Hoarders live in such cluttered spaces that it is hard to imagine any cleanliness to them. Why are hoarders dirty?
A hoarder’s house fills with a range of items from rubbish to collectable items and the clutter makes the house feel dirty. Hoarding takes up lots of space in a house, stopping people from being able to properly clean the house. This allows dirt and grime to build up, making the hoarding space dirty.
Read on to learn more!
Why are hoarders considered dirty?
Hoarders are considered dirty because of the amount of clutter that takes up their living spaces. This clutter makes it very hard to clean the house properly, causing a build-up of dirt and grime in all kinds of places.
The hoarder themselves may not be dirty people, and the house might not be as dirty as it appears. But with lots of collected items filling up so much space in a hoarder’s house, it is hard for it not to feel dirty.
The items that are hoarded can also contribute to a hoarder’s house feeling dirty. Often, hoarding can start with little things that should have been thrown away, such as a pizza box, soft drink cans, and newspapers. Something about these items can be considered collectable and hoarders develop attachments to them. Unfortunately, pizza boxes and soft drink cans are typically rubbish items, so seeing those collected in a house makes the house become dirty. This takes away associations between cleanliness and hoarding, causing hoarders to be considered dirty too
Are all hoarders dirty?
Not all hoarders are actually dirty, though it can feel that way. This is because the home of a hoarder can appear very messy. It may have an order that makes sense to them, but to other people, it looks like piles of rubbish and mess.
There is a range of hoarders that focus solely on collectable items but take it to a more extreme level than an everyday collector. If this is the case, they take a lot of pride in their collected items and will often attempt to keep the items as clean as possible. So, the space around hoarded products may not be as dirty as they appear. Unfortunately, though, with the large number of items that are hoarded, it is hard to believe that the space can be clean in any capacity.
There are some instances where a hoarder is actually living in a dirty space. Hoarding can often be associated with mental health struggles, meaning the hoarder could be suffering from feelings of depression or anxiety. This can stop them from having the motivation to clean. So, while their hoarded items build up, so too does the actual dirt and mess in the house.
Is hoarding unsanitary?
Hoarding is considered unsanitary because it makes it very difficult to properly clean a house. This allows for mould and other dirt and grime to build up in hard-to-see/reach places. Hoarding disorders are broken up into five different levels that all have a range of unsanitary behaviour:
Level 1 hoarding
The hoarder’s residence at this level may have a slight amount of clutter but no odours. The doors, stairways, and windows are still accessible. The sanitary conditions at this level are still okay. Since there is no chaotic clutter, the disorder may not be obvious, but the individual still finds it challenging to get rid of unnecessary items in the house.
Level 2 hoarding
Level two hoarding happens when more clutter accumulates in the home. Housekeeping becomes inconsistent. Odours from an uncleaned floor, dirty dishes, animal waste, mildew and other sources fill the house.
Level 3 hoarding
The hoarder’s home has more than one dysfunctional appliance; clutter makes certain house areas inaccessible. The heating and air conditioning systems are dysfunctional. There is poor sanitation, including garbage cans, debris, and dirt in the house. The irritating odours and unsanitary levels make the house unbearable to stay in for normal individuals.
Level 4 hoarding
The building has noticeable mildew and moulds, sewage, and odours from rotten food. You may also see evidence of structural damage that has lasted for months, including broken windows and doors. All dishes and utensils are dirty, and the house may be a den for rodents.
Level 5 hoarding
Hoarding level 5 is the worst level, with clutter filling the kitchen and bathroom, rendering these essential spaces unusable. The odours throughout the house are extreme. Rodents and other non-pet animals are all over the house, feasting on rotting food in a dysfunctional refrigerator.
Hoarders in this level rarely stay in their homes, opting to stay with friends or family members. They could discharge their waste in bottles and leave them in the house for days. They may have noticeable depression symptoms, thus needing medical care.
Why do hoarders keep trash?
Hoarding disorder can move an individual to save stuff because they think these items are important or will be needed in the future. The items could also have emotional significance to the hoarder, reminding them of their favourite pets or happier times. Some people also hoard things because they feel secure when surrounded by possessions, regardless of their value. Besides collecting trash from outside, hoarders also buy things they do not need and stockpile them at home. Hoarding stuff brings them a measure of satisfaction, but before they know it, the place is chaotic.
Do hoarders throw anything away?
Hoarders struggle to throw things away, even the most useless junk in the house. What is normally the problem? A recent study associated hoarding practice with abnormal brain functioning. The study found an abnormal activity in a certain part of their brain when presented with a decision to keep or throw away something.
Researchers suggest that hoarding results from a poor decision-making process, as seen in their brain activity patterns. Hoarding is also linked with several psychological impairments, such as difficulty paying attention.
Initially, psychologists thought that hoarding was purely the result of obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, new studies and treatment experience points to the brain for the problem.
Hoarders develop emotional attachments to all their hoarded items and can experience severe panic if these are touched or tossed away. Because of this emotional distress, hoarders will not throw their items away. Instead, they continue to add to their collections.
Why do hoarders keep faeces?
Hoarders can suffer from mental health issues and lapse in decision making. Since their bathroom is rarely washed and is filled with stuff, they turn to empty bottles to discharge their waste. However, since they do not want to throw anything away, they keep these bottles with faeces in their homes.
Do hoarders ever clean?
Even after therapy, hoarders find it challenging to clean and declutter mess in the house. It seems very painful to let go of the junk, but the job can be done. The task can also be overwhelming and time-consuming, meaning most hoarders may lack the willpower to clean up. In these instances, family members and friends can hire a professional to help clean up the mess. The beauty of hiring a professional organizer is that they do not have any emotional connection to the garbage.
A good way to help a hoarder declutter is to hire a skip bin. This way you can neatly pack their items in the skip, which can decrease the distress they feel. We have lots of skip bins for hire here at Capital Hire. We can deliver skips to Canberra and skips to Bungendore and more!