Talk:Compulsive hoarding

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Permission for publishment?[edit]

Is it really a good idea to show that guy's face in the 70s photo? It looks a bit like this pic was added here without the guy's knowledge, unless it's actually the photographer himself that is shown. (talk) 11:16, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

If you look at the attribution description of the image in question, Messie mess 1.jpg you will see that this is from a movie. The man is an actor and the studio has released the rights to the image [1]. Jcmcclurg (talk) 22:16, 26 July 2012 (UTC)


How do I help, or speak to my wife about this? There is not a room in the house that is not filled with junk. We had to buy a bigger house just to store the stuff. She does not seem to be open to talk about it and I do not want to hurt her. I NEED Help!!


  • Talk to her doctor and see if he or she can talk to her.
  • You might call Community Services to see if they can recommend someone to help, but be prepared for a legal order requiring you to clean out the house (as a fire hazard) within a few weeks.

Monado (talk) 21:58, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

new additions[edit]

I added to the top part of the page some new information about hoarding and social function because I thought it was necessary to say a little in the introduction about the social implications of hoarding. I also added two new sections on interpersonal problems and emotional intelligence and hoarding relationship to life events Finally, I added some newer information about the relationship between hoarding and OCD, in order to make my information flow with what was there I needed to delete some information and rearrange some of the other. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jpletzke (talkcontribs) 19:02, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Ward, there is significant evidence that compulsive hoarding is a medical problem. Unfortunately Wikipedia cannot offer medical advice. You might consider talking to a medical professional. -- The Anome 10:47, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

There are a number of links for support for hoarders and their loved ones at .

Possible removal of text[edit]

"How one person could fill an entire one-bedroom apartment with such garbage after only three years, leaves one wondering."

This appears to be a somewhat unconventional or unprofessional statement to make in an encyclopedia. Shouldn't it be sort of like a "just the facts, ma'am" approach?

I suggest the whole of that second example is removed. It's uncited and I don't think adds anything to the example already given. - Vaughan 13:09, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Vaughan and have removed the example. Sietse 14:33, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The reference to "Oscar the Grouch" is absolutely unnecessary on this page and only contributes further to the stigma associated with this disorder. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:06, 22 March 2010 (UTC)


Some expert should add information here or probably in a new article about messiness that also explains the distinction between it and compulsive hoarding. Comments can and should also be provided on at least some available relevant online help sites such as and and the abovementioned

Wikipedia tries to avoid offering medical advice, but it can link to such advice and describe it generally, as it does on many less "controversial", less psychological, and more traditional health topics, e.g. Tinea versicolor. Another good and more relevant model for the present article is workaholism although that article is much too short considering how widespread and serious the problem of workaholism is. --Espoo 10:44, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Is "messiness" the same as clutter? Tinlinkin 05:50, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Agree, a failure to unclutter disorder can look like so-called compulsive hoarding. Furthermore, the term "compulsive" seems to be wrongly or rightly used to differentiate it from other types such as situation-driven (as disaster or threat) hoarding or milder normal hoarding. This blanket terminology seems to have originated from the older diagnostic schemes noted in the article. Quoting article:

"Recent findings suggest to differentiate between three types of hoarding, that is: pure hoarding, hoarding plus OCD (i.e., comorbid OCD), and OCD-based hoarding[18] Given the aforementioned distinction, [....] fifth edition (DSM-V), both by creating a distinct category for compulsive hoarding, provisionally named, Hoarding Disorder"

So Wiki's usage and title of "Compulsive_hoarding" may be inappropriate as well as soon to be obsolete.
Also, the article draws various but un-noted sharp differences between "Compulsive" and OCD. This confusing (sound-alike) technical jargon should be clarified early, probably in the lead section, else non-specialists find it confounding or misleading.
-- (talk) 18:59, 9 June 2012 (UTC) Doug Bashford

Bad link?[edit]

The link doesn't work for me. Is that just because I use Firefox instead of IE? Or should it just be deleted? Thue | talk 20:28, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I just went there using Firefox 9.0.1, and it worked for me. WillieBlues (talk) 18:08, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

I found this article that says it is a distinct medical disorder[edit]

It seems that they found that it is only distantly related to OCD, not even using the same area of the brain, and not responding to the usual OCD treatments. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:43, 1 May 2007 (UTC).

Thanks, I've incorporated that into the article. Some of the research described was already being mentioned (at least as of [2]). Kingdon (talk) 01:58, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

digital pack rat[edit]

i found the article on Digital Pack Rat and saw that "pack rat" links here. Is there room to make mention that acquiring digital items could be part of this concept also? Minnaert 21:02, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Paxil bogeyman[edit]

Paxil was unfairly singled out as a risky drug in a way I felt violated NPOV. I tried to subdue this. However, my rework still sucks on many levels. The references supplied do not fully support the claims, nor do I have personal knowledge on these claims. The source I used for the list of drugs did not even spell several of the drugs correctly. MaxEnt 02:01, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Images Original research?[edit]

Where is the citation that shows that any of these images come from people who have been professionally diagnosed as compulsive horders?--Crossmr (talk) 05:51, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. One or two of these pictures just look very messy (like a student's room). Macgroover (talk) 13:14, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Provision/mention for compulsive data hoarding?[edit]

Hail everyone! :-)

After reading this article - And noting numerous strong similarities between the listed symptoms (Bibliomania in particular) and the rather messy way that I tend to organise data on my PCs hard drive - I would like to suggest that a section (And possibly a dedicated page) for compulsive hoarding of computer data could be added, possibly under the name "Datamania" or something similar. This might also correspond with what Minnaert mentioned above with regards to the Digital Pack Rats redirection.

