Hoarders are people who find it hard to let go of things and, therefore, keep a lot of items of little value that may affect their dealings with other people, explains WebMD. Clutterers are people who collect a lot of stuff, but unlike the hoarders, their items have personal meaning or value.
Hoarding was identified as a distinct mental illness in 2013, explains WebMD. Some researchers believe that for some people this condition may be a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, while other studies point out that hoarding may be related to dementia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
People with clutter problems may have trouble keeping their place tidy, even after getting help with organizing and cleaning, explains WebMD. When the clutter tends to affect their daily life, it may indicate a sign of trouble. In order to know when there is a problem, clutterers are advised to check if they buy many of the same items over time, if the items prevent them from having money or people over, or if they find it hard getting dinner ready on time.
To keep clutter in check, hoarders and clutterers are advised to watch what they do with their items, name the problem, set concrete limits and accept neatness as a lifelong issue, explains WebMD. They can also seek formal help from a professional organizer.