Help with hoarding
Hoarding is a disorder where someone acquires or collects an excessive number of items and stores them in a chaotic manner. The disorder is a serious concern to communities and to individuals, as it causes distress to the individual and those around them.
Someone who has a hoarding disorder may typically:
- keep or collect items with little or no monetary value, such as junk mail and carrier bags, or items they intend to reuse or repair
- become emotionally attached to items, refusing to let anyone touch or borrow them
- find it hard to categorise or organise items
- have difficulties making decisions / managing everyday tasks
- have poor relationships with family or friends, leading to isolation and loneliness
- have rooms in their homes they can’t access
The clutter can pose a health risk to the person and anyone who lives in or visits their house. For example, it can:
- make cleaning very difficult, leading to unhygienic conditions and encouraging rodent or insect infestations
- be a fire risk and block exits in the event of a fire
- prevent important repairs from taking place
- cause trips and falls
The hoarding could be a sign of an underlying condition, such as OCD, other types of anxiety, depression and potentially more serious conditions, such as dementia.
We offer support and help to anyone who is concerned or would like some advice about hoarding.
You can find out more about hoarding via the links below:
- Dockhead group poster (pdf, 157kb)
- NHS Choices - provides hoarding information
- London Fire Brigade offers tips for hoarders on how to reduce the risk of fire
- Help for Hoarders - information and resources about hoarding
- Hoarding UK – an organisation committed to helping hoarders overcome their disorder and ensuring professionals offer appropriate and effective care
Page last updated: 15 December 2017