Do you have a chronic disorganized home? Is the mess in your household getting out of control? Is the clutter affecting your health as well as your relationship with the people you love? Is so, you might be turning into a compulsive hoarder.

When you encounter the word “hoarder”, you might immediately visualize someone who fills their homes with papers, junk, and phone books. In addition, you might immediately associate the word with dirt and waste. What you need to understand is that all hoarders start somewhere.

The problem does not immediately get out of hand. There are warning signs of hoarding which must be understood so that proper help will be given. But before that, you must first understand what hoarding is all about.

What Is Hoarding?

Hoarding is known as the extreme need to collect items and the inability to them go. This is a mental condition which is also characterized by compulsive buying, acquiring, and saving items that have little to no value. This compulsive behavior can lead to disastrous consequences- emotionally, physically, financially, socially, and legally.

Hoarding leads to a cramped living condition wherein the household will be filled beyond its capacity, with only narrow walkways winding through various stacks of clutter. This condition is not limited to the collection of items. Some people collect animals- keeping dozens and hundreds of domestic animals in an unsanitary home environment. It is rather unfortunate that those diagnosed with compulsive hoarding are unaware of the warning signs.

Warning Signs That You Are Turning Into A Hoarder

Keeping Unused Clothes:

Do you keep clothes you haven’t worn for almost two years? Most people throw away, donate, or hand down certain blouses and pants because they don’t fit or the clothes are not in style. If you find it hard to let go of these types of clothes then you might be turning into a hoarder. You have to understand that donating these clothes mean that they will go to a deserving new owner.

Storing Broken Equipments and Appliances:

There are some hoarders who are unable to let go of broken and useless equipments and appliances because they want to fix it someday. If you feel the same way, don’t kid yourself- you probably won’t get around to fixing these items. It is better to recycle or donate the items which you no longer use.

Every Room Becomes A Storage Space:

If your closet or garage has become so full that you need to use other rooms to store your belongings, then something is definitely wrong. If you find yourself using other rooms in your house for storage, you might have a hoarding problem. When your storage overflows and the clutter in other areas of your home is getting out of control- seek professional help.

Parts of Your Home Becomes Unusable:

It is only natural for a house to become cluttered every once in a while; however, if the clutter never goes away and certain areas in your home starts to become unusable, then something is definitely wrong. For instance, you might find yourself moving pieces of furniture into the middle of the room while the periphery is filled with unnecessary items and useless objects.

You Feel Isolated:

Hoarders become isolated from their family and friends due to shame and guilt. Hoarders cannot invite friends and family over because their household has become so disorganized and messy that there will be no place for visitors to sit in.

Most of the time, children and other family members of the hoarder cannot invite friend over because they are embarrassed by the current state of their household. If you find yourself in this kind of situation, it is time to seek help.

These are just few warning signs that you might be turning into a compulsive hoarder. To help you keep clutter to a minimum, you must start organizing your valuables and collections. If there are items you do not wish to throw away, you can always store them in a storage unit to keep them out of the house.

  • ZerO 81.”Living Room”. March 24, 2012. Online Image. Flickr. June 25, 2013
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Kris Bennette is a psychiatric nurse who aims to inform her readers about compulsive hoarding. She recommends her readers to properly organize their valuables and find secure storage for unused items.