Hoarding describes a condition where a person collects and keeps a large quantity of items, all of immense value to them.
Hoarding can result in extreme clutter in and around the home.
People with this condition
have a strong desire to save
possessions and experience
significant distress if asked to
Animal hoarding is another
form of this condition where
people live with large numbers
of animals that they are unable
to care for appropriately.
This includes not being able to provide a minimum standard of nutrition, sanitation and veterinary care for the animals.
Squalor describes an unsanitary living environment which poses health and safety risks to people or animals residing in the home. Prolonged or extreme hoarding may lead to squalor.
Hoarding is a diagnosable and treatable, behavioural mental health condition.
Risks of hoarding
Some of the risks and impacts of hoarding include:
risk of fire
deterioration of mental and physical health
the mental and physical health of others living in the home
damage to housing structures
health of animals including sanitation
If you are a hoarder, or know someone who is, it is important to remember:
Hoarding is a mental health condition; it is not a case of a person being dirty, lazy or in a particular socio-economic group.
It is not easy to treat someone with a hoarding condition.
Everyone is different and needs to be supported individually.
One-off clean ups are not effective and can cause great distress and pain for the person concerned.
Animal hoarding is where there is an accumulation of large numbers of animals that overwhelms a person's ability to provide a minimum standard of nutrition, sanitation and veterinary care of the animals.
Minimise risk of fire
Fire can be a significant risk for people who hoard. MFB
and CFA recommend risk
reduction with these measures:
Working smoke alarms, tested monthly
Wide internal pathways
Safe connection of utilities, for example: gas and electricity
Cooking areas having one metre clearance around all fixed or portable appliances and meal preparation areas
One metre clearance of all fixed and portable heating
Naked flame(s) are identified and removed
Electrical appliances that are not required are disconnected
Electrical extension, appliance cords and attached
items need to be identified
Electrical power boards are identified and ensure safe use:
One power board per point
No double adaptors plugged into power boards
Unplug power boards plugged into other power boards
Remove accumulated items on power boards
Help is available
Learn more about:
This information has been developed by the Geelong Hoarding Network, funded by the City of Greater Geelong.
All information provided on these pages was current as of August 2015.
The Geelong Hoarding Network and associated agencies, groups, organisations and Government departments are not responsible for the use of, or results of use of, this information/guide.