Trafford Housing Trust

What do you know about hoarding?

15 May 2017

Hoarding Advice Guide

Hoarding Awareness Week supports the 1.2 million people in the UK who may be affected by hoarding. Read on to find out what hoarding is, who is affected, why it happens and the support available.

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What is hoarding?

Hoarding is when someone stores an excessive number of belongings in a chaotic manner. Items can be of little or no monetary value and usually result in an unmanageable amount of clutter.

Why does it happen?

Some of the reasons why hoarding may be triggered include someone’s mobility or mental health issues, like anxiety around the fear of letting go of objects that have sentimental value.

How many people are affected?

It’s estimated that hoarding affects 2-5% of the population.

Some hoarders understand their behaviour causes problems, whereas others are convinced that their situation is not problematic and are reluctant to seek help.

Helping hoarders

For those who are worried they might have a problem with hoarding or know someone who does, there are lots of ways to get help.

At first, it may seem over facing but it’s not about doing it all in one go. By identifying small areas to tackle first and creating realistic goals, you can make progress without feeling over whelmed. Try working in the most cluttered room first and open up exits e.g. front door or back door areas which will make it easier to remove items out of the property.

Help for Hoarders has a great self-help section filled with tips from identifying the problem through to creating a timetable of clearing sessions. There are also plenty of resources available, including Clutter Image ratings, Hoarding and Fire safety and a Hoarding Behaviour Quiz

Friends and family of hoarders can help by encouraging them to come with you to see a GP who can identify the condition and refer you to a local community mental health team who specialise in OCD and are familiar with hoarding. If you have difficulties accessing therapy, charity OCD-UK may be able to help.

It’s important to be supportive towards your loved one or friend and reassure them that no-one is going to come in their house and throw everything away, which would be a very traumatic experience. Instead, finding out what help is available and a chat with the doctor may be the first step to empower them to begin the process of decluttering.

 For more information about hoarding and support available, visit these helpful organisations:



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