Hoarding – Different Types Of Hoarding Explained
While there are many types of hoarding, we’ve come to explain a few and some potential causes to the hoarding types. Although, there are many reasons for hoarding, hoarders should be shown respect for there items while attempting to cleanup and start a new and healthy lifestyle.
To the lay person, entering a hoarder’s home can be very overwhelming to the senses. If it looks like huge piles of junk and rubbish, and it smells like huge piles of junk and rubbish, then it must be junk and rubbish. What is important to understand is that people hoard all different types of items. However, no matter what a person chooses to hoard, the most important thing to remember is that to them, these items are not junk. If a helper truly desires to assist their loved one or friend reclaim their living space, identifying what is being hoarded and why is key.
Types of Hoarding
Shopper or Shopping Hoarding
Chronic shoppers tend to hold on to every item they purchase even if they have no practical use for it. No matter what type of item it may be, food, clothing, pictures, televisions – these items will sit in piles unused. Oftentimes, these items will remain in their original packaging with price tags still on them creating piles of clutter that are seemingly unmanageable over time.
Shopping hoarding occurs when people impulsively purchase:
- Antiques and Collectibles
- Survival Gear and Equipment
- Items from home shopping television networks
Clutter cleanup is essential due to the fact that hoarding large quantities of any item is a danger in and of itself. However, when hoarding food or chemicals, the dangers increase exponentially. Hoarding chemicals increases the chance of fire and explosion in the home. Food hoarding is a different type of hoarding altogether.
One of the most confusing hoarding questions is, “Why would people hoard food?” When a person returns home with dozens of shopping bags full of groceries while their refrigerator and cupboards are already filled to the brim, this person may suffer from food hoarding.
Wasting food can be considered a crime in and of itself considering the amount of people who starve around the world, the attraction of these rodents and vermin are the biggest and most pressing risk to the food hoarder and their family. Exposure to the diseases these vermin carry can cause severe illness and even death.
While rotted food should be thrown into the garbage and disposed of, some hoarders actually have issues with hoarding trash and garbage.
Garbage and Trash Hoarding
When a person displays an inability to discard garbage, waste, or trash, they may be identified as a garbage hoarder. Garbage hoarders also take the time to rummage through other people’s trash to find “treasures” of their own. This inability to decipher harmful waste from valuable items can be deadly.
Rodents, vermin, and pests will become attracted to the garbage and wreak havoc on the home’s structure and the health of its inhabitants. Insects and animals will dismantle a home in order to make nests for themselves. They will leave behind their own urine and feces while searching for food in the piles of garbage. These pests will also carry a variety of diseases with them. Should a human being be exposed to these bacteria, viruses, or parasites, serious illness or death can occur.
While some types of hoarding may attract wild animals and pests to a home, another type of hoarding occurs when the hoarders themselves introduce unhealthy quantities of animals to their living space.
Animal hoarding cleanup providers have found that hoarders are simply trying to share their love for pets with as many animals as they can. However, when large quantities of animals occupy one living space, it is nearly impossible for the home owner to keep up with many of the responsibilities of being a pet owner. The following responsibilities are typically overlooked in animal hoarding cases:
- Animal waste maintenance
- Pest/Flea/Heartworm Protection
- Proper exercise
Pets will use the inside of the home as a place to void their bodies of feces and urine, ruining carpets, floors, walls, and furniture. Animals waste can then cultivate bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can claim the lives of pets as well as their masters.
Paper hoarders literally find it impossible to discard anything recorded on a piece of paper. People keep papers like bills, invoices, books, magazines, special offers, coupons, children’s pictures, report cards, recipes, and other items.
These stacks of papers will become mounds of unstable surfaces that can present a danger to the hoarder. Hoarding cleanup service providers have seen an unhealthy increase in cases where people have been literally trapped beneath a fallen pile of paper and rubbish. The hoarders either suffer serious injury or are found deceased beneath the piles of rubble.
Hoarding is a complex condition that must be understood before being resolved. By taking the time to comprehend why a hoarder holds onto the things they keep, helpers will not only help to clean their home but will help solve the problem once and for all. Tools like the official Do’s and Don’ts for Hoarders will help each individual involved in the healing process get a head start on the road to success.