Many people enjoy collecting things. But what happens when their "collections" grow out of control? People who have a psychological disorder called hoarding may let their teddy bear collections or garbage collections take over their entire homes! Their obsessive and compulsive acquiring of junk, collectibles, and everyday items may result in their homes becoming uninhabitable. Many hoarders' homes are even condemned!
Hoarding is a big problem! It is said that there are 300 million hoarders in the United States. Many people may have no idea that they live next to a hoarder. Hoarders are often embarrassed with the state their lives are in because of their illness, but they often feel helpless to stop their compulsive behaviors. Some hoarders are aware that their issues are problematic, whereas others are prone to a sort of "clutter blindness". They cannot readily see the stacks of trash and belongings that they are tripping over as they walk through their homes.
Hoarding causes injuries, pest infestations, disease, and death. It makes all of the useful areas of a house completely unusable, such as the bathroom, kitchen, and bedrooms. There are many types of hoarders who collect many different types of things. Hoarders can hoard animals. Many "pack rat" hoarders even collect digital items they will never use (photo files, music, software, porn, and movies), which is not as problematic as collecting physical items.
What Is Hoarding?
According to UrbanDictionary.com, hoarding is defined as "to keep and collect things that may or may not have value". A person who hoards may have large collections of comic books, nostalgic items, and antiques. He or she may collect pets or animals. Or a hoarder may fill his or her house with garbage, newspapers, artwork, or even an earwax collection.