Having carried out maintenance on the computer systems of several different people - And noticing that there is a frequent tendancy for people to keep piles of repeated data right across their filesystems - Data hoarding is probabally not an isolated thing, and personally I would consider it notable enough for Wikipedia. I would happily write up a whole section and page for this matter, but it would most likely be classed as original research and subject to a speedy deletion. :-(

Please copy any responses and comments to this suggestion to my Talk page as well. Many thanks in advance! :-)

DieselDragon (Talk) - 05 October 2008CE = 02:53, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

And anything like that would have to come with a citation. Unfortunately your personal observations fail WP:V and can't be used to establish the veracity or notability of content. A single mention in a MS quiz doesn't really make this worth mentioning--Crossmr (talk) 11:36, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Bibliomania is already a reported condition, with digitized literature/media easily categorizable under it. It's true that there is little to none research specifically on hoarding wrt digital materials, so far. But as such, I'd second Talk's basic idea: the digital counterpart of bibliomania ought to be recognized explicitly, somewhere. Even if just in passing, as in in prose on the article on bibliomania (for now).
I mean, I suddenly feel much like he does: I have had all of the symptoms for all my life, with gigabytes of scientific plain text, file format descriptions, standards texts and what not, two thirds of which I've never read. My parents show definite signs of compulsive hoarding on the physical side (their every move produces entire cubic metres of waste, and the emotional process from valued possession to trash never becomes any easier), and I for example battle with a couple of other, specific compulsions myself, like hoarding complete sets of pens/writing implements, and having/preferring to always read a complete set of books/series instead of a single one. Plus evenwhile I don't believe I feel much for my trash, it still keeps piling up so that I can't get rid of it until somebody else helps me; so much so that the social worker in charge of my (severe) case of alcoholism immediately took note, and seemed to refer to packrat behavior. Much before today. After reading the description of compulsive hoarding, it's eerily similar to what I do, then, and what DieselDragon also describes.
Even if this is just an anecdote, again, I think a literature search would be in order, as would be a passing mention about digital bibliography in the relevant page.
And then, as an even bolder idea, when these kinds of anecdotes spring up within the WikiPedia editor community, it'd be a shame to see them wasted. I'm rather sure this and many other ideas would be valuable, even if they cannot be incorporated into an encyclopedia just now; them being just anecdotes. Thus, perhaps there should be a well-organized, formal channel which feeds these kinds of ideas back into the scientific community for citations, or even genuine, de novo study, where supported by more than one comment, and interesting an sich? Could such a backchannel/way-of-feedback perhaps be established within the WikiPedia community/editorship? I mean, very few people go as far as to discuss *totally* irrelevant issues on talk pages wrt such esoteric issues as this one, at least. It'd be a shame to lose the "flagging" for further inquiry, there... Decoy (talk) 20:51, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Compulsive Hoarding: This article NEEDS to be edited[edit]

Compulsive hoarding is but a part of compulsiveness. As such, it stems from the basic fear of change, which seeks safety, security and stability. The article in its present form leaves the impression that hoarding = messiness, which is not true at all. The messy rooms seen on the page can easily be rooms of hysterical or even scizophrenic individuals.

It is true, rarely compulsive individuals may collect and store in disarray. Most of the times however, the compulsive collects and stores in an orderly manner, cataloguing and arranging stacks of items. These items are there to make the compulsive feel safer and secure. Therefore, examples of compulsive hoarding are:

1) Amassing collections of material items - CDs, DVDs, postal stamps, coins, tools, books etc. Typically the amounts are big, the person is either using them inefficiently or not at all. Most of the time these are well catalogued. Often there are more than one copy of each item.

2) Amassing collections of non-material possessions - publishing as many articles as possible, even most useless ones; signing up for as many work trips as possible; attending as many conferences as possible, even insignificant ones; working as many jobs as possible; working as many hours as possible; occupying as many positions as possible at work/church/club etc.

3) Data collection and its overprotection - every data bit is collected, catalogued in tables, copied multiple times to different media. These can be home picture/movies on CD/DVD, data from work, scanned information, personal data from old hard drives etc. The compulsive spends a lot of time and resources in building such data collections.

A borderline example would be stinginess and amassing of large sums of money. This can qualify as compulsive behavior, as long as the lifestyle of the individual is compulsive. However, non-compulsives can also be stingy or stack piles of money for other dysfunctional reasons.

-J. Polihronov November 27, 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

My wife and I are living in our house just over four years, we have wedding presents everywhere, pictures in frames, newspapers, magazines, drawers with plenty pens , as regards the furniture once it's in the house she couldn't care less if it was never put in place,as regards reading material she doesn't go out and buy, but if it's brought into the house it can be put on a pile and may or may not be read in time but will only be thrown out if or when it is read, is all this possible a hoarding compulsive problem —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:02, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Section On "Information Hoarding" Should Be Removed[edit]

I question the inclusion of the section titled "digital hoarding." Compulsive hoarding, animal hoarding, and bibliomania are recognized diagnoses, and the references cited are sound. In contrast, "digital hoarding" is not a recognized condition, and the section included here is merely based on several superficial articles in popular-level publications. (talk) 14:14, 19 September 2009 (UTC)Billy Floyd

