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becomes a disorder when someone collects too many things and has difficulty letting go or throwing out things that are out of date or no longer functioning.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 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 (Crufad) (trial treatments for compulsive behaviours) - call (02) 8382 1400.

Last reviewed: September 2017

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 23 results

RealTime Health - Hoarding & Cluttering (USA)

Read more on RealTime Health website

MindSpot Clinic | OCD Course

The OCD Course is designed to help adults aged 18 and over to manage obsessions and/or compulsions. The OCD Course is designed to provide the information and skills that you would normally receive from a Mental Health Professional.

Read more on MindSpot Clinic website

Dementia - behaviour changes - Better Health Channel

Providing a calm environment for the person with dementia can help to reduce the impact of changes to behaviour patterns.

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

What is perfectionism?

Perfectionism is not necessarily about being ‘perfect’. Ask yourself this question… Is it ever really possible to be 100% ‘perfect’? So, if it’s not about being ‘perfect’, then what do we mean when talk about perfectionism?

Read more on Centre for Clinical Interventions website

What is Bulimia Nervosa? Eating Disorders Explained

Bulimia Nervosa is a serious mental illness that requires treatment; it is not a lifestyle choice.

Read more on NEDC - National Eating Disorders Collaboration website

Warning signs & symptoms

It is important to know the warning signs of an eating disorder. These may indicate that an eating disorder is developing or is being experienced in full. Below are lists of behavioural, physical and psychological signs or changes which often accompany an eating disorder. If you or somebody you know is experiencing several of the following symptoms, it is important to seek help immediately to determine if you/they have a problem. Early intervention is vital in promoting recovery.

Read more on Eating Disorders Victoria website

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in Australia. One in four people will experience an anxiety disorder at some stage of their lives.

Read more on Australian College of Mental Health Nurses website

What is Anorexia Nervosa? Eating Disorders Explained

Anorexia Nervosa is a serious and potentially life threatening mental illness, not a lifestyle choice. A person with Anorexia Nervosa is unwell and needs help.

Read more on NEDC - National Eating Disorders Collaboration website

Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

What is Binge Eating Disorder (BED)? Binge Eating Disorder is a serious mental illness characterised by regular episodes of binge eating. A person with Binge Eating Disorder will not use compensatory behaviours, such as self-induced vomiting or over-exercising after binge eating. Many people with Binge Eating Disorder are overweight or obese.

Read more on NEDC - National Eating Disorders Collaboration website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information 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

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 Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback