What is Hoarding?

Hi, and welcome to this edition of our Hoarding mini-series.

In this week’s post we’ll be talking about what hoarding is, from a psychological and a practical perspective.

The psychological effects of hoarding are intertwined with the more tangible aspects of hoarding.

For example, when someone that’s hoarding collects more possessions, they have an emotional reaction to this.

They get something new for their home, they get a strong reaction.

Some of the reactions are positive – an adrenaline and endorphin rush that gives the hoarder a happy feeling, which reinforces the behaviour of acquiring more things to continue getting that happy feeling.

For others, it might be frustrating to be buying more things they know they don’t need and really don’t want but can’t stop themselves from buying.

There’s a pull towards that accumulation of material things, which most likely has an underlying, mostly unconscious origin.

The unconscious pull is strong and undetectable unless talked through with a counsellor or psychotherapist that will help the hoarder to work through their difficult past (distant or recent) that might have led them into hoarding.

There are more emotions that hoarding can bring up for the hoarder and their family and friends.

The consequences to the environment are also important because they might impact on the hoarder’s personal and professional lives.

Stacey now will talk to us about this a bit further.

Hoarding is when a person is saving lots of different items within their home regardless of whether or not those items add any value to their lives.

According to the mental health charity Mind, if you hoard, you might:

  • Have very strong positive feelings whenever you get more items added to your home   
  • Feel very upset or anxious at the thought of throwing or giving things away any items that you have accummalated   
  • Find it very hard to decide what to keep or what to get rid of

The charity also states that, hoarders may believe the following:

  • That they need to keep things for the future
  • That they will not be able to cope with how they feel if somebody were to start throwing things away
  • Throwing things away will harm other people or the environment
  • You have to keep things because you must not waste them
  • You should arrange or dispose of things perfectly or not at all
  • Your belongings are making you happy or keeping you safe
  • Your belongings are all unique and special, even if they are very similar
  • You simply need more storage space, or more time to sort things out.

Lots of people share some of these beliefs to an extent, but don’t feel them as strongly or as part of hoarding.   

Hoarding could affect you in lots of different ways, some examples below are:

  • It can lead to health and safety issues such as being unable to leave your home quickly in case of an emergency.
  • Feeling embarrassed and ashamed of your home which could lead to feelings of isolation. This feeling of isolation could happen because you do not want people to visit your home and to not know about your situation.
  • You could struggle to stay on top of paying bills or finding important paperwork that you need to stay organised because of the clutter that you live in.
  • Buying the same items that you already have but you do not realise this because you cannot find them.
  • Avoid letting visitors into your home which could lead to housing or safety problems as those visitors could be trying to carry out repairs or safety checks in your home.
  • Your personal hygiene could be affected in extreme cases where you cannot access your bathroom or washing machine.
  • Your health could be affected in cases where you cannot access the kitchen properly or there is no space in your fridge to store, prepare, cook and eat healthy food for you and/or your family.
  • You could be restricted from accessing areas of your home due to it being very cluttered for example, your bedroom or hallways.
  • Children could be affected by a person with a hoarding disorder. Where severe hoarding exists, families rarely have any space at all and are forced to combine bedroom spaces inappropriately, for example an older child could be forced to sleep in the same bed as a parent. Sometimes children can be forced to live in one space that serves multiple functions. For example where there is space on a sofa, this sofa could be used for sleeping, doing homework or eating.

If you recognise any of the things mentioned in this post, for yourself or a friend or relative, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

We can help with the practical – Stacey is a professional organiser – and the psychological – Karin is a counsellor working online.

See you next week!

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Hoarding: Psychological and Practical Support for you or your family member (blog series intro)

Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog post, where I’d like to introduce a new partnership with Stacey Sabido from Serenity for You.

In these posts, we want to raise awareness and provide informative posts about hoarding, their effects – both practical and psychological.

We will be working holistically, which is why we have joined forces. I’ll be discussing the psychological aspects of hoarding, while Stacey will be discussing the practical aspects.

Of course, there will be points where these two meet – and it’s important that they do! – so we will both be touching on both aspects of hoarding.

In the next few months, we’ll be talking about the following topics:

What is hoarding?

Consequences on wellbeing

practical steps to help someone who’s hoarding

helping your loved one to move forward from hoarding

getting hoarding under control

responsibility and hoarding

support but don’t take over the process

distance is sometimes more helpful

and more!

I’ve decided to join forces with Stacey for a few reasons.

The first one being that the topic of hoarding is something I’ve come across in my therapy room, and even though it might not be the main topics in my clients’ therapy, clutter does impact on their wellbeing and mental health.

It is important to do the practical stuff that Stacey will be doing, but without the emotional support, the root causes will remain the same and the individual will most likely “relapse” and begin hoarding again.

A while back, I wrote a post about Spring Cleaning, which relates to de-cluttering. It doesn’t address hoarding as such, but it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while now, and I’m working on de-cluttering my house as we speak.

It’s a work in progress – papers under control, clothes organised and I really don’t need to buy any more in a long time, so I won’t! Everything has it’s place and not many extra things are around.

It feels good to do it, and I want to support a business that wants that for her clients.

I’ll let Stacey introduce herself now. For more about me, please visit this page.

Stacey Sabido – Serenity For You

Hi, I’m stacey, and I’m happy to be here!

I am kind, caring and compassionate and have always found happiness in helping others.

I am a strong believer in being in a free state of mind.

Serenity For You was established for the purpose of helping others to create SERENITY:

“….the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.”

I have a natural gift (if I do say so myself!) in keeping things in order and a passion for helping to improve the lives of others with my skills. 

With a background in HR and customer service, I am very organised, efficient, warm & friendly!

What Serenity for You offers:

My aim as a Professional Organiser is to turn my clients chaos into serenity.

I offer a personal service that also cares about YOU as a person and not just your physical surroundings.

I want to inspire people to not only help themselves but by doing so also help others in need….

…de-cluttering your home and getting rid of items that you no longer need which would benefit the less fortunate.

I have teamed up with Shelter – a registered charity that campaigns to end homelessness.

I can remove your unwanted items and donate them to this charity which would be contributing to an amazing cause.

I offer decluttering and organising for any area of your home and I also work in offices if help with paper management and filing is needed.

I can assist with helping with home moves to take away the stress and ensure a smoother transition.

I have recently started a new and exciting partnership with KB Bllingual Counselling services. which will provide you with the support that you need if you are struggling to cope with stress and anxiety around hoarding (for yourself or your loved one).

Here are my social media platforms for you to find out more on a regular basis:




We will work together with the aim to transform your life physically and mentally, reduce your stress and increase your happiness!

We will be working particularly close with the friends or family of hoarders, with the aim to providing a team effort support network.

Together, we aim to offer professional organising (Stacey) and mental health and wellbeing support (Karin) in a way that ensures that everything is covered and you’re getting the right support, when you need it.

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