Until all the extra external drives start to accumulate to where they fill up the house like old newspapers, it's really a non-issue. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 14:16, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia may be guilty of this! But seriously, that section states "Digital hoarding is not a currently recognized subtype of compulsive hoarding by the DSM." This is odd, because earlier in the article it is stated "there is no definition of compulsive hoarding in accepted diagnostic criteria (such as the current DSM)." The Digital Hoarding section makes it seem like compulsive hoarding is in the DSM? Шизомби (talk) 02:22, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

The section seems even worse today. I would consider flagging it under NPOV especially because of "often through illegal means such as BitTorrent." being in the first sentence. BFeely (talk) 22:12, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. This section (formerly titled "Digital Hoarding") should be removed or significantly edited to reflect a neutral POV. Seems to be written by someone who strongly favors Information Management over Data Mining. Jcmcclurg (talk) 19:01, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

I disagree the section on E hoarding or information hoarding was important to keep in the article or should be an article, I found it on 4/14/2012 and saved the information and now it's has been removed. I don't understand what user Jcmcclurg means by "favors Information Management over Data Mining" and since it has already been removed I don't have chance to read it and decide for myself. Just because lots of studies have not been done, that does not mean e hoarding does not exist and is unworthy of even a mention, even to say, we don't have enough information. It is one thing to save notes you may need later, but some people have no discrimination in what information they save. It is similar to hoarding of objects as hoarders just want to keep it all and take it all even if they have no space and no use for it. There are parts of the brain that control it. Sorting out and deciding what to keep and throw out involves a more complex brain function then just saving it all. Hoarders don't want to deal with the process of deciding what to keep and what to discard, they just to keep accumulating indefinitely. I have known several hoarders and they all came to the same end. Eventually they were forced to give up their junk because of issues with landlords and other considerations, but they still refused to sort out the clutter and take what they valued most so all of the junk was removed by the state, and they did not get to keep any of it, because they refused to sort and choice. Saving data is the same, if one saves all data it is impossible to find the data that may be useful. Apriv40dj (talk) 14:36, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Levels of Hoarding[edit]

Discussions on the A&E website regarding the show Hoarders led me to a document published by the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD) entitled The NGSCD Clutter Hoarding Scale. In sum, the document distinguishes five levels of hoarding with Level V (Roman number 5) being the worst. I will probably incorporate this document into this Wikipedia article at some point, unless someone else beats me to it. // Internet Esquire (talk) 05:30, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The current content references the level/type of professional services recommended for each hoarding level, rather than defining each level. The source doc also contains a descriptive scale of the hoarding levels...I propose that the scale is better suited for inclusion under this section's title. This is my 1st time on Discussion, so I've made no edits, but rather await feedback. Innerglow61 (talk) 06:16, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the contents of the scale (I through V in each of four categories) is far more useful than the almost useless descriptions currently there. Is there agreement that someone should add that table? (talk) 09:53, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to see the levels added.
  • The NSGCD descriptions are now here. Monado (talk) 22:12, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Another site has four levels, because it doesn't count "No problem" as a level: Measuring Squalor. It is perhaps more realistic. The NSGCD scale has nothing between OK and "at least one exit blocked." Monado (talk) 22:22, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Case studies: is "chips" meant in the American sense?[edit]

"Both of the doors to the outside were blocked, so entry to the house was through the garage and the kitchen, where the table and chairs were covered with papers, newspapers, bills, books, half-consumed bags of chips and her children's school papers dating back ten years."

(my emboldening). Since this appears to be referenced to a print source, I can't check myself, but the footnote ref links to a website which appears to be American, so am I right in thinking that "chips" is used in the American sense (i.e. what we call "crisps" in Britain: crispy, usually potato-based snackfood available in various flavours) rather than the British meaning (i.e. "fries" - long, thinnish potato pieces fried and served hot)? This may seem like a trivial point, but the latter would be more problematic if left lying around for long periods, since foods with a high moisture content are more likely to grow mould, smell offensive, attract insects etc. "Crisps", on the other hand, tend to leave crumbs which get everywhere and are uncomfortable to stand or sit on. Can someone clarify which is meant? Contains Mild Peril (talk) 08:50, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

"Chips" refer to American snack foods, i.e. potato chips. Your crisps are our chips, our fries are your chips!! (talk) 05:21, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Please translate, someone!![edit]

I really want someone to translate this article into Chinese; my mom's a hoarder and I need her to read this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:27, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

bad references[edit]

draeath (talk) 02:35, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


"For more information on OCD, go to This is the national OCD foundation (now changing its name to the "IOCDF" or the International OCD Foundation)." I recommend moving this to external links, or removing it all together. For now I'm removing it.-- (talk) 03:18, 13 May 2010 (UTC)


The section on levels appears to be thinly-veiled advertising for a professional organizer's trade group and should be removed. It admits that it goes against standard psychological classifications that characterize it as a mental illness and instead tries to paint it as the result of pathologically poor organizational skills. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

These "levels" read like complete nonsense to me. I'd delete them right now, but I'm afraid they might be needed sometime. ;-) Ecphora (talk) 02:00, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree with this - section on levels definitely seems like an advertisement for "professional organizers". It should be deleted unless someone can justify its existence.0x0077BE (talk) 03:20, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree. "Professional organizer" seems to be a scam profession working towards the medicalization of messiness. Also, most of the pictures on the page seem to be of unremarkable messy rooms, and I'd like to know what evidence there is that they belong to people with a particular disorder (which isn't even one mentioned in the DSM anyway). (talk) 05:32, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

