NPR has an interesting interview on the phenomenon of compulsive hoarding where people will be almost unable to throw out used items and will collect mountains of clutter in their houses to the point where they can no longer see the walls.
I was struck by the bit where the interviewer highlights that lots of hoarders collect newspapers and Frost replies that “we think it’s related to a sense of wanting to acquire and preserve opportunities”. They also discuss the interesting concept of ‘clutter blindness’.
There are lots of similar parts that made me questions the traditional one-size-fits-all explanation that its just variant of obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD.
Apparently the two psychologists have written a book on the topic called Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things and you can read an excerpt on the NPR website.
Link to NPR on ‘Hoarding: When Too Much ‘Stuff’ Causes Grief’.