What are the main traits of a hoarder?

Hoarding disorder is a complex and challenging behavior that is characterized by the excessive accumulation of possessions, often resulting in cluttered and unmanageable living spaces. While hoarding behavior can vary widely from person to person, there are some common traits and patterns that are often seen in individuals who struggle with hoarding.

  1. Difficulty discarding possessions: One of the primary traits of hoarding is difficulty discarding possessions, even when they are no longer needed or useful. Individuals who hoard may feel a strong emotional attachment to their possessions, or may fear losing important information or memories if they get rid of items.

  2. Excessive clutter: Hoarding behavior often leads to excessive clutter in living spaces, making it difficult to move around, access necessary items, or perform daily activities such as cooking or cleaning.

  3. Strong emotional attachment to possessions: For many individuals who hoard, their possessions hold significant emotional meaning or are tied to important memories or experiences. This attachment to possessions can make it difficult to let go of items, even if they are no longer needed or useful.

  4. Avoidance of others: Hoarding behavior can also lead to social isolation, as individuals who hoard may avoid inviting others over or participating in social activities due to embarrassment or shame about the state of their living spaces.

  5. Difficulty with organization: Hoarding behavior can make it difficult for individuals to organize their possessions, leading to clutter and disorganization. This can also make it difficult to make decisions about what to keep and what to discard.

  6. Risk of health problems: Hoarding behavior can also contribute to health problems, as clutter can increase the risk of falls, respiratory issues, and other health problems.


It is important to note that hoarding behavior can vary widely from person to person, and not all individuals who hoard will exhibit all of these traits. However, if you or someone you know is struggling with hoarding behavior, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional who is experienced in treating hoarding disorder. Treatment for hoarding often involves a combination of therapy, medication, and practical support, and can help individuals create a more manageable living space and improve their quality of life.