'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."