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Most people collect something at various points in their lives. Hoarding is different.

Hoarding can be described as collecting and being unable to discard of excessive quantities of goods or objects. This often becomes so severe that it causes significant distress and impairment.
Collected items include papers, packaging, films, clothing, furniture and crockery, electrical items, tools, new items, animals, human waste and anything else.

People and professionals can use a ‘clutter image rating’ to measure the extent of hoarding, by comparing a number of images of different rooms.

It is estimated that hoarding affects 2-5% of the population. Excessive hoarding can contribute to health and safety issues as well as contributing to underlying mental health problems.

Hoarding is a recognised mental health problem which needs to be dealt with carefully and sensitively. There can be complex and diverse reasons that lead to hoarding behaviours and working with hoarding cases can be time consuming and stressful for all concerned.

Hoarding cases usually require a multi-agency approach to achieve the right balance between protecting those at risk with the individual’s right to live as they chose.

If you need help or are concerned for someone’s safety and wellbeing, please use the following contact details for key services and organisations that may be able to help:

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