More than just a messy house . . .

You might think that someone has a very messy house but did you know that hoarding is actually a recognised illness? There is a difference between having a bit of clutter and someone being a hoarder. Hoarding is where someone acquires a huge number of items and stores them in a chaotic manner. The items may seem worthless and of little value but the person hoarding them, it can be very difficult to emotionally detach themselves from the items. If you’re not a hoarder but could do with some decluttering then for  Swansea Skip Hire, visit

Hoarding becomes a major problem if the sheer amount of items begins to negatively affect a person’s day to day living. Maybe the person cannot reach their kitchen or bathroom properly anymore and becomes very upset when a family member or friend tries to clear up. Some hoarders won’t think there is a problem and others will know they need help but will be too ashamed to seek it. Simply walking into their home and throwing things out will not work however, and the clutter will soon pile up again. The root cause of the hoarding needs to be tackled before any long lasting changes are made.

Signs of a hoarding problem include:

  • Becoming overly attached to objects, refusing to let anyone touch them or borrow them
  • Struggling to manage daily tasks like cooking and cleaning
  • Having poor relationships with family or friends
  • Find it hard to organise items
  • Have difficulty making decisions
  • Keep or collect items of no value such as junk mail, carrier bags or items in need of repair

More than just a mess

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People who hoard tend to be older but it can start during teenage years. Some popular hoarded items include:

  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Junk mail
  • Bills and receipts
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Cardboard
  • Household items

Uncontrolled hoarding can cause many risks and make life very difficult for the person concerned. It makes it tough to move around their home, can affect their personal hygiene, work performance and relationships with others. It can also lead to isolation and loneliness as they don’t want to receive visitors or workmen. Other risks include:

  • Trips or falls
  • Large piles of clutter can fall over or collapse on people
  • Cleaning becomes difficult which causes unhygienic conditions and may encourage infestations of rodents or insects
  • Fire risk is increased as exits are blocked

The reasons people hoard are varied and the condition is usually a symptom of an underlying issue. A lack of mobility might mean that someone is physically incapable of clearing large amounts of clutter build up. People suffering with dementia may also be unable to organise the disposal of items they don’t need. Severe depression, psychotic disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder can also be contributing factors.

Sometimes hoarding is a condition in itself and is a sign of self-neglect. Such cases are likely to occur in people who live alone, have had a deprived childhood, a family history of hoarding or being brought up in a home where nothing was ever prioritised and organised. They genuinely believe that they might need these items in the future and that buying them will make them happy. If you’re worried about anyone who shows these signs that the first step is to empower them by convincing them to go with you to see their GP.

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