“Compulsive hoarding is the acquisition of and failure to discard a large number of possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value…”— Wikipedia
My mom called it being a “pack rat” — having stuff all over and being unable or unwilling to discard any of it. But, thanks to reality TV, in particular Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive, we now know that being a “pack rat” is just the tip of the iceberg. True compulsive hoarders can end up with sad, clutter-filled lives that become physically dangerous and emotionally lethal…just watch the shows.
Rather than identifying myself as a hoarder, I like to think hoarding, like autism, has a spectrum; I’m definitely on it, but at the “high functioning” end. I don’t clutter my living spaces to the point we can’t walk through. I keep a tidy kitchen and am known to throw away leftovers prematurely. As far as I know, I’m not in danger of losing anyone I love over my inability to get rid of things; but, I do have a really hard time getting rid of things.
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