How to Know if You Are a Hoarder

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Consider whether you are a hoarder. Is your basement or garage scary because it's so full of stuff? Take a look at piles of clutter next to and under your bed. Peer inside those organizer baskets, or maybe you can't look "in" them because they're overflowing. Check out the space around your computer; hey, even the "desktop" of your computer screen may tell you something.

  • Ask yourself if you like to save things and dislike throwing away things, especially paper. Observe any stacks of newspaper in your family room or bedroom. Check around your computer and keyboard, and even phone, for paper scraps. Paper is a big giveaway in terms of determining your status as a hoarder, especially old paper.

  • Notice your electronics. If DVDs and VHS tapes you never watch are spilling from their storage places, you may be a hoarder. If you keep your phone messages for no reason except that it hurts you to delete them, this may also be a sign.

  • Be aware of what your computer says about you. Are you the proud owner of a cluttered computer screen desktop, filled with icons never deleted or placed in folders, because you just like to see them or have them around? What about that Favorites list on your computer? More than 50 on your list may qualify you as a hoarder.

  • Listen to that voice in your head. If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of getting rid of stuff--if that voice rationalizes, "But I might need it someday," over and over again--this is a clue.

  • Realize that if you find yourself going out to buy more and more organizers, drawers and baskets--containers of any type--it may be because you keep collecting more things you never wish to purge.

Tips & Warnings

  • Even mild hoarding can be a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (this is a spectrum).
  • <br>Too much hoarding can be hazardous to your health since dust, mold and even mice can congregate in and on piles of clutter.

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