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Suffering from hoarding disorder is a complex and widespread psychological condition, with individuals characterized by an excessive accumulation of possessions, and extreme difficulty in getting rid of them. 

In this article, we take a deeper look into hoarding behavior, exploring the typical characteristics of a “hoarder house,” and the amount of junk that is typically found inside. With a better understanding of hoarding, we can better recognize the difficulties experienced by those who are afflicted with this disorder, and offer helpful support. 

The exterior of a hoarder house often supplies clues as to what lies inside, offering a rare glimpse into the world of hoarding. By examining the psychological factors and common traits associated with this behavior, we can better understand the profile of a hoarder. 

Looking inside the home, the interior organization and distribution of the clutter itself reveals meaningful information about the extent of the hoarded possessions. 

Gaining insight into the severity of this disorder is key to understanding the volume of items hoarded. Examining the extent of the junk accumulating in the household gives us a better appreciation of the difficulties faced by sufferers, and allows us to provide more meaningful support. 

Through increased awareness and understanding, we can strive to help those living with hoarding disorder. If you know anyone who needs help removing accumulated junk, please take a look over our offerings.

The Profile of a Hoarder


Hoarding disorder involves a range of psychological components and common characteristics that contribute to extreme gathering. Comprehending the profile of a hoarder is critical in developing sympathy and assistance for those dealing with this condition. 

Within the domain of hoarding, a variety of psychological factors come into play. These can include attachment issues, perfectionism, decision-making problems, and anxiety disorders. Additionally, hoarding tendencies often stem from emotional connections to possessions, the necessity for a feeling of control, or an apprehension of letting go. By recognizing these underlying causes, we can better comprehend the motivations driving hoarding behavior. 

Common traits noticed among hoarders include hesitancy, evasion, nostalgia, and an excessive need for protection. Hoarders often struggle with sorting and arranging their belongings, resulting in disorganized living areas. 

It is important to note that hoarding disorder is distinct from collecting; while collectors usually showcase and value their possessions, hoarders feel distress and impairment because of their extensive accumulation. 

To start fighting against hoarder disorder and benefit from increased space in homes, you can call us and we’ll take care of it for you. We have detailed this process in one of our previous blogs, which you can read here.

The Hoarder House: A Closer Look

When examining a hoarder’s house, there are several distinct characteristics and clutter patterns that emerge. External signs, such as an overwhelming amount of belongings spilling into yards or blocking entrances, often indicate the presence of hoarding behavior. 

Moving inside, one may find pathways that are crowded, stacks of items, and rooms filled beyond capacity. The hoarder house is marked by an inability to discard items, resulting in a constant fight for available space. 

Inside a hoarder’s home, organization typically follows a set of rules that differ from conventional ideas of order and functionality. Hoarders may organize their belongings based on personal, idiosyncratic systems that may be mysterious to others. 

While outsiders may be baffled by these patterns, they can hold deep meaning to the hoarder. Understanding the complexity of these clutter patterns can help to gain insight into the mentality of someone living in a hoarded environment and the hurdles they face.

Levels of Hoarding

Hoarding behavior exists on a spectrum, with varying levels of severity. It is important to recognize the various levels of hoarding in order to accurately gauge the degree of the issue and establish suitable interventions.

Clutter severity is often sorted using a clutter scale, which helps put into categories the amount of accumulation and disability. Level 1 demonstrates minimal mess and only slight hindrance to operations, while Level 5 presents extreme disarray and severe confinement. Each tier bears particular behavioral implications and necessitates various methods for involvement and aid.

By recognizing the degrees of hoarding intensity, we can gain a more precise comprehension of the issues faced by people in different phases of the disorder. This comprehension allows us to customize interventions and plans that successfully take care of the particular requirements of hoarders.

The Amount of Junk Accumulated

One of the most remarkable aspects of Hoarding Disorder is the immense amount of clutter that accumulates within a hoarder’s house. The number of items collected can be jaw-dropping, often jamming entire rooms, corridors, and sometimes even expanding into other living areas.

Estimating the amount of clutter in a hoarder’s home is a difficult task. It can vary widely depending on the person and how severe the hoarding is. Due to the varied size of projects, we typically start by asking for pictures and then most likely will require a free, onsite estimate to find a solution that works for your needs. This will offer you an upfront price as well as a rough estimate of time to complete the project. We always work to hit your deadlines so please let us know of any important dates. 

The types of junk that can be found in a hoarder house vary depending on the individual hoarder. However, some common types of junk include:


Hoarders often have a lot of clothing, and they may keep clothing that is no longer wearable. This can include clothing that is stained, torn, or outdated. Hoarders may also keep clothing that they no longer fit into, or that they have not worn in years. It may also be in unsafe condition for the homeowner with mold or other contaminants.


