Hoarding Disorder | Cleveland Clinic

Approximately 2% to 6% of people in the United States have hoarding disorder.

People with hoarding disorder often have a lack of functional living space, which can prevent them from performing important daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, sleeping and bathing. They may also live in unhealthy or unsafe conditions. Serious hoarding can lead to fire hazards, tripping hazards and health code violations.

People with hoarding disorder rarely seek help on their own. Concerned friends or family members often reach out to a professional to help a loved one with the condition.

Contact a healthcare provider or mental health professional if hoarding makes a living situation unhealthy or unsafe for you or someone you know.

Healthcare providers use two main types of therapies to treat hoarding disorder:

There’s no known way to prevent hoarding disorder. However, hoarding behaviors appear relatively early in life (usually between the ages of 15 and 19 years) and then follow a chronic course. If you notice signs of hoarding in your child or someone you know, early recognition, diagnosis and treatment are essential to improving outcomes.

Outlook / Prognosis:
The prognosis (outlook) for hoarding disorder is often poor. While some people with the condition greatly improve after treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy, many people still have symptoms after treatment that impact their day-to-day life.

It’s important to remember that hoarding disorder is a mental health condition — it’s not a matter of laziness or willpower. As with all mental health conditions, seeking professional help as soon as symptoms appear can help decrease the disruptions to your life. Mental health professionals can offer treatment plans that can help you manage your thoughts and behaviors related to hoarding.


it can sometimes be challenging to distinguish a hoarder from a pack rat. The main determination made by professionals, including housing authorities, is whether the disorder is a personal preference or if it is a compulsion that has begun to seriously impact the individual’s health and safety.

TV programs such as Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive have brought the serious subject of hoarding to the forefront of media attention