There is a lot to understand about hoarding and those who compulsively acquire and keep all manner of things.
I have worked with people who hoard for more than twelve years and this is what I know to be true:
- Hoarding behavior is complex and often results in a living situation that is unsafe and unhealthy but not always uncomfortable for the individual who hoards.
- It is much more painful to decide to discard items than to live among them.
- There must be a compelling intrinsic reason to make the long-term effort to change acquiring and hoarding behaviors worthwhile.
- It takes time to effect change that will last.
Hoarding disorder is not the same as chronic disorganization.
Read more about the distinctions between chronic disorganization and hoarding here.