Hoarding produces out-of-control piles of things and trash all through a home with fire and falling as major risks; however, clutter is usually confined to some specific spaces such as desks or tables. Hoarders do not invite people in out of shame. Clutter bugs can clean up enough for visitors.
Hoarders typically fixate on certain objects that they keep buying again and again, filling all of the rooms, tubs, showers and floor space, leaving only narrow trails or walking on top of the hoard. Clutter bugs may collect items but they feel and can display pride and happiness with their collections.
Hoarders do not get the sense of pride and frequently lose items in the hoard. Additionally, hoarders experience great emotional pain at the thought of getting rid of even the smallest things, whereas clutter bugs can and do periodically clean up and toss out the offending items.