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Jun 09, 2011

Infographic of the Day: The Psychology of Hoarders

created at: 06/09/2011

I was in the home of a hoarder once. In college, I went on a spring break service trip to the Rio Grande valley, and we were working on building a school playground. A woman came out and asked if a few of us would lend a hand moving some heavy objects. My buddy Justin and I agreed, and followed her to her home.

When we entered, it was stacked floor to ceiling with file crates, storage bins, and more than anything, plastic grocery bags filled with never opened items, and labeled with masking tape. The "heavy objects" she needed us to move were Rubbermaid bins, stacked six or seven high, because the item she thought she wanted was in the bottom bin. It turned out it wasn't.

She was a very sweet and gracious woman, and even offered to make us lunch. It was a pretty eye-opening experience, one that I'm actually thankful to have experienced first hand.

So, I'm pretty intrigued by this fascinating infographic on some of the psychological and emotion trends of hoarders, like than only 5% displaying hoarding as a primary symptom of OCD. Or that sometimes, hoarders are unable to return borrowed items, sometimes resulting in theft.

Click here to see it in full high-resolution mode.

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Allison on Jun 13, 2011:

How sad. I wonder what happens early on for these folks that makes them move toward this obsession. Warning signs? Must be very stressful to live with.