Hoarding experts Drs. Randy Frost and Gail Steketee estimate as many as 5% of Americans suffer from hoarding behaviors. Their book Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, other books and television shows recently brought the topic front and center.
I believe hoarding is more prevalent because of the following reasons:
People are living at home longer. Take a look at U.S. Census records and you will see that the number of households with people over 55 are increasing. People are living longer and they choose to age in place. Without periodic household moves to pare down excess belongings, clutter may continue to mount for some.
Inexpensive consumer goods create clutter. The choice of material that is hoarded varies widely and differs from person to person. The extreme clutter may be the result of widely available, inexpensive items ranging from soda containers to magazines.
Acquisition strategies are sophisticated and successful.When a shopper is confronted with the urgent on-line shopping opportunity ("only 120 of these left and we won't offer them again until next year") or the discount store end-cap with items marked 75% of their usual price, some shoppers are vulnerable and have few defenses against these sophisticated selling strategies.
Hoarding affects family members, neighbors and others. Do you think hoarding is more prevalent now and why or why not? I am interested in your viewpoint.