Hoarding disorder is classified as a compulsive behavior pattern, in which a person stockpiles items - usually of little to no value - with the thought that the items will be useful in the future. The disorder generally manifests itself later in life (many hoarding cases are people age 55 and older), though signs of hoarding can start as early as pre-teen years.
Hoarding is often not discovered until after the situation is out of hand - due to the hoarder hiding their home life from the outside world, including (and sometimes especially) family members. Many hoarders are embarrassed, and feel resentful toward interlopers trying to take their belongings, or change their way of life. They can also feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things in their space, and have no place to begin - even if they do want to clear out the clutter. Hoarding situations can also lead to family tension, with one family member simply not understanding the behavior of another.
Hoarding can also lead to health issues - whether it be dust compiling on stacks of old items, to rodents and their droppings, to the possibility of piles falling over and trapping an elderly person. Bedrooms and bathrooms can become so full of things that they are no longer useful, and kitchens can become hosts for bacteria and disease.
Bio-One Chicago North has had some great experiences with hoarding remediation. Our teams have dealt with all kinds of hoarders, and we are always willing to work with the residents to identify and sort which items hold real or sentimental value, what can be donated, and what can be thrown out. Let us help, we can help get your home back in order.