People can have very different ideas about what it means to have a cluttered home. For some, a small pile of things in the corner of an otherwise well-ordered room constitutes serious clutter. For others, only when the narrow pathways make it hard to get through a room does the clutter register.
Signs of Hoarding Disorder
Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, PhD, talks about signs of hoarding disorder.
How can you tell when the saving and clutter goes past normal clutter and becomes true hoarding disorder (HD)? The Clutter Image Rating Scale (CIR) was developed to help individuals and professionals alike determine where to draw the line. The images below represent rooms in various stages of clutter — from completely clutter-free to very severely cluttered. In general, rooms or homes that reach the level of picture #4 or higher reflect a level of impact on every day life that might qualify for an HD diagnosis and will benefit from seeking help.
Download the Clutter Image Rating Scale (PDF).
Do you …
- Have difficulty getting rid of items?
- Have a large amount of clutter in the office, at home, in the car, or in other spaces (i.e. storage units) that makes it difficult to use furniture or appliances or move around easily?
- Often lose important items like money or bills in the clutter?
- Feel overwhelmed by the volume of possessions that have “taken over” the house or workspace?
- Find it difficult to stop taking free items, such as advertising flyers or sugar packets from restaurants?
- Buy things because they are a “bargain” or to “stock up”?
- Avoid inviting family or friends into the home due to shame or embarrassment?
- Refuse to let people into the home to make repairs?
If you answered yes to 1 or more of the above questions, you may have hoarding disorder. Click here to learn more about hoarding disorder and here to read about treatment options.