Nowadays, most people’s understanding of hoarding comes from dramatized and misleading reality TV shows. In reality, hoarding is a crippling disorder that can lead to physical and mental health issues.

Hoarding is a serious disorder that many don’t even realize they have until their home is full of clutter – and they can’t even begin to identify the source of it all.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America defines hoarding as the “persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their value.” Hoarding often results in a large number of collected items in a home — or even in a contained room — that makes it challenging to live a physically and mentally healthy life.

The reasons why someone may begin to hoard are countless and differ between person to person. These reasons can include:

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Additional negative feelings

A step in the right direction after identifying your hoarding tendencies is enlisting the help of junk and garbage removal services — after all, full-service junk removal companies have ample experience clearing the homes of people struggling with hoarding.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, 2 to 6 percent of the population suffers from hoarding disorder.

Hoarding doesn’t necessarily manifest all at once. More often than not there are warning signs that a person is developing tendencies (or has tendencies) associated with the disorder.

If you are spotting some of these signs, you may want to contact a professional about the possibility of hoarding:

Unsanitary Living Conditions:

Unsanitary Living Conditions
If you have noticed that you are cleaning less and less and that your home is getting unsanitary due to a build-up of dust, bacteria and mold, that is a major warning sign that there is a bigger issue at play.

When your clutter gets to the point where you can’t begin to clean — and don’t have the motivation to for that matter — it’s okay to ask for help.

You Can’t Use Certain Rooms in Your Home:

Are there so many discarded items in certain rooms of your home that there is no space to move around and complete daily tasks?

If you can’t use your laundry room because there are too many items on top of your washer or dryer, it’s time to take a step back and orient yourself. Try to identify how you got to this point, and recognize that there is an obstacle at hand.

You Can’t Bring Yourself to Let Go of Items:

You Can’t Bring Yourself to Let Go of Items
If you’re holding on to broken items, old items, and items you don’t use anymore, you may want to think about the habits you’ve formed and how they may impact you and your living space in the future.

Continuously Buying Items:

Whether you are buying from physical stores, shopping online or collecting free items, constantly bringing new things into your home is a sign to watch for.

Having a Large Volume of Pets:

The ASPCA cites animal hoarding as a real problem that people deal with. The stereotype of the crazy cat lady is a reality that is problematic and concerning; there are in fact people who collect a copious number of animals. This habit almost always results in a harmful and unsanitary living environment.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, additional hoarding behaviours include the following:

  • Anxiety when trying to get rid of items
  • Embarrassment over possessions
  • Being nervous about others interacting with items in your home
  • Checking the trash for items you suspect were accidentally discarded
  • Inability to organize or categorize items
  • Problems with orienting finances

Hoarding can have a significant impact on one’s mental health; it’s common for it to cause stress and anxiety. It can take a toll on your physical health when you display unsanitary behaviours, and discarded items release toxins or cause damage like molding.

Enlist the help of professional junk removal to help you make that life change and clear your home of clutter.