As per this discussion, I've removed the section on "Levels". I'd be receptive to the idea of including some mention of "Levels" that doesn't give them the undue weight that this seemed to be. Perhaps a sentence somewhere that says something like, "Professional organizers classify hoarding behavior into five different levels" or something that describes what the levels are and doesn't sound like advertising copy. 0x0077BE (talk) 19:33, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

TV - addition[edit]

CSI - Hoarding Can Kill - Season 11, Episode 5 (2011) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:20, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Handyman solution to cluttered basement[edit]

I'm a handyman and Wikipedia contributor, and recently I had a project to de-clutter a basement. Here's a write-up of it on Google called Wheeled Wonders -- basically encouraging the homeowner to throw stuff out, and building movable shelves for stuff that was worth keeping. People who follow this article may want to put an external link to the write-up if you feel it will help people with this problem.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 00:11, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Um, nice work with your client's basement, but does the "before" illustration really belong in a photo gallery representing compulsive hoarding disorders? It's a basement. As far as I can tell, its primary purpose is storage. If someone's actual living space were that full of clutter I'd accept that they obviously had a serious problem, but this is a storage space, and they voluntary called in a professional to help make it more usable, and showed a willingness to throw out some excess stuff. I don't see any evidence illustrated or described in your link of the sort of hoarding which is the subject of this article. Is your client happy to have photos of their home and belongings used in this way? Contains Mild Peril (talk) 03:01, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Trust me the basement was way out of control (so was the rest of the house). There was no room to walk practically. It was impossible to find things. (The client will always remain anonymous). I'm not a medical type who can say what's compulsive or not; rather, I'm on the fixing end; and one way to solve it was to get the client to throw out stuff by placing things in garbage-like bags (to encourage the client to see it as garbage). But I believe the whole hoarding thing affects lots of us, including me! I'll leave it up to you and others who watch this article what to do with pictures or links. :) --Tomwsulcer (talk) 03:10, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Your above comment, "I believe the whole hoarding thing affects lots of us, including me!" is a very pertinent observation. Many disorders are essentially more extreme forms of normal behaviour. Most people, for example, drink alcohol, spend money on things we don't need, feel bad when we don't get our own way, fear certain things a bit more than we know is rational; some people do these things more than others, but only in a minority of cases would such things escalate to the level of a clinical disorder. Hoarding is one such behaviour. I don't want to discuss details of your client's home and lifestyle because it's really none of my business, but concerns had previously been expressed about relevance and privacy issues relating to other images on the page. Unfortunately we didn't really get any answers about these older pictures, which makes it harder to judge whether they belong here. It's good that you're still here to offer some clarification on this one at least. I am somewhat reassured by your pledge to maintain your client's anonymity, though you can't really guarantee that nobody will recognise their basement or stuff from your pictures. To be honest I personally would be more comfortable if we avoided using recent pictures of clutter whose owners have not themselves authorised such use; however I'm not aware of any policy or guideline prohibiting such use when no person is included in the picture, and since Wikipedia is not censored, my personal feeling is not in itself a reason to remove photos.
It is evident to me that you do actually have some understanding of the psychology of hoarding. I read your write-up in which you recognise the importance of encouraging owners to make their own decisions about what to dispose of, and that an outsider trying to impose their opinions on such matters could elicit a defensive reaction and thus be counterproductive: this is consistent with other referenced articles. I like your theory that the psychological association of using garbage type bags may affect the client's perception of the bags' contents. I have worked in a charity shop where a lot of high quality donations have arrived in black garbage bags, so in my mind the humble garbage bag also has positive connotations of giving. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 15:00, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Interesting. Thanks for your thoughtful response. Let's not use the picture then here if that makes things easier. For me, it's difficult to draw lines between the "somewhat out of control" keeping of stuff, and hoarding. But maybe there are Wikipedia articles which talk about ways to keep stuff under control (without getting into issues such as normal-but-somewhat-excessive and clinical hoarding)? Or strategies to deal with STUFF which I think we all have to varying extents. :) --Tomwsulcer (talk) 15:45, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Information hoarding does not belong here[edit]

There seems to be little relationship between information hoarding as described in this section and compulsive hoarding proper. I suggest that the section should be deleted entirely. If people think there is value in it, perhaps a disambiguation would be in order, but it does not belong here. It is also worded very strangely. JLA87 (talk) 01:21, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

It reads like an editorial with citations. And you're right, it has almost nothing to do with this topic... unless someone's house is filled to the brim with disks, the way classic hoarders homes are filled with newspapers and the like. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:34, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
I restored this sub-section after reading new SPECIFIC references[3]; did NOT re-write...Curious1i (talk) 21:24, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Obviously doesn't belong, there seems to be a lot of people on here saying this. I've removed it several times but it is always almost immediately restored.Opaqueambiguity (talk) 16:29, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Questionable external reference[edit]

I think the first external link (A guide to understanding the traits and compulsions of compulsive hoarding including what to do if your family member is a compulsive hoarder) should be removed. It's a link to a web page selling a book, yet the web page or the book do not disclose the author or the author's credentials. Why should such a link be allowed? Does this person really know anything about this problem? Perhaps the person added the link him/herself, in which case it's just shameless marketing.

