What is the official definition of Hoarding Disorder?

Hoarding Disorder has been defined as:

  • The acquisition of, and failure to discard, a large number of possessions;
  • Clutter that precludes activities for which living spaces were designed; and
  • Significant distress and impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding.

How many people in the US hoard?

It is believed that between 3 million and 6 million people in the U.S. struggle with hoarding behavior. Estimates of prevalence rates of hoarding behavior in the United States vary significantly and because of research limitations (e.g. small sample size, clinical samples, etc.) are likely underestimates of the actual number of people who hoard.

Is there an actual diagnosis for hoarding behavior?

Currently, there is no specific psychiatric diagnosis for hoarding behavior, though a majority of the time another mental health concern is also a problem for people who struggle with hoarding (for example, depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, dementia, etc.).

There is a possibility that Hoarding Disorder will be added as a separate diagnosis in the next version of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Diagnositic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). For more information about the proposed revision, read here

What is a professional organizer?

A professional organizer is a professional whose job it is to help individuals and businesses design systems and processes using organizing principles and through transferring skills.

According to the website for the National Association for Professional Organizers, professional organizers use tested principles and expertise to enhance the lives of clients. By designing custom organizing systems and teaching organizing skills, they help individuals and businesses take control of their surroundings, their time, their paper piles, their lives.

The Hoarding Project may work collaboratively with and/or refer clients to professional organizers to best serve clients who hoard and their families.

For more information on professional organizers, please visit: www.napo.net

What other questions do you have?

We would love to take the time to answer other questions you have about hoarding. Please submit them here.