Many of us have experienced a cluttered room at some point in our lives. It is likely that many of us still do today. Among the clutter we have are unfolded laundry, papers and toys piled up, and more. Messes such as these are just a part of our life.
Hoarders, however, see it from a different perspective. As the name implies, hoarding is the habit of finding and keeping objects, animals, or garbage, regardless of their value. A hoarder may accumulate clothing, photographs, food, household items, boxes, newspapers, magazines, and other rubbish items.
The consequences of hoarding can range from mild to severe. When the individual has a serious issue with not discarding their hoarded possessions, this is considered a serious condition. In this article, we will discuss how to identify hoarders and how far you have fallen into the hoarding stage.
Stages of a Hoarder
Throughout the day, we encounter various kinds of mess and accumulate rubbish. And the question is, how do we deal with these encounters? Hoarders, as we all know, don’t see items strewn about their places as clutter.
Hoarding is classified into five levels. Through these levels, we will be able to determine the severity of a person’s level of hoarding. Let us examine ourselves or a friend’s hoarding level.
Hoarding at this stage is characterised by only a slight amount of clutter and an absence of foul or odour in the environment. Despite not posing any threat to health or safety, the individual finds it difficult to discard its belongings. At this level, the individual’s behaviour such as excessive buying and collecting is also manifesting.
The hoarding behaviour is moderately severe at this level. For example, one or two appliances in the person’s home no longer work, but the person does not want to dispose of them. Some items, such as magazines and newspapers, are piled up congesting the entrance, exit or hallway.
The person’s collection had already made its way outside. Among the items collected were boxes, furniture, non-functional appliances and more papers. The individual at this level not only makes poor health choices, but also fails to take care of himself or herself.
In addition to the smelly environment, bugs are infesting the place, and there are pet excretions all over the place. During this stage, the person doesn’t like to be reprimanded. He or she won’t invite you to their place anymore.
At this point, the place has been heavily infested not just with bugs but also with mould and sewage buildup. So, if you combine all three levels plus one, there is already structural damage. The person is potentially at high risk of injury and illness.
This is the most severe and serious level of hoarding, not just the place but also the individual. As of this point, there are a number of safety issues. That’s because there is no running water or electricity, and it’s likely the person is suffering from mental illness.
10 Telling Signs of a Hoarder
Now that we have outlined the stages of a hoarder, can you identify which stage you are in? Let’s not conclude just yet since there are some telling signs you should keep an eye out for. So, let us explore the mind of an individual who has hoarding tendencies.
- The items in our homes are more than just clutter. You always make it a point that there’s always room for everything regardless of the item’s value.
- You have difficulty discarding items that are no longer functioning such as home appliances, broken or unwanted furniture and more.
- Your collections have already taken over your house
- You don’t invite any of your friends and family members to your place
- Further to number 4, the reason why you do not invite people is because you do not want them to see your prized possessions
- You suspect that your family member or someone is touching your things
- Despite the number of items stuffed into your home, you still feel driven to purchase and add new objects
- In your mind, the things you have are valuable and useful when the time comes
- It is not just papers, magazines, or objects–your place is overrun with your pets
- You are no longer interacting with your family or friends because you fear being discovered
Do you possess one or more of these telling signs? Ask your family member for help if you are having trouble letting go. You are not alone and help is always available.