15:18, 25 October 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by GTGeek88 (talkcontribs)

Therapeutic Interventions[edit]

I am interested in learning more about this statement: "Research on internet-based CBT treatment for the disorder has also shown promising results." Would you be able to speak more about the specific interventions that may be offered online and why they might be used instead of (or in conjunction with) in-person treatment. Kadams2 (talk) 20:07, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Characteristics and kinds[edit]

In the paragraph headed 'Characteristics' three types or kinds of hoarders are introduced.

However, there is no prior text explaining (for example) that there are only three types or who it was who first identified that there were only three types - etc.

Has this text been edited out - or are these three types merely random examples? (talk) 05:22, 22 December 2011 (UTC)


I am editing this article for my history and systems of psychology class. I ill be using the following resources to add my information:

Blom, Rianne M., Samuels, Jack F., Grados, Marco A., Yong, Chen O., Bienvenu, O. Joseph, Riddle, Mark A., Liang, Kung-Yee, Brandt, Jason, Nestadt, Gerald. (Dec. 2011) Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Volume 25 (issue 8), pp. 1139-1144.

Ayers, Catherine R., Saxena, Sanjaya, Golsham, Shakrokh, Wetherell, Julie Loebach. (Feb, 2010) International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Vol. 3 (Issue 24), pp.142-149

Mataix-Cols, David, Frost, Randy O., Pertusa, Alberto, Clark, Lee Anna, Saxena, Sanjaya, Leckman, James F., Stein, Dan J., Matsunaga, Hisato, Wilhelm, Sabine. (June 2010) Depression and Anxiety Volume 27 (Issue 6), pp. 566-572.

Tolin, David F., Meunier, Suzanne A., Frost, Randy O., Steketee, Gail. (Sept. 2010) Depression and Anxiety Volume 27 (Issue 9), pp. 1091-4269. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jpletzke (talkcontribs) 14:42, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Why single out obsessive compulsive disorder? Red Herring.[edit]

The article states

It is not clear whether compulsive hoarding is an isolated disorder, or rather a symptom of another condition, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.[4]

If it's not clear whether it's related, it's a bit misleading to single out one example of a disorder that we're not sure whether it's a symptom of. If you see what I mean. Either:

It is not known whether compulsive hoarding is a symptom, or a disorder in its own right[4]


It is not clear whether compulsive hoarding is an isolated disorder or a symptom of another condition, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, compulsive buying, or an anxiety or mood related disorder.[4]

Either of the above seems closer to the intent of the cited source.

Sweavo (talk) 16:00, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top.
The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:40, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I tend to agree. Somebody above wrote that mostly "the compulsive collects and stores in an orderly manner, cataloguing..." So I thought. See my arguments above under "messiness," where I argue: "Wiki's usage and title of "Compulsive_hoarding" may be inappropriate as well as soon to be obsolete." ...And where the "sharp differences between "Compulsive" and OCD," is seen as inappropriate, confounding and undefined technical jargon (where mere hypertext linking would result in an inefficient, imprecise, loquacious definition: "lazy hypertexting").
-- (talk) 20:41, 9 June 2012 (UTC) Doug Bashford

Compulsive Hoarding article interesting and concerning by what is not covered[edit]

I find the Compulsive Hoarding (CH) article interesting and concerning by what is not covered. There is no mention whatsoever of any studies that connects CH to socioeconomic status where it has been shown that poverty and economic hardships can contribute to CH development (chicken/egg?). Then there are certain professions/activities that may contribute to clutter, say antique car restorers compared to pin salesmen or anvil collectors compared to stamp collectors. The sections on book hoarding and data hording are a little bit of a stretch but I guess this could, along with anything else, can be taken to an extreme. On a facetiae note of anything else taken to extremes, try putting in sections on money hording (like scrooge McDuck), land hording (Slum Lords), fancy car hoarding (Jay Leno), or business hording (Standard Oil) taken to extremes and see how everyone quickly says, but that is different and not CH or OCD. Reminds me of the joke; the difference between a odd person and an eccentric person is the numbers of zeros in their bank account >;-). Another joke is a horribly cluttered place where someone says, I’m really in to the sparse look but don’t have the room (money) to pull it off. Finally, I agree that there may be a few CH out there that truly suffer from pre-existing mental disorders and with the current economy, CH will surely grow in numbers to a few percent more of the total that practice hoarding for purely economic reasons. Septagram (talk) 06:08, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

I don't think that it works this way. If you are saving (useful) things "purely for economic reasons", then you don't have CH. If a childless adult goes to yard sales and buys up all the children's clothing, regardless of size, condition, or gender considerations, and puts it all in storage, then you can see that something odd is happening. If a parent with six or eight children buys up all the children's clothing, then that's a reasonably prudent decision (since with lots of kids, whatever you buy is likely to fit someone eventually). They're both buying the same clothes, but one of them will actually be able to use those objects, and the other one is just hoarding them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:42, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
You forgot the scenario if a childless person speculates children's clothing will increase in price so the hoarder will make a profit. To code Enforcement, profit or no profit motive, they will charge both for a messy house. But, if the hoarder did this same thing properly and had a storage facility or a business, there would be no problem. I think it is strange that the studies that previous economic hardship contributes to "compulsive hoarding" are not included. To me, this CH sound likes a round about catch all for city authorities to label certain unsightly economic activities used by the poor as odd and justify stopping them.Septagram (talk) 06:22, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Found citation source.[edit]

This is the Journal with the citation for the occurrence of compulsive hoarding by demographic. I don't want to make a change without checking with the community first, as this is my first edit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Icarusfalls (talkcontribs) 15:59, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

