What Are the Five Levels of Hoarding?

What Are the Five Levels of Hoarding?

Hoarding disorder – a term that is increasingly becoming common in today’s society, yet so often misunderstood. Many individuals may associate hoarding with cluttered homes or excessive accumulation of items, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Hoarding disorder is a complex mental health condition that affects millions of people around the world, disrupting their daily lives and social functioning.

Keep reading to learn more on what hoarding disorder is, the five levels of hoarding, and how you can help you or someone you know with hoarding disorder.

What Is Hoarding Disorder?

At its core, hoarding disorder involves persistent difficulty in parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value or usefulness. It is not simply about being disorganized or having a messy living space. In fact, individuals with hoarding disorder often hold a deep emotional attachment to their possessions, making it extremely challenging to discard or even consider getting rid of them.

The accumulation of various items – be it newspapers and magazines, clothes, household goods, or even animals – eventually leads to cluttered living spaces that become unsafe and unsanitary. Hoarding disorder can lead to severe consequences, including compromised mobility, increased risk of falls, and health hazards such as mold, pests, or fire hazards.

What Are the Five Levels of Hoarding?

Defined as the excessive accumulation of items and the inability to discard them, hoarding can wreak havoc on a person’s life and surroundings. At Xtreme Cleaners, we understand the unique challenges and emotional toll that hoarding can have on individuals. That is why we have identified and categorized the five levels of hoarding to better comprehend its severity and provide tailored cleaning solutions.

Level 1: Minimal Clutter

At this level, a person’s living area may appear relatively organized to an outsider. However, behind closed doors, hoarders may struggle with excessive attachment to items and find it difficult to let go, even when unnecessary. Minimal clutter is typically confined to a few designated areas, such as closets, drawers, or basements.

Level 2: Moderate Clutter

Hoarding starts to become more evident at this level. Moderate clutter signifies a significant accumulation of possessions, making it challenging to navigate or utilize space effectively. Hoarders may experience a growing difficulty in cleaning, as clutter spreads throughout multiple rooms or extends outside designated storage areas.

Level 3: Severe Clutter

When hoarding progresses to level three, it becomes a severe issue. At this stage, hoarders often find it nearly impossible to control the unrelenting accumulation of possessions. Living spaces become heavily cluttered, making them hazardous and unsanitary. The hoarder may have limited access to essential facilities, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or bedrooms, further impacting their quality of life.

Level 4: Extreme Clutter

Extreme clutter is an alarming escalation of hoarding behavior. At this level, the living environment becomes virtually uninhabitable and poses severe health and safety risks. Piles of clutter reach dangerous heights and start to compromise structural integrity or block exits. The hoarder’s ability to function independently and maintain personal hygiene dramatically deteriorates, requiring immediate intervention.

Level 5: Hoarding Crisis

The highest level of hoarding, a hoarding crisis, represents an urgent situation that demands immediate attention. This level involves life-threatening conditions due to significant clutter, unsanitary conditions, pest infestations, and potential fire hazards. Hoarders at this stage often experience severe distress and face eviction or legal consequences if left unaddressed.

Recommended: What Is the Fastest Way to Clean a Hoarder’s House?

How to Help Someone with Hoarding Disorder

Here are three effective ways to help someone with hoarding disorder regain control over their living environment and promote a healthier and happier lifestyle.

  • Foster open communication. Understand that hoarding is not a choice, but rather a psychological disorder. Start by creating a safe and supportive space where your loved one can express their thoughts and emotions without fear of condemnation or criticism.
  • Encourage professional support. Encourage your loved one to seek help from mental health professionals experienced in treating hoarding disorder. These experts can offer comprehensive assessments, provide appropriate therapy options, and devise a personalized treatment plan tailored to their specific needs.
  • Assist with practical solutions. Supporting someone with hoarding disorder goes beyond emotional assistance. Offering practical solutions can play a significant role in their recovery journey. Encourage them to develop a sorting system, utilizing categories such as keep, donate, and discard. Assist in creating a realistic cleaning schedule, breaking down tasks into manageable portions to avoid overwhelming them.

How Xtreme Cleaners Can Help with Hoarding

No matter the severity, Xtreme Cleaners is dedicated to assisting hoarders through compassionate and non-judgmental approaches, ensuring a respectful and supportive cleaning experience tailored to each individual’s needs.

With years of experience in the cleaning industry, Xtreme Cleaners has established itself as a reliable and trustworthy company that offers exceptional cleaning services. Whether you need assistance with household cleaning or an extreme hoarding disorder, their team of professional cleaners is fully equipped to handle any challenge.
Give Xtreme Cleaners a call today and experience the difference they can make in maintaining a spotless and hygienic environment.