This topic was inspired by a TV reality show called “Hoarders” This is where mental health and public safety professionals go into hoarders’ homes and clear out decades of newspapers, clothing, and soiled diapers, just to name a few items. The hoarders have amassed piles of stuff so high that they navigate their homes through narrow pathways. They face the threat of having their children taken away from them, because they have cats and other animals burrowing in piles of old pizza boxes. I’m telling you, it’s not for the faint hearted.


“Hoarders” always makes me think about the fine line between sanity and insanity. These people are not deemed insane simply because they amass large amounts of stuff. People who hoard money are praised as savers. The thing that makes the hoarders insane is that the things they are hoarding have no value or use to them at the present time, but they have a true fear that they may need them in the future.

Pack rat is another name for a hoarder a person who stores anything they acquire and will discard none of it.

This topic will be a 3 part series;  this article  will  highlight the  signs of a potential hoarder…

You   have hoarding tendencies if you will be ashamed to have people in your home… you will not allow or encourage people to come over because of the pile of stuff stacked everywhere. The whispers, the side eyes they give, the hesitance to sit down. You can smell the judgemental looks from mile away

If you have broken, spoiled or unusable belongings sitting around the house, but keep them anyway. The fact that you watch a TV that sits on top of two more broken TVs, mobile phones, old laptops, broken blenders, worn out shoes; old cloths that you will never use or see the light of the day– you might think you need them someday. But you refuse to let go of these and countless other neglected gems that makes you a salient hoarder

Typical examples:  leaving clothes to hang for years untouched in the wardrobe, refusing to throw them away in case you wake up one morning and it miraculously fits again, or is suddenly at the height of fashion. Or you spent so much money on it that you feel so reluctant to give it away or it has some sentimental value.

Are you unable to properly use the kitchen, bathroom or any room in the house because it’s full of junk? Is your sofa or bed buried underneath another pile of random belongings? If you can’t utilize your space the way it was meant to be used, there’s definitely a problem that needs to be addressed.

In theory, it’s a nice idea to hold onto those things passed down from your parents and grandparents or sentimental value. But when the collection of stuff is stashed in the back of a   closet for 365 days a year, you clearly don’t cherish them anyway. In your mind, tossing these items will result in guilt for years to come. Guess what: it won’t. If it absolutely tears you up inside to even think about getting rid of your decade old hot cloths, you might indeed have a hoarding problem. What normally would be considered trash –old cups, pots, plastic bags, Ghana must go bags that contain nothing valuable…. or cardboard boxes – becomes painfully precious and personal to you.

What’s your weakness? Shoes, clothes, Brazilian hair, wigs, makeups, technology like phone, laptops, tablets, emails, cars etc.? Do you have enough identical items to last you through the apocalypse and beyond? Do you save things often because you are concerned about how you will feel if you need them in the future and no longer have them? Do you often save things without a clear idea of how you’ll use them in the future? Hoarders are notorious for accumulating quantities of products that’ll last for weeks, months and even years.  If you realize that if you lived as long as 200, you’d never be able to read all the books, magazines, and old newspapers you have, nor could you wear out all the clothing you’ve collected then you are a potential hoarder……

Even though your small space is packed to the max, your closets are full; you’re constantly bringing new items into your apartment without doing some purging to make room, you might be a hoarder. Buying things because there are on sale or cheap and you don’t really have the need for them… does this ring a bell with any of us… sewing the next Aso_ebi for a wedding that you will only use once…. If you are an impulsive-acquirer, tending to compulsively buy or get anything that interests you.  You get or buy things simply for the thrill it brings you.

Do you take free things, like shampoos from hotels or creams, soaps, Gift from parties? That you never end up using.

The more of these questions you answered yes to, the stronger your hoarding tendencies, and it’s likely your environment is cluttered. So the big question is; Are you a pack rat?

This week spend time looking at your environment, is it cluttered?  Find out what you are holding on to like old clothing, Junk drawer, documents… what is taking unnecessary space? Watch yourself; observe…  In part 2  I will highlight what makes us hoarders.