I found this too. After reviewing it and many other articles, I feel that support for the assertion that this disorder is found more frequently in men than in women is extremely weak. This assertion should be removed from the article text. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:58, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Be bold! Make the changes and put an explanation here if you wish. Monado (talk) 22:06, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Fred Penzel "Ssaving the World"[edit]

This essay and his other writings an interesting perspective. Any views ? include mention ?— ⦿⨦⨀Tumadoireacht Talk/Stalk 23:39, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Merge proposal Disposophobia into this article[edit]

I would like to propose a merging of Disposophobia into Compulsive hoarding. Yesterday's version of Disposophobia was redirected to this article, and there obviously was no consensus to do this. So I undid the redirect, however, I would like to propose a merger. Beneath are the two subsections that have discussed this redirect:

Term "Disposophobia" should not link here[edit]

The term "disposophobia" was coined by Ron Alford, a professional specializing generally in organization and particularly in cleanup of hoarding situations. I'm not sure how it came to link here -- possibly someone created a stub entry on "disposophobia" that a Wikipedia editor decided didn't need its own entry. As Alford uses the term, "disposophobia" is a less serious, nonpathological condition; it is not synonymous with "compulsive hoarding," which is pathological.

The term might belong in this article in a passage defining compulsive hoarding by comparing it to less serious conditions. Don't think it should directly link, however.

--Athansor (talk) 20:04, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Though it's not an exact synonym, my understanding of the term "disposophobia" is that it is sufficiently closely related to warrant a redirect. If it is not a pathological condition then it is not a true phobia. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 10:01, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I know that the term "disposophobia" is used the Collyer Brothers article, and redirects to this one. Not sure of any other places it might be. I've been looking around through WP and Google Scholar (will try to hit some journal databases tomorrow) to see just what I think should be done with it. I didn't want to just axe it in the C. Bros. article before being sure about it. Some jerk on the Internet (talk) 21:06, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia's own List of phobias page indicates "fear of getting rid of or losing things – sometimes wrongly defined as compulsive hoarding" so, if that entry is accurate, it would seem redirecting that phobia to this page without any discussion on the page of how the phobia differs from the compulsion only serves to perpetuate the inaccurate definition.

Cadrac (talk) 13:08, 17 August 2013 (UTC)


Disposophobia used to redirect here, and is now possessed of quite a little rant. Perhaps it should be redirected here, but with the term actually being mentioned on this page (so that people who follow the redirect won't be confused when they end up at a different page)? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:55, 30 April 2012 (UTC) anyone interested in learning more about hoarding, you should read c.j. omololu's book, dirty little secrets. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:10, 24 September 2012 (UTC) It certainly seems odd that disposophobia is redirected here when, on the list of phobias, this is specifically noted to be distinct from compulsive hoarding. As I understand it, compulsive hoarding includes some drive to collect or obtain, whereas disposophobia is merely a severe anxiety or fear of throwing things away. Given this narrow meaning, a disposophobe may or may not accumulate stuff to the level of a hoarder, depending on how much they obtain; if they remain frugal and don't buy or collect things, they can be far from this state. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Current merger proposal (november 2013)[edit]

