Many people are somewhat disorganized or are not perfect housekeepers. Being a bit disorganized or not having a spotless home can be the sign of nothing more serious that a person having a busy life. On the other hand, if clutter and mess in a house progresses, depending on the associated circumstances may rise to a level that the situation is indicative of a person suffering from what is called hoarding disorder. There are 10 signs that the clutter and state of your home is more than just a messy house.

The Presence of a Significant Amount of Clutter in Your Residence

A key signal that you may suffer from hoarding disorder is the presence of a significant amount of clutter in your residence. “Significant amount” does seem like something of a vague term, something of a subjective concept. In fact, there is an objective way of assessing the accumulation of items or clutter in your home. If the level of clutter has reached a point that you’ve difficult using furniture or appliances in your home, you may be afflicted with hoarding disorder. If the amount of clutter in your residence makes it hard to move around your home, you may be facing hoarding disorder.

Difficulty in Getting Rid of Items

If items have been accumulating in your home over time in part because you’ve difficulty in getting rid of them, this can be indicative of a problem more serious than poor housekeeping and a messy house. A primary indicator that a person may be afflicted with hoarding disorder is a persistent inability to part with items, even objects of no value or no practical use. If you find yourself highly distressed at even the thought of parting with accumulated items in your home, this can be a major red flag that you’ve crossed a threshold into hoarding disorder.

Loss of Important Items in the Clutter

It’s not abnormal to lose items, even important ones like car keys, from time to time. However, if you’ve a growing problem loving important items in the accumulated clutter in your home, you may be facing the prospect of hoarding disorder. Other examples of important items lost in clutter include bills and other important documents.

Feel Overwhelmed by Clutter in Your Home

As the clutter in your home mounts, you may reach a point at which you feel overwhelmed. When a person feels overwhelmed by the state of clutter in a residence, odds are that such an individual will begin to feel hopeless about restoring order to a house and will give up any effort at trying to do so.

Difficulty in Not Accepting Free Items

Yet another sign that you might be heading towards hoarding disorder is an inability to avoid accepting free items. Of course, there is nothing wrong with accumulating a reasonable number of free items that can serve a purpose. However, building up a stash of items merely because they are available for free can lead to an advanced state of clutter and even hoarding disorder. Items can include everything from advertisements and fliers to sugar packets ad an array of other things in between.

Over-Purchasing Items on Sale

Stocking up on reasonable amounts of certain items that you use with regularity is a good plan of action. Accumulating inordinate amounts of items merely because you are able to get them on sale is not a meaningful strategy. Rather, the persistent accumulation of items merely because they are on sale can be indicative of hoarding disorder.

Avoid Inviting Friends and Family to Your Home

If the level of clutter in your home has reached a juncture that you avoid inviting friends and family into your residence, you may have hoarding disorder. If you dissuade people in your life from coming to your home by making excuses of different types (because of the state of your house and the accumulated clutter) you very well may be suffering from hoarding disorder to some degree.

Refuse to Let People in Your Home to Make Repairs

On a related note, if you find yourself not permitting professionals into your home to make repairs on something or another that is not in working order because of the clutter in your residence, you may have hoarding disorder. For example, if you’ve a malfunctioning or nonfunctioning appliance or mechanical system in your residence and won’t allow a repair person into the premises to address the issue, you very well may have hoarding disorder.

One or More Appliances Not in Working Order

Malfunctioning appliances were mentioned a moment ago. If you’ve one or more appliance in your home that has not been in working order for over six months, this can be indicative of hoarding disorder.

Foul Odors Permeate Your Home

Finally, if foul odors permeate your residence, you may have an issue with hoarding disorder. Common examples of foul odors associated with hoarding disorder include a stench associated with pets, rotting food, or lack of appropriately cleaning your home on a regular basis.

If you believe that you one or another of these conditions or situations exist in your home and your life, you need to take a serious look at whether you may be suffering from hoarding disorder. Bear in mind that there are mental health professionals who specialize in assisting people with hoarding disorder. In addition, you can seek the services of an experienced, reputable, compassionate hoarder property cleanup professional to assist in restoring order to your home.


Emily Kil

Co-Owner of Eco Bear Biohazard Cleaning Company

Together with her husband, Emily Kil is co-owner of Eco Bear, a leading biohazard remediation company in Southern California. An experienced entrepreneur, Emily assisted in founding Eco Bear as a means of combining her business experience with her desire to provide assistance to people facing challenging circumstances. Emily regularly writes about her first-hand experiences providing services like biohazard cleanup, suicide cleanup, crime scene cleanup, unattended death cleanup, and other types of difficult remediations in homes and businesses.