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Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things - Randy O. Frost, Gail Steketee This book explains what has been learned so far about hoarding, recently discovered to be a disorder all its own. The selection of people who agreed to be studied by the author offer a range of types of hoarding, from people who are compulsive shoppers to those who go out and collect trash off the street every day, and even wealthy owners of rare artwork that is piled to fill entire rooms. There are also widely varied, and sometimes competing, reasons for hoarding behavior. The compulsive shoppers are balanced by those who don't want to waste anything. Sometimes the reasoning is understandable and sometimes there seems to be no reason except an overwhelming pathological compulsion.
I wanted to read this book because I have known and been affected by people who hoarded, and I worry about my own clutter problems. I found out that most people, like me, have some hoarding tendencies, and I am far from a true hoarder. Quite a relief. I think that the reasons for hoarding laid out in this book will give me knowledge that can help me live a less cluttered life.
This is a compassionate portrayal of the truly tragic lives that hoarders live and an attempt to understand why they do this to themselves and their families.