7 Signs You Might Just be a Hoarder and How to Fix it

By John Cruz

Last Updated:

Do you have a hard time throwing things away?

Do you find yourself holding onto items that others might consider junk?

If so, you may be exhibiting hoarding tendencies.

Hoarding is a disorder that affects millions of people worldwide.

It can be characterized by the excessive accumulation of items, regardless of their value or usefulness.

Hoarding can manifest in a variety of ways, from holding onto sentimental items to collecting large amounts of trash and clutter.

It can be difficult to recognize hoarding behaviors in yourself, as they often develop gradually over time.

However, there are certain signs that may indicate that you might just be a hoarder, which is more common than you think.

We want to help you understand these signs, as well as take the steps to address the issue and improve your quality of life.

What is Hoarding?

Hoarding is a complex mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide.

It is a condition that involves the accumulation of excessive amounts of objects or possessions, and the inability to discard them, even when they are no longer useful or necessary.

It’s something you won’t notice and sometimes it can get out of control.

I mean, really out of control.

There’s a whole TV show on the disorder and although you might not be an extreme case, remember that there’s always room for a little decluttering.

Definition of Hoarding

Hoarding disorder is defined as the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value.

This can lead to the accumulation of clutter to the point where parts of the home become unusable.

Some of you might be in this situation but don’t lose hope just yet.

Hoarding can also cause significant distress or impairment in functioning, including the loss of living space, social isolation, and family conflict.

Difference Between Collecting and Hoarding

It’s important to note that hoarding is not the same as collecting.

Collectors often display their items in an organized and aesthetically pleasing way, whereas hoarders accumulate excessive amounts of items that are often disorganized and cluttered.

Collectors typically have a specific focus or theme for their collection, while hoarders may accumulate a wide variety of items that have little to no value.

In summary, understanding hoarding involves recognizing that it is a mental health disorder that can lead to significant distress and impairment in functioning.

It is important to differentiate between hoarding and collecting, as they are not the same thing.

As a matter of fact, hoarders tend to refer to themselves as “collectors.”

So, let’s get into the meat and taters and see exactly why you might just be a hoarder.

Signs You Might Be a Hoarder


There are several signs that you might just be a hoarder and although some are obvious, you might want to look into the more subtle ones.

Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions due to a perceived need to save them.

It is a serious mental health condition that can cause significant distress and interfere with daily life.

Here are some signs that you might be a hoarder.

1. Difficulty Discarding Items

If you find yourself struggling to throw away items that most people would consider trash, you might be a hoarder.

You may feel anxious or distressed at the thought of getting rid of things, even if they have no practical value.

You will say things like “I can use ____ for _____ in the future” and actually never use it.


Remember the difference between hoarding and collecting, and you will find it easier to discard items that you deem helpful.

2. Excessive Acquisition of Items

Hoarding often involves a compulsive need to acquire more possessions.

You may find yourself constantly buying things you don’t need or can’t use, or collecting free items that you have no use for.

This is very common in older folks and it can come in the form of a really old refrigerator or something as simple as a Cool Whip container.

If you have a working fridge and you bought a bunch of reusable plastic containers, then you don’t need an extra fridge for “parts” and you definitely don’t need a million Cool Whip containers.

3. Living Spaces Unusable

If your home is cluttered with so many possessions that you can’t use your living spaces for their intended purposes, you might be a hoarder.

For example, you may have so much clutter in your bedroom that you can’t sleep in your bed, or so many possessions in your living room that you can’t entertain guests.

You might have turned your daughter’s room into a storage and you might have things that don’t belong in the bathroom.

If you find yourself utilizing spaces in your home for storing the wrong things, you might just be a hoarder.

4. Not Wanting Guests Over

If you feel embarrassed or ashamed to let others see the inside of your home, you might be a hoarder.

You may avoid having visitors or make excuses for why they can’t come over, which are signs that you might be a hoarder.

