Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Hoarding disorder

2-minute read

What is hoarding disorder?

Many people collect things as a hobby or for sentimental reasons — from stamps to their kids' teeth. However, some people's compulsion to collect and keep things can have a negative impact on their everyday life.

Hoarding becomes a disorder when someone collects too many things and has difficulty letting go or throwing out things that are out of date or no longer functioning. Often, people who hoard have difficulty moving around their home because of the number of things they have accumulated. The person may even no longer be able to maintain or clean their home.

Complications of hoarding disorder

People who hoard often buy too much, so as to keep up with their compulsion, which can result in financial hardship and/ or relationship problems. Hoarding can lead to living in squalid conditions, which is a health hazard. Compulsive buying and hoarding has links to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression.

Where to get help

Talk to your doctor or another trusted health professional if this is happening to you, and discuss your situation and how you are feeling. You can also call:

  • Mindspot (free treatment course designed to help people with compulsions learn to overcome their distressing obsessions) — call 1800 614 434.
  • ThisWayUp (trial treatments for compulsive behaviours) — call (02) 8382 1400.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: September 2019

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Hoarding Disorder - WayAhead

Hoarding is a disorder that presents persistent difficulty with discarding or parting with possessions. The person who experiences hoarding disorder perceives the items to be a necessity, therefore the need to save them.

Read more on WayAhead Mental Health Association NSW website

What should I do to prepare for coronavirus isolation? -

There's no need for massive hoarding, but there are some smart moves you can make if you have a chronic disease.

Read more on myDr website

Obsessive compulsive disorder - family and friends - Better Health Channel

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders | Head to Health

Have you ever gone out and then had the uneasy feeling that you left the iron on or the door unlocked? It happens to us all. But if these thoughts take up a lot of time and make life difficult, it may be a sign that you have an obsessive-compulsive or related disorder.

Read more on Head to Health website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo