Hoarding is a very serious issue and it’s a magnified version of collecting stuff you don’t need. Interestingly, almost 2-5% of the Australian population exhibits at least some kind of hoarding behavior (the statistics could vary). If you are one of those people who just can’t seem to throw things away, regardless of how rarely you use them or need them, it’s important to understand what hoarding is and what its implications are. So is there a difference between being a “pack rat” & and being a “hoarder”?
Of Material Things
Sure, a number of us have much more possessions that what we actually need and there are times when the best of us have struggled very hard to keep up with that tidal wave of things in our homes. There are times when this reaches a point where we also struggle to keep things organized and find that no matter what we do, the place continues to look untidy and unkempt.
The Extreme Condition
But hoarding is a little different. It refers to an extreme wherein it interferes with the person’s life and his/her ability to use the space in their homes effectively. Not many are aware that hoarding is essentially a psychological condition and it’s good to know what its everyday signs are. This will help you ascertain if someone you know is leaning towards turning into a hoarder. These are the signs:
- They keep buying and collecting things – but have absolutely no use for them or even a reason to actually display them. This is very different from buying a vintage that you found at a curiosity store, with the intention of using it as a decoration on your Christmas tree. Many people buy things as it makes them feel good, despite the fact that the feeling is a temporary one. People with hoarding issues get extremely restless until they acquire the object they want.
- There is significant difference between just collecting and hoarding. The difference lies in the manner in which things are stored & organized. A collector will generally keep all the pieces in a very organized manner, while a hoarder will be more disorganized and untidy with storing those things
- All their chairs, couches and table surfaces in their home will be covered with bric-a-brac and if you visit their home, it will be difficult for you to find a place to sit in. Having said that, some hoarders will also designate a particular room for all their collectibles and there will be some semblance of sanity in the rest of the house
- Many hoarders feel guilty about discarding things and will hold onto every little memento for years and years. They might be grandparents themselves but might not want to get rid of their own children’s baby clothes that they have been hoarding for decades
- They have so many things that they do not want to invite people over. In most cases, this is because they are concerned about someone touching their things, while others may prefer not having any visitors, because all the clutter causes them to feel ashamed
- They will collect or store even broken things and will not even throw away a bottle cap. At times, they find some creative use for things but in most cases, the stuff will just be lying around untouched and unused
- They will not discard a broken printer or TV and will not donate electronic equipment that is unused and just wasting away. Instead, they will simply place it next to, or on top of some other electronic equipment that is not functional
- They get annoyed and even aggressive if someone suggests that they should clean up the mess and may even tell you to mind your own business if you have suggested it. To a certain degree, this is what makes them alienate themselves from the rest of the world.
If you find yourself doing any of these things or feel the kind of emotions that have just been discussed, you might be veering towards becoming a hoarder. Do not let yourself get dragged into the clutter; start cleaning your home of all the mess. Slowly but surely, you will find that the clutter in your mind is also clearing up.
Thanks so much for reading,
No Worries Removals
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