"Hoarding is a complex, often long-term mental health disorder and usually consists of excessive clutter, difficulty in getting rid of items when they are no longer useful or needed and/or excessive buying/other acquiring and difficulty organising possessions. Hoarding becomes a concern when people collect and keep things to the point where it encroaches significantly on their living space, which cannot be properly used, and where it presents health and safety risks, as well as causes stress and impacts on day to day living.

Hoarding can make life a misery for individuals and their families, affecting health and lifestyle, and posing a significant risk of fire and other dangers. Research suggests that 25% of accidental domestic fire deaths involve hoarding. Hoarding affects the whole family, making it difficult to receive social visits and in extreme cases, affecting living space and basic freedoms such as space in which to do homework or even sleep.

Other challenges in hoarded homes can include restricted entry and exit, difficulties gaining access to gas and electricity areas, water leaks, mould, and rat and other infestations. Financial implications may include not having access to paperwork, leading to unpaid bills and other complications.

Previously viewed as part of obsessive-compulsive disorder, hoarding disorder was recognised as a mental health disorder in its own right within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in May 2013." Jo Cooke - Hoarding Disorders UK

Did you know that Foundations run training courses about hoarding behaviour. These courses are run by an industry expert who talks through what hoarding is, the different stages of hoarding and ways in which we can work with people who may demonstrate hoarding behaviour. You can register your interest for our upcoming courses at info@foundations.uk.com. 

Hoarding Behaviour and Cluttered Homes from Foundations

We regularly run a Hoarding Disorder Awareness course which offers a comprehensive introduction to hoarding disorders. It also provides a better understanding of the causes of hoarding behaviour and how it affects people day to day. You can see more information about Hoarding Disorders and register at the link below. 

Other Resources 

Foundations have also developed a Hoarding Behaviour and Cluttered Homes Toolkit which you can find here. 
The International OCD Foundation has created a series of images demonstrating various stages of clutter. You can see the images here.