Hoarders may also have a lot of books, and they may keep books that they have already read or that are no longer of interest to them. This can include books that are outdated, damaged, or that the hoarder has no intention of ever reading again. Hoarders may also keep books that they believe have sentimental value, even if they have no personal connection to the book.


Hoarders may also have a lot of paper, and they may keep paper that is no longer useful, such as old bills, receipts, and newspapers. This can include paper that is outdated, illegible, or that the hoarder has no intention of ever using again. Hoarders may also keep paper that they believe has sentimental value, even if they do not understand why they feel sentimental about the paper.


Hoarders may also have a lot of electronics, and they may keep electronics that are no longer working or that are outdated. This can include electronics that are broken, obsolete, or that the hoarder has no intention of ever using again. Hoarders may also keep electronics that they believe have sentimental value, even if they do not know how to use the electronics. 

Other belongings 

Hoarders may also keep a variety of other belongings, such as furniture, appliances, toys, and other items. This can include belongings that are broken, damaged, or that the hoarder has no intention of ever using again. Hoarders may also keep belongings that they believe have sentimental value, even if they do not have any personal connection to the belongings.

Understanding the magnitude of the rubbish that has been accumulated not only illuminates the enormity of the issue, but also highlights the potential risks and dangers associated with hoarding disorder since the debris might be blocking doorways, create potential danger and injury to the homeowner through tripping and falling, or even be a fire hazard. 

Addressing the number of possessions is a major component of the intervention, as it permits the development of secure and livable living spaces for hoarders. At Junk Relief, we are fully committed to getting rid of all the junk in a hoarder’s house while ensuring their responsible disposal. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us help anyone that you might know, suffering from Hoarder Disorder, take a big leap forward to a clutter-free and organized home.

The Impact on Daily Life

The effects of Hoarding Disorder on everyday life are far-reaching, affecting different elements of an individual’s well-being and performance. Overwhelmingly disorganized and cluttered living conditions create significant struggles and obstacles to leading a healthy and worthwhile life. 

Living spaces are overrun with clutter, making it difficult to maneuver freely and access essential areas of the home. The build-up of items also leads to unsanitary conditions, potentially inviting pests and creating an unhealthy home.

Functionality is seriously impaired as hoarders have difficulty locating and utilizing their possessions in the clutter. Tasks like cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene become vastly laborious and time-consuming. Hoarders often feel a sense of overwhelm and frustration when attempting to get through their clutter, making it impossible to keep a structured and effective lifestyle. 

The impact on psychological and emotional well-being is also important. Hoarders generally feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment about the disorder, causing social isolation and straining relationships with family and friends. 

The constant presence of clutter aggravates anxiety and stress levels, negatively impacting mental health. It’s hard to find any solace or peace within a chaotic and cluttered environment.

Hoarding Intervention, Treatment, and Help

Supporting hoarders and their families necessitates a comprehensive approach that coalesces comprehension, sympathy, and effective interventions. Professional organization, counseling, and support groups are fundamental components of hoarding therapy. 

Professional organizers can lend a hand with decluttering and reorganizing rooms, while therapy addresses the deep-seated emotional predicaments promoting hoarding behavior. Support groups give a feeling of community, endorsement, and incitement to individuals on the path to restoration.

Helping a person with a hoarding disorder requires sensitivity and patience. Acknowledging the indicators and manifestations of hoarding disorder is the first step. Approaching the individual with compassion, acceptance, and without judgment is essential. 

Providing assistance in small, conquerable measures and inspiring professional assistance can make an important impact. Forming a secure and encouraging atmosphere, supplying resources, and being a source of emotional aid can encourage people with hoarding disorder to embark on their voyage towards healing.


In conclusion, it is essential to comprehend hoarding disorder, the characteristics of a hoarder’s home, and the effect on people’s lives. By recognizing the profile of a hoarder and the unique clutter patterns found in their living spaces, we can gain an understanding of the underlying motivations and obstacles they face. 

Hoarding disorder goes beyond simply accumulating possessions. It significantly hinders daily life, creating problems in functionality, living arrangements, and interpersonal relationships. Fortunately, there are effective interventions such as professional organizing, therapy, and support groups that can provide assistance and recovery. 

By creating understanding, sympathy, and increased awareness, we can construct a kind and supportive setting for individuals affected by hoarding disorder. Together, we can empower hoarders to take back control of their lives, establish healthier residences, and improve their overall well-being.


Joe Weidman

Joe is a Chicago native, born and raised in Elmhurst. He founded Junk Relief more than 10 years ago and has worked with more than 20,000 homeowners and businesses throughout Chicagoland. His passion for starting a business in junk removal stemmed from seeing the need to do things differently. He prides himself on his company's model to provide unexpectedly professional service.


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