Hazards of Hoarding

Messy room hoarder

By Cassandra Fallow

Recognizing Hoarding And Finding Avenues Of Support 

Compulsive hoarding is a private condition more prevalent than you would think, with anywhere between 5 and 14 million U.S. citizens qualifying as a hoarder. With symptoms similar to what’s recognized as obsessive compulsive disorder, hoarding is a subtle practice that can appear benign from a distance. Most hoarders live normal personal and work lives, while succumbing to a habit that renders their home and other spaces hazardous to their health. A habit as dangerous as hoarding can lead to the literal infection of a living space and pose a serious danger to one’s physical and mental condition. Here are some typical hazards of compulsive hoarding, both within the home and the workplace.

A Nest for Disease

Most hoarders amass their clutter from a need for personal security, usually resulting from subsequent anxieties or possible depression. While a cluttered home could be considered a haven of comfort early on, as time passes a myriad of health hazards develop within a hoarder’s living space. From dust, to the development of fungus, and the infestation of pests, what should be a manageable home becomes an infected catacomb. It may appear impossible to deconstruct and dispose of such chaos once accumulated, especially when considering most obsessive hoarding occurs past middle age - meaning a diagnosee’s physical constitution may not be suitable for intense cleaning. Luckily, domestic organizational services exist which provide the personnel and skill necessary in excavating and organizing hazardous living spaces, restoring order and hygiene to the home.

Office Space Hazards

Typically considered a domestic issue, hoarding habits can carry over into the workplace, leading to the potential risk of employee’s health. The biggest threat posed by office hoarding would be the potential for fire, while physical obstruction and risk to structural integrity as a result of mold are also factors to be considered when assessing a workplace hoarding issue. As with domestic spaces, cleaning organizations that specialize in the commercial sector offer sanitation services which will ensure the return of the workplace to a hygienic and safe state for employees.  

Despite appearing harmless when compared to other pathological conditions, hoarding should not be dismissed from concern, given its potential to cause consistent and long lasting issues to one’s physical and environmental health. Take action early on to prevent the dangerous accumulation of unnecessary clutter, but if overwhelmed, take advantage of services available that will assist in reclaiming spaces lost to refuse.