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Hoarding and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

Both the term “Hoarding” and “OCD” seem to be used quite loosely in society, and it is certainly not my intent to have someone believe they have a disorder when they simply do not. The following checklist is taken from the book Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, Second Edition, by Fred Penzel, PhD, 2017. If you have possessions overtaking your home, review the checklist and see if you truly may have Hoarding/Collecting Compulsions – a symptom of OCD. You can find more information about how to deal with the compulsion in the above referenced book. Also, if you decide to clean out your home with an organizer, it is helpful for the organizer to know what you are struggling with.

Hoarding/Collecting Compulsion

- You may be saving things for yourself or for others.

- The symptoms may be current or in the past.

- Severity is not determined by the number of symptoms. You may have one symptom, but have it severely, or have many symptoms, but only slightly.

*Saving broken, irreparable, or useless items

*Buying excessive quantities of items beyond an amount needed for reasonable usage

*Retrieving from or searching through your own or other people’s trash

*Inability to throw things out due to fear of accidentally throwing important items away

*Going to excessive lengths (including extreme self-denial) to save money

*Saving excessive quantities of informational matter (newspapers, old lists, magazines, junk mail, etc.)

*Saving items simply because they belong to yourself or loved ones

*Having to own complete collections of certain things, even if not important

*Keeping extensive lists or records of certain things

*Other ________________________________________________________________

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