The mission of the Hamilton County Hoarding Collaborative is to provide a fair and standardized approach to working with people in hoarding situations, while providing resources, education, and guidance to the community. Download our Hamilton County Hoarding Collaborative Brochure here.


How Can I Tell If I am a Hoarder?

  • Avoid throwing away possessions (common hoarded items are newspapers, magazines, paper and plastic bags, cardboard boxes, photographs, household supplies, food, and clothing);
  • Experience severe anxiety about discarding possessions;
  • Have trouble making decisions about organizing possessions;
  • Anxious about others touching possessions;
  • Obsessive thoughts about possessions (e.g., fear of running out of an item and needing it later—checking the garbage to see what was discarded ) ;
  • Functional impairments (e.g., loss of living space, no place to eat, sleep or cook), and social isolation.


Where Do I Start?

  1. Decide to start NOW .
  2. Involve others who care about you and your situation.
  3. Develop a plan and set goals.
  4. Be patient – Your problems were not created overnight and they are not going to be fixed overnight.
  5. Make three piles, one room at a time.
    1. Donate —items should be donated the same day.
    2. Put away—items to keep.
    3. Discard —items should be discarded the same day.


How Do I Help Others Whom I Feel Might be Hoarders?

  • Don’t use judgmental language – match their language; don’t use words that devalue their possessions .
  • Make positive suggestions — highlight their strengths.
  • Avoid touching their possessions —let them do the work and make the decisions .
  • Focus on safety first — ensure that all utilities are on, there are adequate pathways throughout the home, HVAC registers are clear and working, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are available and working .
  • Involve as many family and friends as you can .
  • Refer to other agencies (in our brochure).


Additional Resources