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Understanding Hoarding

16 February 2023

Understanding Hoarding Website

Understanding Hoarding

It’s easy to write hoarding off as a lifestyle choice, a bad habit or laziness. So we’ve decided to try to bust those myths and lift the lid on hoarding in order to help everyone to understand it.

Hoarding is a complex mental health condition. Those affected cannot discard or part with things without feeling extremely distressed.

To someone on the outside, the items have no value, but to the person, the items are so important, they can’t bring themselves to let them go.

The effects of hoarding can overwhelm a person’s life, isolating them and making their living conditions dangerous and unmanageable.

Hoarding is an old friend that is a bad influence

Why do people hoard?

There can be many reasons behind it, trauma, family history, bereavement and medical conditions can all be triggers. Every situation is unique to the person.

It’s a common misconception amongst hoarders that if the Council find out about it – we’ll either try to get rid of everything, terminate a tenancy or both.


When our hoarding specialists start to work with people we help them create an improvement plan to help them live more comfortably in their homes and reduce any health and safety risks.

When there's emotional attachment to things, it's hard to let them go.

We actively work with the person to remove anything they want to dispose of or give to charity, and we help them organise the possessions they want to keep. We do not want to cause any more distress.

Our Tenancy Support Team specialise in working with people who hoard. We can provide support to help them manage the condition and help them regain control of their home. We know this won’t happen overnight so we are there to support them for as long they need us.

Northwards Hoarding Campaign Graphics 03

“It got to the stage where I couldn’t even get into the house. I knew I needed help and I kept asking until I got it. To you it’s your own little castle, and you don’t want anyone to come in, and you put that drawbridge up. But really you’ve got to start letting people into your lives because you can’t live, and you’ve got to be able to enjoy your life and have your friends round”.

Voice of someone with lived experience of hoarding.

How can we help?

The Tenancy Support Team offer support to MCC tenants who are struggling. We use our specialist training around trauma to really get to know them. We don’t focus on the ‘stuff’ in their home, we get to the root of the issue.

If you recognise any if this either in yourself or a family member, get in touch with us. It could be the first step towards taking control.

Get in touch with our Tenancy Support Team