What Is Junk Hoarding and How to Beat it

The subject of a number of popular television reality shows, junk hoarding is a real issue that many people face. It may not be to the same extremes as the people we see on TV, but the problem is still there for some individuals within the UK. 

However, even though the condition is very common amongst people who live alone, it is still somewhat of a taboo subject. Throughout this post we will tell you what exactly junk hoarding is and how you can beat it.

What is junk hoarding? 

We can all be prone to keeping things we don’t need, usually out of sentimentality. We often attach personal memories or emotions to objects which then makes it difficult to get rid of them. 

However, when this mindset transitions over to storing all sorts of junk around your household, it can become a problem. What started out as a general unwillingness to sort out through the rubbish can turn into a full-blown hoarding problem. 

Some people will see their homes turning into a dumping ground of rubbish and usual items which can inhibit their ability to live comfortably and happily in there. The job builds and builds until they can’t face sorting it out themselves, and then the sequence  just repeats itself. 

Junk hoarding can become a massive problem when the individual finds it is causing a negative impact on their living situation or health, results in stress or impacts their quality of life. But it is important to know that there is help available and they do not have to continue living in discomfort. 

Hoarding disorder

The NHS describes a hoarding disorder as storing an excessive amount of items and keeping them in a chaotic manner. This will usually result in the individual living amongst a large amount of clutter that is filled with goods that have little to no monetary value. 

A hoarding disorder is a very serious thing and can be hard to treat, mainly because those who suffer from it are too embarrassed and unwilling to seek help. However, it is important to find support as without any treatment, it is a problem unlikely to go away on its own. 

Photo credit: melissamn / Shutterstock

Why do some people hoard junk? 

Physical health 

There are numerous reasons why somebody may start to hoard junk. Physical difficulties such as reduced mobility and old age will contribute to the problem, as it will make it hard to move around. 

When people find they can’t move as freely as they could before, it becomes tough to deal with the increasing amount of junk in their homes. Without any assistance, they won’t be able to tackle the piles of rubbish and so the cycle continues. 

Mental health

One of the main reasons though is problems with mental health like severe depression and schizophrenia. Mental health charity, Mind, also outlines that hoarding can result from difficult experiences and memories which people find hard to express. 

Although it may not seem like it, hoarding can stem from perfectionism too. Individuals who hoard feel scared about making decisions or mistakes and so find it hard to plan ahead and get rid of their excess junk. 

Learned habits 

Another reason for hoarding is the simple belief that it is normal. If you see your parents and other members of your family with houses that are full of junk, then it is nothing out of the ordinary for you. 

When people grow up in households with other hoarders, they are more likely to hoard junk themselves. It is a learned habit and one that can be hard to break. Studies have even been carried out that suggest shared genes that could contribute to hoarding. 

How to beat junk hoarding 

If your junk hoarding is a result of a mental condition, then the first step to getting help is seeing your GP. A growing number of professionals are aware of the condition and will know the right treatment you need in order to overcome it. 

However, if the excess clutter in your home is due to decreased mobility or a recent injury that made it hard to clear up, there are simple ways to get your house clean and tidy. 

Ask your friends and family for help

When it is difficult to tackle the junk by yourself, you could enlist the help of your friends and family. There’s a good chance that they would be willing to assist you in getting rid of the excess rubbish. 

Hire a professional clearance team 

If you want to take away the stress of having to sort through the masses of junk yourself, then it is a great idea to hire a professional waste removal team. They will only take away what you tell them to so you don’t need to worry about other precious items going as well. 

They will carry out the service in an efficient and respectful manner and leave you with a tidy, comfortable and livable space.



Feature image credit: trekandshoot / Shutterstock

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