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The Psychology of Hoarding


Photo Credit:  Alex Foster

Photo Credit: Alex Foster

My mom likes to keep all old, unused, broken or spoilt things. My house is full of empty bottles, can, container, newspapers, flyers, old clothes, old furniture & electrical appliances, etc.

Please tell me how can I change her weird habit and get rid of all this stuff. I Have tried to explain to her many times but she is too stubborn to listen and never tries to understand my feelings.

Anybody have a solution to this problem? Thanks.

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Jun 28, 2010
by: Anonymous

Ok... My heart goes out to you. I have had a mother like yours for 50+ years and it's been an incredible challenge.

When my mother and I were forced to move in together due to her health and our finances, she came with all of her stuff into my otherwise neat and orderly environment.

I love my mother and she has many good qualities like being generous and helpful, but her hoarding is out of control.

In order for us to live together and me not loose it, I do not enter her room as it only depresses me. I also put all of her stuff in the basement and rarely go down there either. She refuses to part with her stuff and says it represents all the work she did over the years.

I would suggest you let your mom have her space until she is willing to let go of the stuff (if ever). I would not allow her to clutter up the space you have or live in jointly. When my mom does that - I draw the line and throw the junk in her room. If she wants to keep it- it must go in her room.

Hoarding is a sign of internal unrest. Many issues are underlying that have never been dealt with - so they think stuff will fill the void... but it doesn't.

Best to you. Keep your space peaceful and organized.

Jun 17, 2008
Useful Article on Hoarding
by: David

Click Here to read a Psychology Today article entitiled "Hoarding: The Clean Sweep. Learn to let go and get rid of everyday junk, even if you think you might use it someday.

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