also know that they’re not alone.

Whoever is helping the hoarder must know that cleaning out the house is just a minor solution to the problem. Even though MD Junk Removal provides full hoarding clean-outs, we cannot do so until the hoarder has agreed to seek professional help.

We help for hoarders and their families every step of the way. This includes sanitizing, organizing, sorting and clean-out, leaving you with a safe, clean and healthy environment.

Learn more about Maryland Junk Removal’s Hoarding services. Contact us today to see how we can help.