Are You a Hoarder or Just Messy


We all value our things, after all, we bought them for our use to enhance our lives. However, nothing lasts forever and has to be thrown away. Some of us fail to see the value that has diminished and thus start hoarding. Some of us don’t have a strong sense of tidiness and our rooms can get messy, but hoarding is a completely different beast.

In fact we are asking the question: “When is my mess worse than a regular mess?” Defining a regular mess is quite challenging as we all deviate from each other in a lot of ways – but it’s reasonable to say it is not a yard filled with piles of used/broken items or rooms filled a salad of worn clothing and empty soda cans.

People develop irrational tendencies to avoid the discard of things out of fear of loss or future expectations. For example, someone might not throw away an old barbecue because he could use it for spare parts or restoration. Many rationalisations that hoarders give don’t usually align with what goes through a mind of an ordinary person. Thus the differences are formed which we will cover.

Am I a hoarder?

The most telling sign of hoarding can be found in one’s place of living. Similarly to messy people, hoarders are betrayed by their disorganised living space. Unlike being a bit disorderly, hoarders collect a substantial amount of items that your everyday person would treat as throwaway trash. Examples of that could be old newspapers or various promotional handouts. Often their rooms are filled to the point where the original purpose of the furniture is lost.

That is a big mess right? Psychologists suggest that the cause of the issue is a refusal to let things go and thus start accumulating an unmanageable amount of stuff. Since 2013, hoarding has been included into the category of mental illnesses. It isn’t a dominant condition among the population (only a small percent of people have it) and it displays itself on a generous spectrum. Researchers suggest that for some people hoarding could be a manifestation of an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) while others link it to ADHD or dementia. In any case, chances are you most likely aren’t a hoarder, it’s quite noticeable.

Just messy?

A lot of people spend their lives in fairly messy places. Despite being messy here and there it is important that a home is hospitable and is used for its daily needs. This means that the bedrooms can be used for sleeping and the toilets for, well you know what. If you can tidy up your place so it’s welcoming enough for when you have guests – you are probably doing ok.

Similarly to hoarding, most of us have an interest in some things that we want to collect. However we cherish those things by applying meaning to the items from a personal standpoint or we simply have them because of their intrinsic value. If your visitors see your items of choice displayed thanks to those values – the items will be looked at with admiration and desire, the opposite feelings one gets from a hoarder’s display.

Still, if you are on the messier side of the story, you have probably gotten some complaints about the clutter in your house. The complaints are probably inconsistent due to people having different tolerance levels towards clutter. If you feel like the mess is starting to get out of hand, a swift junk removal service could put you in a more manageable position.


The title of this article may trigger thoughts in some have they actually crossed that barrier and entered the hoarding world. Many untidy people probably fear the possible slip into this very undesirable territory. There are ways of course that you can keep yourself in check.

When handling throwaway items, discard them once they have served their purpose. Limit yourself by restricting the area where you can display your bad habits. Admit that it is probably a long-developed problem that cannot be solved overnight – you have to work constantly to change your way of thinking. In case you still feel powerless, try finding professional help or treatment for this issue.

Over 19 million Americans are considered to be hoarders, and this number keeps rising. Spreading awareness about this is key if we are to prevent a junkyard-like neighbourhood popping up nearby. This hoarding shouldn’t be taken lightly. Reports show that hoarding is a great fire hazard that can lead to tragic results like property loss or death. Creating support groups and having compassion for these individuals is key in their recovery and return to normal life.


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