I propose to merge Disposophobia into Compulsive hoarding, because it is a fear that in (almost) all cases leads to compulsive hoarding - and (almost) all people who are compulsive hoarders suffer from this fear. If there is consensus to perform this merge, I'll see to it that the content from Disposophobia is merged into this article, so readers who wish to read about disposophobia will find it here. Please comment, or support/oppose! Lova Falk talk 16:08, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Comments: I was invited to share my thoughts on this proposal, presumably because I once nominated disposophobia as a redirect for deletion. I'm not a psychologist, but based on searches of the resources I have access to, I'm not seeing evidence that it's a term that is used by professionals in the field. A simultaneous full-text search of 21 Ebsco databases yields 9 results, described below:
  • Sunday Telegraph, 10/16/2011. "Why are we so rubbish at throwing things away?" quote: "Surveys suggest that modern Britons suffer some of the highest rates of disposophobia - compulsive hoarding syndrome - of any developed nation, with the average adult having nearly £1,000 worth of unwanted clothes, gadgets, ornaments and so on lying around the house."
  • Island & Mainland News, (Bribie Island) 9/7/2011. "Are you a hoarder or a minimalist?" quote: "While most people have some cherished items they refuse to throw out, only a tiny percentage suffer from the compulsive hoarding disorder disposophobia....A community classified advertising site commissioned research that unsurprisingly found 95% of Australian households had hoarded items valued at more than $2500 around the home."
  • Mail on Sunday, 5/29/2011. "Even though she's dead, my mother in law's clutter still divides us." quote: "Did you know? Disposophobia is the medical term for compulsive or pathological hoarding, which is thought to affect up to five per cent of the general population."
  • Queensland Times, 5/10/2011. "Thrill of the Hunt Turns up Goods Built to Last." quote: "A self-confessed hoarder, a sufferer of disposophobia, Mr Koomen has been that way for as long as he can remember, and loves it."
  • Winnipeg Free Press, 7/7/2010. "Hordes of human pack rats need help." quote: "Disposophobia, or "pack-ratting," is a widespread and persistent human behaviour, and new research shows it usually originates in adolescence, then progressively worsens over time. The phenomenon is named for comparable hoarding activities in some members of the pack rat genus Neotoma, a few of which occur in Western Canada."
  • The Canadian Press, 1/27/2010. "Not everyone worries about online privacy, many embrace putting life on display." quote: "She was debating how the TV show "Hoarders" uses extreme examples of his condition, sometimes called disposophobia, which brings shame to its sufferers and their families."
  • Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce, 2007 "The Curious Legal Career of Homer L. Collyer." quote: "The condition also is known as Disposophobia, or the fear of throwing things out. See Abigail Leichman, 'Hemmed in by the Hoard,' Rec. (Bergen Co., N.J.) Sept 19, 2004, at F1." (Note 12 to text about Collyer Brothers Syndrome; I was not able to find the article referenced).
  • Newsday, 7/21/2007 "Glued To The Tube." quote: "CLEAN UP THAT MESS! The state of my office makes me a prime candidate to watch "Help! I'm a Hoarder" (tomorrow at 10 p.m., TLC). But I'd probably just write down all the helpful tips, keep the paper someplace safe, and never do anything about it. (They say it's called disposophobia.) Learn more about the disorder at /hoarding.html."
  • Winnipeg Free Press, 4/17/2006. "Possessed by possessions." quote: "Ron Alford, a 25-year crisis management consultant who runs a New York-based company called Disaster Masters, travels across the United States helping people like Susan.
Alford, 65, calls the condition that underlies extreme cluttering "disposophobia" -- the fear of getting rid of things. He's currently writing a book on the subject.
In a recent phone interview, the Disaster Master made an almost instant assessment of the reporter asking the questions.
"You're a disposophobic," Alford declared from his car phone in Florida. "Journalists tend to be real disposophobics because they're information junkies."
When I do the same search for "Ron Alford," I get one result, from the New Yorker, 1/12/2004, titled "Squished." The quote is ""Compulsive hoarding" was how the Times described Moore's behavior. "Disposophobia" is Ron Alford's preferred term. "It's an affliction, it's really a disease," Alford said last week. "It starts in the head of the people and manifests somewhere on the floor and on horizontal surfaces in their dwelling units." Alford, who is sixty-three, runs Disaster Masters, Inc., a Queens-based "crisis management" service specializing in, among other things, abnormal clutter. He is the author of such articles as "How to Manage Your Disaster Recovery Misery Index" and "Counter-Terrorism for Consumers Against Big Business with Strategic Media," and he is now at work on a book called "Disposophobia: The Fear of Getting Rid of Stuff."
It looks to me like Alford coined and promoted the term, and that it's gotten a tiny amount of traction but isn't any sort of recognized, verifiable phobia within the field of psychology. I don't see anything in the article as it is now that warrants merging. I personally believe the case for a redirect is also tenuous, but I'm not conversant enough in best practices for redirects to make a strong stand on that. --some jerk on the Internet (talk) 20:14, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

I noticed the sources demonstrating the supposition of disposophobia being the same as compulsive hoarding appear to be all newspaper articles and the like, nothing from psychological journals. Whether it's an accepted term or not, simple etymology shows that the term means simply an aversion to throwing things away or discarding things. Doesn't compulsive hoarding generally involve a compulsion to obtain or collect along with this aversion? A person's refusal to throw away any books doesn't make him/her a book hoarder, if (s)he hardly ever buys any books. Basically, disposophobia as a term seems to refer to a trait or factor of compulsive hoarding. I'd say the term currently doesn't have enough to warrant a separate page, but something should be done so that everyone redirected can quickly see the distinction, that disposophobia is a part of it, but not one and the same. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:16, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Thank you --some jerk on the Internet and for your input. Very convincing. I'll withdraw my proposal. Lova Falk talk 09:42, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I think there still is an issue, however. With Wikipedia's own phobia page saying the terms are not synonymous, Wikipedia policy on redirects, specifically the redirect application of the principle of least astonishment, make it clear that those who, like me, end up at this article from the phobias page should not be faced with an article on compulsive hoarding that nowhere on it even mentions the phobia or in what way it is not compulsive hoarding. Either that or, if the conclusion is that there is no factual support out there, making the misdiagnosis comment qualify as opinion/original research, the comment needs to be removed from the phobias page. Otherwise it leaves people wondering "Why did Wikipedia just tell me this phobia is not compulsive hoarding and then, when I tried to get more information about it, take me to the article on compulsive hoarding, which doesn't even mention the phobia?" Cadrac (talk) 17:45, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Hoarding didn't just suddenly appear twenty years ago![edit]

In the light of our long history as a highly successful species, I think hoarding being classified as some kind of psychological disorder is out of touch with reality. My concern is not with this article itself, it is a very good article that academically addresses the subject of hoarding quite well. It is the Psychological Community itself that I have a bone to pick with for not taking into account how humans have successfully survived over a period of tens of thousands of years through times of extreme paucity of EVERYTHING essential for basic survival, including stores of food, medicinal plants, the right kinds of stones for making tools, the plants and animals used for making shelter and clothing, etc. Simply put, those frivolous early humans who never put aside anything they needed to survive through periods of famine and great need simply died, taking their less-useful genes with them. As a direct result of repeated long periods of paucity, dearth, scantiness, and scarcity of necessities, ONLY those humans with the inheritable genetic characteristics for gathering together and then keeping large amounts of any conceivable item with any potential to be useful later on survived. That set the stage for nowadays with people who fill their homes with what by MODERN STANDARDS (not the ancient standards under which humans evolved) to be considered as having a mental problem. Hoarders may coincidentally have mental problems, but hoarding itself is normal sane behavior in my way way of thinking. Under conditions that existed in the past, the exact kinds of things that would be needed for future survival was not easily predicted, so the "shotgun" approach of hoarding EVERY conceivable thing became the "gold standard" of survival. As a result, the often apparently useless nature of what modern hoarders squirrel away, such as junk mail or old automobile parts, may seem to be illogical and "scatterbrained" to those who have never once in their lives experienced a total lack of on-demand availability of daily necessities. Being able to obtain everything one needs to live comfortably at a moment's notice is only a very recent accomplishment of modern civilization, and behavior that stems from ancient instinctive survival skills should be very carefully studied before such behavior is officially regarded as some kind of mental problem! It took thousands of years for hoarding behavior to become part of our genetic makeup, so the Psychological Community shouldn't expect that behavior to vanish overnight. I'll guarantee you, 140 years ago out in the prairies of Kansas and Nebraska, those who hoarded things were considered to be blessed with great foresight and an ability to easily survive future scarcities, not as "whacko-nut cases". Linstrum (talk) 04:15, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

