Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hoarding can create safety risks, harm quality of life

What you should know

Most of us collect things for later use. Many of us have a utility drawer with old caps, tools, and odds and ends. We might save old letters, too many books, or our grandmother's old holiday decorations.

Collecting and saving is normal. Hoarding is not. Many people have an unhealthy need to keep or buy too much. They often do not see their hoarding as a problem.

Hoarding behavior can result in a lack of livable space, even to the point that kitchen counters, refrigerators, bathrooms or offices are blocked by clutter. Space can become unsafe, unsanitary or a fire hazard. Some people even have to buy extra storage facilities. Sadly, saved things may really be useless or of only sentimental value -- perhaps as reminders of earlier or happier times.

Some hoarders are disorganized perfectionists. Many stash items in full view as they fear losing things or missing deadlines. They might have desks filled with piles, or half-completed projects stashed all over their homes. Some have problems deciding where to file things or whether to toss them..." More

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