Signs You May be a Hoarder – 9 Hoarding Tendencies to Watch Out for!
Wondering if you are a hoarder? Here are a few warning signs you may be a hoarder. These are common hoarding tendencies you should watch out for.
Most people have seen those shows about hoarders where their home is filled with garbage, the toilet and stove won’t work, there are mice. Or other vermin running amuck and even dead and decaying bodies of animals buried under years of dirt of trashes.
However, hoarding doesn’t just spring up full blown one day, it normally starts in a person’s late teens or early 20s and gradually grows worse if not treated.
In the early stages, it may be difficult to tell if you are a hoarder, but slowly the signs become more and more clear.
If you are worried that you may be a hoarder then here are some of the signs you can look for.
9 Warning Signs of a Hoarder You Should Watch out for
#1. You’re Unable to Use Some Parts of Your Home Due to Clutter
The clutter doesn’t have to take over an entire room to be a problem.
It could start out with something as small as the tops of your stands or kitchen countertops becoming so full of “stuff” that they are no longer useful.
As the hoarding condition worsens, the clutter will begin to take up more and more of the home.
If you have parts of your home that are unusable due to clutter and you just can’t make yourself clean up these areas you should consider that you may have at least a mild hoarding problem.
You may also want to read Decluttering Tips for Hoarders and Pack Rats.
#2. You Tend to Stock up on things for which You Have no Real Use
You may be a hoarder if you find your refrigerator overflowing with those little packages of ketchup from ordering fast food that you will never use.
Or you are keeping USB cords from devices that have long bit the dust.
It may also be other items that you have no use for and aren’t likely to use in the near future.
You may start out stocking up on only one useless thing, and before you know it you are stocking up on more and more things for which you have no real use.
Related: Decluttering Checklist – 60+ Things to Toss Right Now that You won’t Miss
#3. You Find Yourself Frequently Buying Items Simply Because they are Sale
Some people have a closet or entire room filled with clothes many with the tags still on them, and still the moment they see something on sale they buy it simply because of the reduced price.
People also do the same thing for such things as paper plates, plastic cups, shoes, wrapping paper, baskets, whatever happens to be on sale they buy.
It isn’t as though you need or want the object you just bought; you simply saw the “sale” sign and could not pass it up.
#4. You are Constantly Losing Important Items among All the Clutter
Everything in your home is such a disorganized mess with so much clutter that you are constantly losing important items such as your car keys, money, your wallet, or important papers.
You become afraid to put anything down for fear that you will never find it again.
#5. Cleaning Your Home or Even a Small Area of Your Home is so Overwhelming that you don’t Know Where or How to Start
Your home is a cluttered mess and you know that it needs to be cleaned or at least straightened up.
But you look at the mess and feel a suffocating feeling of being completely overwhelmed as though making the effort is simply more than you are capable of.
If you try to clean up even a small area and feel real panic about doing so then you really should get help for your hoarding problem.
#6. You Worry About Throwing Out the Wrong Things
You know deep inside that you need to clean up, but you tend to be immobilized by your fear that you will throw out the wrong things, so you decide not to throw anything away.
The clutter inside your home is making you feel tense, but the idea of throwing away something important makes you feel even more anxious.
Many people who are hoarders feel as though they are under constant stress.
#7. You Feel an Unreasonable Attachment to Items
If you are starting to feel like the things in your home are so important that getting rid of something will send you into a depression and leave you grieving then you have developed an unnatural attachment to your items.
You are so overcome with the thought of losing a single item that you become defensive if anyone touches a sheet of paper, or throws out a single morsel of uneaten food.
You may even become suspicious that people who come in your home will take or break an item that you can’t relax for a moment.
Related: Tips for Decluttering Sentimental Items
#8. You are so Embarrassed about the Condition of Your Home You won’t Allow Service People to Make Necessary Repairs
You may be a hoarder if your refrigerator, stove, washing machine or toilet is on the blink and in need of repair and you avoid getting those repairs done because you are ashamed to allow repairmen into your home.
The worse hoarding becomes, the more you jeopardize your safety and health.
Hoarding can and often does lead to unsanitary conditions that can have a negative impact on your health.
#9. Family Members are Expressing Concern and Avoiding You Home
Has your home become so cluttered, dirty and hazardous that your grown children are expressing their concern and refuse to bring your grandchildren to your home?
Do your younger children complain that they can’t bring their friends home or have them spend the night?
If yes, those are signs that you may be a hoarder.
Helpful Books on Hoarding
Below are some books on hoarding and how to overcome the problem you may find helpful.
The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered LifeFrom Hoarding to Hope: Understanding People Who Hoard and How To Help ThemDigging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding, and Compulsive Acquiring
Signs You May be a Hoarder – Final Thoughts
The fact is, if you are questioning whether or not you are a hoarder and are experiencing any of the problems on this list then you are ahead of the game because you realize you may have a problem.
To deal with your hoarding problem you not only need help cleaning up your home, you also need to seek the assistance of a psychologist trained specifically to aid people who suffer from hoarding issues.
Getting help now may help you curb your hoarding problem before it becomes worse.
- How to Help a Hoarder Declutter and Clean Up their Home
- How to Declutter When You Live with a Hoarder
Do you exhibit any of these signs of a hoarder?