Hoarding Fact Sheet

Hoarding Is:

  1. The excessive accumulation and failure to discard (proportionately) things or animals.
  2. Activities of daily living are impaired by spaces, which cannot be used for their intended use
  3. Distress or impairment in functioning is caused to the person hoarding or others

Key Hoarding Messages:

  1. Hoarding occurs in all cultures, income and education levels and for many different reasons
  2. Hoarding interventions are often complicated, costly and time consuming
  3. Hoarding situations continue to deteriorate until the health and safety of the individual and community are put at risk

Key Messages For Successful Solutions:

According to Dr. Randy O. Frost Ph.D. (Smith College, North Hampton, Mass.):

Successful Solutions To Hoarding Involve Two Things:

  1. Getting clients/patients help with the reasons they hoard
  2. Cleaning up the property which is the product of the untreated behaviour

Hoarding Is Likely To Create The Following:

  1. Impaired Activities of Daily Living
  2. Unhealthy Living Conditions
  3. Unsafe Living Conditions

Contrary to popular belief hoarding is not just a mental health issue

Hoarding, for the most part, is not just a mental health issue. Hoarding is a legal, public health, and safety issue. Sometimes mental health components are also involved. Hoarding situations often result in recurring unsafe conditions for both the individual and those living in close proximity.

How Prevalent Is Hoarding?

Conservative estimates (Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring—Therapist Guide, Steketee & Frost, 2007). indicate that approximately 1 to 2% of the general population has Hoarding problems. Animal Hoarding has been found to occur at approx. 88/100,000 of the general population. We are only finding these situations at a rate of less than 50 cases per year. People with hoarding behaviours continue to deteriorate without treatment and their living conditions continue to deteriorate without supportive interventions.