The Atlantic recently published an article about hoarding disorder after a reporter visited the Annual Hoarding Meeting at the 23rd Annual OCD Conference in Chicago. The headline refers to organizational expert, Marie Kondo, and the recent popularity of her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
The popularity of Kondo’s method might have raised awareness of hoarding, said Elias Aboujaoude, the director of the OCD Clinic at Stanford University, but the approach also risks oversimplifying hoarding and its causes.
“While [Kondo’s method] may be reasonable advice for the rest of us, a hoarder is driven by the following fear: ‘What if I need it someday?’” Aboujaoude told me via email. “Therefore, while they acknowledge that a particular item is not currently giving them joy, they worry excessively about needing it in the future but no longer having access to it.”