4 facts about hoarding disorder everyone intending to help others should know

4 facts about hoarding disorder everyone intending to help others should know

Around 2 to 6% of the U.S. population struggles with hoarding. As research develops around this topic, it’s clear, more so than ever, that hoarding is, in fact, a mental health disorder and, as such, it must be treated with the appropriate level of respect and consideration. 


The reasons for hoarding depend on each individual, and the reality they’re facing. It is wrong to assume that someone struggling with hoarding is doing it for the same reasons as others, although symptoms do come down to one specific problem: a constant difficulty with parting with their personal belongings.


Many people tend to mistake hoarding disorder with other conditions like depression, anxiety, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The reality is that a person struggling with hoarding disorder may be dealing with other mental health conditions as well, but they’re definitely not the same. 


The same happens with clutterers. In a recent interview with The Sydney Morning Gerald, Peter Walsh, Organization and Decluttering Expert from Nine Network’s show Space Invaders, commented on the clear difference between hoarding and clutter problems. He said “[Clutterers] are high-functioning people, just with a lot of stuff in their house. There’s never a problem with cleanliness or access to the house.”


Hoarders tend to struggle with major living functionality problems. The lack of proper hygiene poses a highly dangerous environment for the victims themselves, and anyone with the intention of helping. Hoarding is associated with fire hazards, diseases, infection from rotten food and waste, risk of fall caused by the clutter in common traffic areas such as staircases and hallways, among other things.


Bio-One of Oceanside is the trusted company when it comes to hoarding cleanup and clutter removal services in the North San Diego County area and surrounding communities. We are sharing four facts about hoarding disorder everyone intending to help others should know.

People dealing with hoarding disorder usually live in poor, unsafe conditions caused by the accumulation of clutter and waste.

It’s not about how much the possessions are worth, it’s about what they mean to hoarders, emotionally


Hoarders accumulate all sorts of things: newspapers, books, food, collectibles, household appliances… even animals. The things you would find on a hoarded property would surprise you because it’s never about what these possessions are worth. Hoarders are emotionally attached to their belongings, and that is exactly what makes it so hard to even think about discarding them. 


If you come across a hoarding situation and wish to the victim, you need to tread lightly and be considered about their belongings, and keep a fluid communication with them to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. If this process becomes too challenging, remember we are here to help


Hoarding disorder may be triggered by a traumatic life event


People may develop hoarding disorder after a traumatic life event. It can be a romantic separation, losing a loved one, a pet, a job… People may have a hard time assimilating these situations, so they turn to hoarding as a coping mechanism. Maybe the things you find in the hoarded property remind the person of events and moments they’re not ready to let go of. Be very thoughtful when approaching these situations. Hoarding is an emotionally difficult process for everyone involved.

Help from mental health professionals is recommended -and necessary- to diagnose and treat the person struggling with hoarding disorder


People struggling with hoarding disorder usually isolate themselves from family and friends. Embarrassment is common too, as hoarded properties are usually in poor, unfavorable conditions. 


The problem with hoarding disorder is that hoarders don’t see it as a problem. Unsurprisingly, they are not likely to seek help. If you think someone dealing with a hoarding disorder may be in danger, do not hesitate to call a professional. Doctors will assess the situation and diagnose the person based on information about the person’s living habits. 

Bio-One of Oceanside's hoarding cleanup specialists can help you get your life back on track.

Hoarding disorder can not be prevented, but it can be treated


Hoarding disorder can be treated and the expectations are favorable for those who receive help. Mental health professionals usually use Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other decision-making exercises and techniques to educate the individual about their relationship with their belongings and possessions.


Eventually, the goal is to have the individual return to a safe, hazard-free environment. This process may be overwhelming and dangerous to tackle on your own. Don’t hesitate to turn to a professional to properly clean and disinfect the property after a hoarding situation.


If you want to help someone struggling with a hoarding disorder, Bio-One of Oceanside’s certified technicians can help you. We are committed to helping our community in their greatest time of need. Hoarding is usually difficult to tackle due to the clutter and waste resulting from these situations. Bio-One of Oceanside works closely with victim advocate groups, hoarding task forces, and emergency responders to make sure that everyone involved in a hoarding situation gets the help they need. 

Bio-One - Help First, Business Second!

Bio-One is the  #1 Disinfection, Sanitation, and Decontamination Company in North San Diego County, providing Professional, Industry-leading services in all kinds of extreme scenarios:

Extreme Cleaning and Recovery Services


  • Crime and trauma scene cleanup
  • Blood and biohazard cleanup
  • Undiscovered death cleanup
  • Homicide/Suicide cleanup
  • Feces and bodily fluids cleanup
  • Mold remediation
  • Water remediation
  • Emergency vehicle decontamination

Extreme Hoarding cleanup services


  • Hoarding cleanup
  • Animal hoarding cleanup
  • Gross filth cleanup
  • Deep clean
  • Junk removal
  • Hazardous waste disposal
  • Nicotine stain/odor removal
  • Odor removal


When a traumatic event occurs, Bio-One arrives on-scene to help and assist victims. We partner with local law enforcement, emergency responders, victim advocate groups, hoarding task forces, apartment communities, insurance companies, and others to provide the most efficient and superior service possible. 


We are a locally-owned business, operating since August of 2020 with the goal of helping our community through difficult and unexpected situations. Our certified technicians are caring, compassionate, and discreet. We are ready to help you in your greatest time of need. 


Serving North San Diego and surrounding communities! 


We are proud to serve all of San Diego County, Southern Orange County, and surrounding communities: Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, Fallbrook, Escondido, San Marcos, and Bonsall; we also serve the Southern Orange County area: San Clemente, Dana Point, Rancho Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Ladera Ranch, San Juan Capistrano, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita, Irvine, and Costa Mesa.


We are proud members of the Southern California Rental Housing Association and the Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Vista Chambers of Commerce!


We are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Give us a call at 760-429-0729.

Published by:

Rafael Alemán.

request a service