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Many people are better at bringing things into their home than getting rid of them. In some cases, this can become a significant problem as rooms fill up with items which they find difficult to part with.

Sometimes known as hoarders, the occupiers often overstock their home with food or other materials. They may also be reluctant to throw things out. This means that the house and sometimes garden can become more and more cluttered. In extreme cases, rooms become so full that it is no longer possible to get into them.

Hoarding can be viewed as a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). As of 2018, the World Health Organisation includes hoarding disorder as a distinct mental health condition, in their international classification of diseases. Consider whether you can offer them help, point them in the direction of help, or request help for them.

If you, a friend or a relative need help to sort out a home with too many possessions in it, Life-Pod (opens new window) has a very good reputation for helping you make changes to bring the home back into a comfortable, useable state. Simply clearing up or throwing things out will only help the symptoms, not the underlying cause(s) and may be very difficult for those involved.

The council has limited powers to force hoarders to clear out unless they are causing specific problems to neighbours. You may want to discuss the problem with:

  • You local Housing Office, who can be contacted through the Contacting the Council page.
  • Environmental Health & Trading Standards, where it might be affecting the health of the resident or Hoarding has a direct impact on neighbouring premises (odour or pests). However our role is one of enforcement which would only be considered as a last resort. It is expected that hoarding issues will involve support and assistance from other services within Council to remedy the problem. Please note that Hoarding should not be confused with a cluttered property or a dirty house although they may be linked. Environmental Health do not clear properties as a matter of course.
  • Pest Control, advice can be sought regarding pest infestations.