Until 2013, psychiatrists categorized hoarding under obsessive-compulsive disorder. Now, the American Psychiatric Association lists it as a separate condition.

You can be a very messy housekeeper without meeting all the APA criteria for hoarding disorder. People who hoard also often have other psychiatric problems, such as depression, attention deficit disorder, anxiety, OCD, and autism, but they are not the primary reason for the clutter.

Those with hoarding disorder:

• Have trouble parting with possessions regardless of their value.

• Feel a need to save items and are distressed about discarding them.

• Accumulate so much stuff that it is difficult to use rooms for their intended purpose.

• Are upset about the clutter or experience social or work problems or safety concerns because of it.

• Don’t have another medical problem, such as a brain injury, that is causing the hoarding.

This is a visual clutter scale for a bedroom developed by hoarding experts Randy Frost, a psychology professor at Smith College, and Gail Steketee, dean emerita of the Boston University School of Social Work.
Randy Frost and Gail Steketee
This is a visual clutter scale for a bedroom developed by hoarding experts Randy Frost, a psychology professor at Smith College, and Gail Steketee, dean emerita of the Boston University School of Social Work.