'Hoarder' and 'clutterer' have psychological basis for some

The terms "hoarder" and "clutterer" are more prevalent in our vocabulary thanks to the recent increase in exposure on talk shows and TV programs. However, the cameras sometimes overlook the psychology and emotions of some individuals who live with these labels.

Hoarding can be a diagnostic and treatable disorder while clutterers just tend to live with feelings of being overwhelmed.

"We're not dirty, we're not lazy — and you can get better," says Mike Nelson, executive director of Clutterless Recovery Groups, a national support organization that holds regular meetings.

Nelson says some who live with clutter do so because it's a physical expression of an emotional condition and can be related to attention deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety or depression.

While there are no scientific studies available on how many people live with clutter, experts say less than 1 percent of the population hoards.

"Traits you tend to find in people who have chronic disorganization are high intelligence and high creativity," says Kit Anderson, president of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization. "It makes organization, which can be tedious and boring, difficult."

More Like This


Yipes! Reading this brief but horrifyingly accurate info got me off my duff to get a prescription for adult ADD again. Had stopped when I retired, due to feeling less detail pressured... but truth is, I can see I really still need the meds help. Ugh! It's expensive! And it makes me hyper for the first hour or so. However, the clutter level is ridiculous & overwhelming, so off I go to pick up my prescription-- & then start clearing out the house! LLOL Good luck to all my fellow travelers. :-)

After reading this article, I now understand what may be a connection to my daughter's cluttered apartment - she has attention deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression. Thanks for sharing this insight.

Add comment


What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 3 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.

Local Discounts

Daily deals up to 70% off popular home improvement projects from top-rated contractors on Angie’s List!