What Is Clutter? Difference Between Hoarding & Clutter

Published by 911 Restoration on April 1st 2022
In category: Home Cleaning

Hoarding CleanupWhen does a mess become anything beyond just a mess? You could be concerned that your paper-strewn workstation and clothes-strewn rooms indicate that you’re a hoarder destined for a reality television program. However, most people, even sloppy, fall somewhere in the middle of the clutter spectrum.

What Is Cluttering?

Many individuals live in a state of chaos, yet their homes are safe to walk around in, and they can clean up enough of it to feel comfortable hosting a company. They utilize rooms in the manner they were intended, everything where it belongs.  

Some people amass many objects, but unlike hoarders, these items are valuable or have personal significance to them. Displays of Christmas décor or train sets convey joy and satisfaction to the viewer, rather than the humiliation and grief that might accompany hoarding behavior.

When it comes to clutter, it is mainly in the eyes of the beholder, but hoarding is a mental health disorder. Different people are more or less comfortable with certain degrees of cluttered environments.

Even after receiving professional cleaning or organizing assistance, those who suffer from a problematic level of clutter may have difficulties maintaining a neat house; the mess returns soon after.

What Is Hoarding?

Someone who hoards accumulates large quantities of stuff, frequently of little worth, such as ketchup packets or newspapers. Not one, but forty can openers are available to them.

Because it is unpleasant for a hoarder to part with their possessions, they never do. Stuff accumulates in manners that are hazardous to their health or negatively impact their interactions with others.

You can’t even go up the stairs since their bathroom stalls have been converted into storage containers. Falls and flames are two of the most severe threats.

When one partner can’t stop himself or herself from bringing additional pointless goods into a home that is already overflowing, marriages are frequently put under strain.

Hoarding disorder was officially recognized as a separate mental illness in 2013. Only 2 percent to 5 percent of the population has been diagnosed with this condition. Some experts have suggested that excessive hoarding might manifest itself as an episode of obsessional-compulsive disorder in some persons (OCD). Other research suggests that hoarding may be associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or dementia.

What Is the Difference Between Hoarding and Cluttering?

The terms may appear interchangeable, yet there is a significant difference between hoarding and cluttering. Whereas clutter results from general disorder or disorganization, hoarding is a more severe condition.

The need to gather and store items is referred to as hoarding. According to the National Health Service, this is defined as when someone accumulates an excessive quantity of stuff and stores them in a disorganized manner, resulting in unmanageable levels of clutter in their home. It is a significant mental health condition that must not be disregarded but must also be treated with care and consideration.

Reasons for Hoarding Disorders

A person may develop hoarding disorder due to various circumstances – for example, the individual may be struggling from isolation, depression, or OCD, to mention a few. Because of the large variety of possible reasons, they need to seek expert assistance.

In severe cases, hoarding can substantially affect the sufferer’s personal hygiene and drive them farther away from mainstream society, making it impossible for them to build intimate relationships.

It may result in trip hazards, fire dangers, and even the actual collapse of objects if they are stacked high enough to fall on humans when it comes to practicalities. Simply put, this is a matter that has to be handled immediately.

Is Hoarding a Problem in Your Life? If So, What Should You Do?

An essential thing you could do for people suffering from hoarding disorder is to get them to go to the doctor for their illness. It will have to be treated with caution and tact since it is likely that the hoarder may not perceive their situation as a problem.

Once the person has been diagnosed and treated, you can begin to find a solution that is both efficient and effective.

Most therapies would urge that the patient be significantly involved in this case, but it is critical to have someone around to assist and support them during the process. First and foremost, it will almost certainly be necessary to promote incremental steps in combination with other therapies.

Once they are done, it is vital not to push them through this process, and it may be necessary to hire expert hoarder cleanup assistance.

The Cleaning Up

Cleanup services for hoarders will be focused on three primary areas:

  1. Clean
  2. Clear
  3. Decontaminate

Hoarding disorder treatment is a comprehensive solution that involves identifying objects of significant worth or meaning with the assistance of trusted professionals – a vital point to consider when discussing the next steps with the hoarding problem sufferer.

The entire procedure will be unpleasant and stressful; therefore, it is critical to choose a cleaning company that will manage the matter with tact and professionalism throughout the process. You may be confident that all required measures and processes will be followed when working with Ideal Response.

There is a world of difference between the two when it comes to hoarding. In contrast to hoarding, which indicates a more severe condition that requires immediate care, clutter can be an uncomfortable problem that should be handled.


If you have reason to believe someone is struggling with a hoarding condition, you should take the following three steps:

  1. Encourage them to pursue medical attention from a general practitioner.
  2. Help them with their treatment and therapy.
  3. As soon as they are ready, they should seek professional cleaning assistance.

If you require any guidance or assistance, the 911 Restoration team is always a call away to assist you in such matters and get your place clean like before!