When Clutter Becomes Hoarding

The Mayo Clinic defines hoarding as "... the excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them" and states that "compulsive hoarding and compulsive hoarding syndrome, may be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)." We are not talking everyday household mess and clutter here, or collections of specific objects that may, in the opinion of other family members, be taking up too much space in the house.  True hoarding can be a sign of mental and/or physical illness that manifests itself in the obsessive accumulation of things—items that can range from mounds of clothing, unopened shopping bags, stacks of newspapers, magazines and mail, to piles of trash and rotting garbage that are dangerous to the health of an individual or a family.

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