Overview

Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.

Hoarding often creates such cramped living conditions that homes may be filled to capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter. Countertops, sinks, stoves, desks, stairways and virtually all other surfaces are usually piled with stuff. And when there's no more room inside, the clutter may spread to the garage, vehicles, yard and other storage facilities.

Hoarding ranges from mild to severe. In some cases, hoarding may not have much impact on your life, while in other cases it seriously affects your functioning on a daily basis.

People with hoarding disorder may not see it as a problem, making treatment challenging. But intensive treatment can help people with hoarding disorder understand how their beliefs and behaviors can be changed so that they can live safer, more enjoyable lives.