Hoarding refers to the overaccumulation of items to the point beyond capacity. A person may need to accumulate items considered too much, of no value, junk, or damaged. The person finds it difficult to discard items even when damaged. Hoarding disorder is a condition that can only be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.

Hoarding behaviours

Hoarding can result from

  • An inability to discard broken items such as old white goods, cars, and technology because the person thinks they may be able to fix them one day.
  • Collecting local hard waste that is being discarded by others because they see value in the items.
  • Overshopping, especially at thrift stores, charity shops, and sales, even if the items are not needed.
  • Buying gifts for others when shopping and then being unable to find them and purchasing more.
  • Buying multiples of anything.
  • Accepting other people’s discarded items out of loyalty.
  • Being the holder of the memorabilia for the family.
  • Offering to store items for others.

Factors associated with hoarding tendencies

Many factors are associated with hoarding tendencies, including but not limited to:

  • Brain-based conditions (ADHD, anxiety, depression, executive functioning, traumatic brain injury)
  • Communication patterns (inability to say no, decision-making, problem-solving)
  • Living spaces (quantity of things vs places to store)
  • Systems (storage, system, habits)
  • Physical challenges (impaired mobility, fatigue, sleep disorder)
  • Beliefs and over-attachments to possessions (overvaluing possessions, keeper of memories, parts might be required, might fix it one day)
  • Information processing (reliance on seeing things, distractibility, difficulty to organise).
  • Behavioural tendencies (over acquiring resources, information, searching for a bargain, self-soothing).

Risks associated with hoarding

Hoarding may result in hazards to home occupiers, including:

  • Hazards to health (e.g., dust, ventilation, infestations).
  • Reduced ability to self-care (sleeping, washing, cooking, cleaning).
  • Household functioning (loss of access to the room for the designed purpose).
  • Structural damage to the home, leading to reduced access to trades to make repairs.
  • Reduced access to emergency services in the event of a threat to life.

Hoarding impacts the relationships of family and friends. Sometimes, the hoarding may create distance in the relationship. If the situation is known, others will attempt to help but are uncertain what to do, and sometimes, the person hoarding may not see it as a problem.

Hoarding | Consulting


The impact of hoarding is complex and far-reaching, affecting relationships with self, others, and functioning within the living environment. 

How can Changes in Between help?

Changes in Between provides counselling about hoarding for people wanting to take action and for others impacted by it. A third party cannot make appointments; they can only be made by the person.

I do not do hands-on organising but can provide counselling to clients who are working with a professional organiser or in readiness to commence work with a professional organiser.

I need help for myself.

If you are seeking help for your own hoarding and have looked through my website and have further questions and/or want to see if we are the right fit, please book a brief enquiry call. During this call, you can tell me what you are hoping for, and we can see if we can work together.

If you are affected by somebody else’s hoarding, we may also be able to work together to process the impact of the hoarding on you. I cannot work with the person hoarding and the person impacting as this is a dual relationship.

I am enquiring about somebody else.

If you are an NDIS support coordinator or support worker, you can book a brief enquiry call, and we can discuss this further. I will need to speak with your client to ascertain if I can assist them and if we agree we are a good fit.

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ICD Hoarding