Recognising when someone is a hoarder can be  particularly difficult when the person themselves does not see a problem with the condition of their home. So how do you recognise when someone is being messy, collecting or hoarding?


In the early stages or in less extreme cases, it isn’t always easy for family or friends to differentiate hoarding disorder from being messy and disorganized or just having too much stuff. So, at what point does it cross the line?

People who are messy or prone to clutter usually still feel comfortable inviting others into their home. Despite the untidiness, their rooms remain accessible and can be used for their original purpose. A hoarder, on the other hand, may use the bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen to store piles of newspapers, boxes, plastic bags, or other worthless items, making it hard to use the toilet, get to bed, or cook.

People who collect tend to proudly keep their items on display and derive pleasure from their collections, rather than the guilt, shame, or anxiety associated with hoarding. A collector’s items usually have an obvious monetary or personal value and while their home may be crowded, it’s not disorganized like a hoarder’s where items are often difficult to find.

People who hoard tend to do so with an intensity that distinguishes them from collectors and messy people. Their need to acquire and retain even worthless items is compulsive and they have a real difficulty getting rid of things. You may also find that food waste and human waste is not disposed of correctly causing an unpleasant smell within the home. Rodents and other pests can often be present where food has been left out encouraging them to feed and even reside there. Rooms may be inaccessible and not fit for purpose, i.e. clutter in the bath tub, or items left on kitchen worktops and oven hobs making them impossible to use.


We are available to help remove clutter for properties with a sensitive approach, we understand that hoarding is a disorder and must be dealt with in a professional manner. For further information on 24 Seven’s hoarding clean up service, please either contact us on 02036408247 or email us at [email protected]


Hoarding Clean Up