Children of Hoarders: How Hoarding Affects Families

child of hoarder (sad)Until recently, the effects of compulsive hoarding on other family members were not given much importance nor were fully understood. Since hoarders were simply viewed as eccentrics who love to collect and accumulate stuff until they reach the end of their lives, little attention was given to how the condition affects other family members, especially their children.

How many of you ever wondered how these children feel about their situation? Based on the results of The Hoarding Project conducted at the University of Minnesota, most family members of persons who hoard do not fully understand the disorder. As such, they harbour negative feelings and emotions, and have strained relationships with the family member who hoards. They also feel a deep sense of loss in all aspects of their lives – physically, emotionally, psychologically and socially.

People who grew up in a severely cluttered household tend to experience increased levels of distress as a child. They also experienced less happiness during their childhood, and have more difficulty making friends. And even if they did make some friends, they were too embarrassed about the condition of their home that they didn’t invite them to come over.

Children of hoarders also have reduced social contact in the home, and may have extremely strained relationships within the family structure. They also express strong feelings of anger and rejection toward their family members who hoard so when they finally move out of the home, they are likely to estrange themselves from their families.

Hoarding can break family ties, especially if the condition is not fully understood or is not properly addressed. Don’t let it happen to you and your family. You can still do something about it, so don’t wait until it is too late.

Don’t let chronic disorganization and compulsive hoarding affect the lives of those you love. Get hope, confidence and freedom from disorganization by working with us. You can easily reach us by calling us up at 410-329-3300 (MD) or at 770-733-1957 (GA). You may also send us an email at We will be more than happy to be of help.

You may also want to check out our book My Journey to an Organized Life for more tips on how to get started on the road to a more organized life.

Photo courtesy of nenetus at

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