What is Hoarding Disorder?

Hoarding disorder is characterized as the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. Often there are negative emotional, physical, social, and financial impacts for the person and loved ones (American Psychiatric Association. [2013]. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.) Hoarding disorder is a treatable condition.
Hoarding Disorder Myths (280.34 KB)

What is the difference between Clutter, Collecting, and Hoarding?

Clutter and collecting may be confused with hoarding.

  • Clutter: Possessions are disorganized and may accumulate around living areas.
  • Collecting: Possessions are part of a larger set of items. Display does not impede active living areas in home. 
  • Hoarding: Possessions become unorganized piles preventing rooms from being used for their intended purpose

Clutter Image Rating Scale
The Clutter Image Rating Scale is used to ascertain the amount of clutter in an individual's home. The Clutter Image Rating Scale consists of nine photographs of increasing severity for the four primary rooms in a living space. This tool can be used as self-assessment; individuals can select the picture from each set that best matches the appearance of the corresponding room in their home. This tool can also be used by professionals; home visits may be difficult to conduct due to travel time, institutional rules, cost of travel, safety concerns, or individuals' unwilling to allow others into the cluttered home.  Validation of the Clutter Image Rating (334.38 KB)

Clutter Image Rating Scale: Living Room (684.74 KB)

Clutter Image Rating Scale: Kitchen (661.82 KB)

Clutter Image Rating Scale: Bedroom (790.51 KB)

Clutter Image Rating Scale: Bathroom (1.79 MB)

How to Talk to Someone with Hoarding Behaviors (40.46 KB) 

Why is it important to address hoarding?

Hoarding is chronic and follows a worsening course that can: 

  • lead to isolation from family and friends and negatively impact health 
  • lead to eviction and homelessness
  • create a public health and safety risk
  • create a dangerous environment for first responders during a fire or medical emergency

How Can I Get Help?

The Multnomah County Hoarding Task Force has compiled a list of resources and includes support and counseling, cleanup help, safety issueslegal assistance, and suggested reading and websites

The Multnomah County Hoarding Task Force

The Multnomah County Hoarding Task Force seeks to build and maintain a community network of trained professionals in order to provide information, education, and access to resources. We are committed to the use of person-centered best practices and by sharing responsibility for community education and engagement. To be added to the email list or for more information, please email hoarding@multco.us

Hoarding Task Force Charter (169.67 KB)