Contrary to popular belief, a hoarder is very much different from a pack rat, because the latter is a person who gets rid of “collectibles” once he realized that there’s not much space anymore, because he hates seeing them disorganized or chaotic. On the other hand, hoarder only moves his stuff into another location because he doesn’t want to throw them away, thinking that it can still be used or it has some form of sentimental value.
Hoarding is also a form of anxiety disorder, that’s described by these three notable traits, which are:
– The need to collect things, even if they are useless.
– The difficulty of throwing things away.
– Feeling distressed when they have to let go some of their things.
Why Do People Hoard?
Reason #1: Perfectionism
According to some psychology experts, people hoard because of perfectionism. Although they don’t really color-code their closets, they have that perfectionist quality that gets triggered because of certain situations. These people have the mentality that, if they fail to make this decision perfectly, then they better not do it at all. This is where hoarding comes in. They become so terrified that they’ll commit a mistake, and so, they get paralyzed and allow the unnecessary clutter to build up.
Reason #2: They Are Afraid of Throwing Something Accidentally
Hoarders would often think of ways on how they can use the items they have, or that someone might need these things, which means they have to keep in. The irony is that, more often than not, they don’t really use these objects at all, and they don’t actually get the chance to give them to someone. The result? They end up keeping the objects.
Reason #3: The Sense of Emotional Attachment
Some people save their belongings because they feel an emotional attachment to them. It’s completely normal to get attached to your things, since they remind you of your loved ones or happy times, but for hoarders, the attachment can get so intense. Also, instead of feeling attached to one thing, they end up getting attached to hundreds, if not thousands of things inside their home. In fact, some hoarders even feel that some of these things are like family members or friends.
Reason #4: Suffering from a Disorder
Based on research, hoarding could be a disorder present on its own, but it could also be a symptom of another disorder. OCD is the most common disorder associated with a hoarder, but those who suffer from ADHD, depression, and OCPD, may also exhibit the tendency of hoarding.
Hoarding is not similar to collecting. Collectors have a sense of pride, because they experience joy and accomplishment in displaying and talking about their collections. They make sure that their things stay organized, while hoarders don’t.
These are just some of the possible reasons why people hoard. Those who see themselves as hoarders, or knows someone who loves to hoard, it’s very important to be open and honest about it. It’s a problem that should be discussed with family members and friends in order to help the sufferer control his hoarding behavior.