I think Linstrum makes a great point. The whole notion of classifying hoarding as a mental disorder infuriates me as classist. Much like "poor people are crazy, rich people are eccentric" it seems nowadays poor people are hoarders, whereas rich people are collectors. The implication is that collectors have good taste and appreciation of value, but poor people couldn't possibly have these qualities. What is the purpose of stigmatizing hoarding behavior? To make people throw out their possessions so they are forced to buy more of what they just threw away? If rats are moving in, then the problem is that the community exterminator is not doing his job. Of course, the community exterminator no longer exists because capitalism takes society's problems and foists them off on the individual. They will use dirty tricks like public shaming and anti-clutter ordinances, because they do not want us slaves to enjoy the fruits of our labor. A simple problem with a simple solution - kill the rats, leave the man's possessions alone - when run through the lens of capitalism, becomes a Sisyphean melodrama. (talk) 19:05, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

I'd like to be able to put some of these points in the article but we'd need sources. I do feel that available storage space is one of the biggest differences between "hoarders" and "collectors", though there is also a tendency for the latter to be more organised (which again may be linked to socioeconomic factors: those who work long hours will have less time and energy for household organisation, and some people have more money to spend on storage solutions than others). I have repeatedly come across decluttering advice in the media suggesting that if any item has not been used for a certain time period (a year seems to be the most popular) it should be disposed of, which seems crazy to me. Suppose a guy owns a tuxedo which still fits and is in good condition but he hasn't had occasion to wear it for years. If he is rich, he has less need to keep it because he can buy another tuxedo should the occasion arise, but if he is poor, he might not have that option. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 05:35, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Ambrose Monk a compulsive hoarder?[edit]

I don't think that Ambrose Monk (from the show Monk) is a good example of a compulsive hoarder. As I remember, he had a massive collection of newspapers but the reason was only because he (naively) believed that his dad would return and that he would want to read all of the newspapers he had missed in the time since he had abandoned his family. It's certainly a misguided idea but I don't think it's a good example of general hoarding. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:10, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

I don't remember enough about that character to say whether he can legitimately be labelled a compulsive hoarder, but not all hoarders hoard indiscriminately. I think he got upset about a broken mug or something too, didn't he? Hoarders often get disproportionately upset when things like that happen to their belongings. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 04:35, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

BBC Life of Grime[edit]

A Life of Grime seems to predate the other shows in the Television section (it first aired in the UK in 1999). The current wording of the Television section seems to suggest that it only aired much later, in 2005, and only after the 2001 Disaster Masters Inc. show on MSNBC. Is it worth reordering/rewording the points for the two shows to make this clearer? Galaxite (talk) 22:27, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps it could be clarified: A Life Of Grime wasn't all about hoarding. It also covered many other situations dealt with by Environmental Health workers. The specific episodes in question probably were first broadcast in 2005. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 05:35, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Edits for Human Development course[edit]

@PatrickJanee, Nejipsych, Slamdunk00, and Brooklyndiaz: I've made some edits to the article, removing some of the content you've added. The main issues with the content I removed were that the sources weren't appropriate — there were a few references, like, that were not to appropriate peer reviewed medical literature or otherwise reliable medical sources, and there was some content based on primary research studies (rather than secondary sources such as review articles). There was also a bit of plagiarism, in the definition of "collecting" given in the new section about the differences between collecting and hoarding. I also removed the references that were bare Hunter College proxy urls, since those are not accessible to others and they don't include enough information for someone to find out what source was being used. If you make further edits to this article, please be sure to review Wikipedia's guideline for reliable sources for medical topics. Thanks!--ragesoss (talk) 18:09, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Thank you @Ragesoss: for all the helpful comments. This is the first time my group members and I have ever edited a Wikipedia page and we are still trying to get the hang of it. We are still learning about how the wikipedia editing process works and how the community functions. Moving forward I will definitely spend more time when searching for appropriate sources. Thanks again for the help!

Brooklyndiaz (talk) 19:34, 11 December 2014 (UTC)brooklyndiaz

South Park Episode[edit]

Hey there. I'm not sure how to include citations, but I noticed under hoarding in television shows, South Park has (which?) next to it. "Insheeption", season 14, is the episode. Here are a couple of articles detailing it:

-- (talk) 22:37, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, I'll edit to specify the episode. For the future, you may find "Cite" button at the top of the edit pane useful - it's the lazy way to add citations. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 05:35, 3 March 2015 (UTC)