Your home is where you live and although it’s your personal space, it should be clean and comfortable.

If you feel that you can never have guests over due to the lack of cleanliness in your home, you might just be a hoarder.

5. Attachment to Possessions

Hoarding often involves a strong emotional attachment to things.

You may feel that your possessions are an extension of yourself, or that they have sentimental value that makes them irreplaceable.

If you have a bunch of dead flowers from valentines day that’s sitting in some funky water, you might just be a hoarder.

Get rid of THINGS that you feel attached to that add zero benefit to your health.

6. Interference with Daily Life

If your hoarding behavior is interfering with your ability to function in daily life, you might be a hoarder.

For example, you may be unable to cook in your kitchen because of the clutter, or you may have trouble finding important documents because of the disorganization.

Once you start having to go through obstacles to get stuff done, you might just be a hoarder.

7. You Are a Little Lazier Than Most

If you are lazy and don’t want to clean up your space, you might mistake it for hoarding.

However, hoarding is a serious mental health condition that goes beyond just being messy or disorganized.

If you identify with any of these signs, it may be helpful to seek professional help.

A mental health professional can help you understand your hoarding behavior and develop strategies to manage it.

The Psychology Behind Hoarding


Hoarding is a complex and often misunderstood disorder that affects many people.

It is characterized by the excessive accumulation of possessions and the inability to let go of them, even when they are no longer useful or necessary.

The psychology behind hoarding is multifaceted, and there are many factors that contribute to this behavior.

Emotional Attachment

One of the primary reasons why people hoard is due to emotional attachment.

Possessions can hold sentimental value, reminding the individual of a person, place, or event that they cherish.

This emotional attachment can make it difficult for the individual to let go of their possessions, even if they are cluttering their living space.

Fear of Waste

Another factor that contributes to hoarding is the fear of waste.

Some individuals may feel guilty or wasteful if they throw away items that are still in good condition.

They may also fear that they will need these items in the future and will regret getting rid of them.

This fear can lead to the accumulation of large amounts of possessions that are no longer needed or useful.


Indecisiveness is another psychological factor that can contribute to hoarding.

Some individuals may struggle with making decisions about what to keep and what to discard.

They may also have difficulty organizing their possessions, leading to clutter and disorganization.

This indecisiveness can make it challenging for the individual to let go of their possessions, even if they are causing significant problems in their daily life.

Overall, hoarding is a complex disorder that is influenced by a variety of psychological factors.

If you or someone you know is struggling with hoarding, it is essential to seek professional help to address the underlying issues and develop effective coping strategies.

How to Seek Help


If you suspect that you or someone you know might be a hoarder, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.

Hoarding is a thing and there’s no shame in trying to get some help.

If you feel that you might just be a hoarder, here are some things you can do to get some help.

Recognizing the Problem

The first step in seeking help is to recognize that you have a problem.

If you find yourself accumulating items that you don’t need or have trouble throwing things away, it may be a sign that you have a hoarding disorder.

Take a step back and assess your behavior to determine whether you need professional help.

Consulting a Mental Health Professional

If you suspect that you have a hoarding disorder, it is important to consult a mental health professional.

A therapist or counselor can help you identify the underlying causes of your hoarding behavior and develop a treatment plan to address the problem.

They may also be able to refer you to other professionals who can help, such as a professional organizer or cleaning service.

Conclusion – You Might Just Be a Hoarder

If you display any of the symptoms mentioned in this post, you might just be a hoarder.

Remember that there are a lot of you out there that might just be really lazy and you might not actually have a hoarding problem.

However, if you are just lazy, you might want to fix that.

I hope this post has helped you understand what is going on in your life and whether or not you have a hoarding problem.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thought, feel free to do so in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!


About the author

With four humans of his own, John is our parenting expert. He loves being a dad, and when he's not trying to work on his golf game, you'll find him at his kid's soccer games or at the mall with his kids.

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