Follow the IOCDF on Twitter
Become a fan of the IOCDF on Facebook
International OCD Foundation - Hoarding CenterFaces of The Hoarding Center

View Printer Friendly

Recommended Books on Hoarding

Stuff

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things
Frost & Steketee (2010)


What possesses someone to save every scrap of paper that's ever come into his home? What compulsions drive a woman like Irene, whose hoarding cost her her marriage? Or Ralph, whose imagined uses for castoff items like leaky old buckets almost lost him his house? Or Jerry and Alvin, wealthy twin bachelors who filled up matching luxury apartments with countless pieces of fine art, not even leaving themselves room to sleep?

Randy Frost and Gail Steketee were the first to study hoarding when they began their work a decade ago; they expected to find a few sufferers but ended up treating hundreds of patients and fielding thousands of calls from the families of others. Now they explore the compulsion through a series of compelling case studies in the vein of Oliver Sacks.With vivid portraits that show us the traits by which you can identify a hoarder--piles on sofas and beds that make the furniture useless, houses that can be navigated only by following small paths called goat trails, vast piles of paper that the hoarders "churn" but never discard, even collections of animals and garbage--Frost and Steketee explain the causes and outline the often ineffective treatments for the disorder.They also illuminate the pull that possessions exert on all of us. Whether we're savers, collectors, or compulsive cleaners, none of us is free of the impulses that drive hoarders to the extremes in which they live.

For the six million sufferers, their relatives and friends, and all the rest of us with complicated relationships to our things, Stuff answers the question of what happens when our stuff starts to own us.
Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring
Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring: Therapist Guide
Steketee & Frost (2007)


This book, the first ever written for savers and their families, provides an overview of compulsive hoarding and how it relates to obsessive-compulsive disorder. It discusses hoarding broadly, offering readers perspectives on the physical, behavioral, and value-oriented aspects of the condition. Readers can use its assessment tools to help decide why they or their loved one hoards. Skill-building exercises help readers determine how to beat the hoarding problem by addressing issues that often underlie compulsive saving. Even though this is fundamentally a self-help book, it contains a frank discussion about the need for professional help in some hoarding cases, how to find it, and what medications have been proven effective for savers.
Complusive Hoarding and Acquiring: Workbok
Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring: Workbook

Steketee & Frost (2007)


Although most people enjoy acquiring and using their possessions and nearly everyone keeps some things they dont need or use, people with compulsive hoarding carry this to an extreme. For them, ridding themselves of extra possessions is emotionally exhausting. Organizing is difficult and resisting the impulse to acquire new things is almost impossible. This book represents more than a decade of research and practice to understand hoarding and develop an effective treatment program that address its many components.

Used in conjunction with the treatment described in the therapist guide, this workbook teaches people how to minimize the negative effect clutter has on their lives, as well as the lives of those close to them. Using effective and practical techniques and skills, this program helps people get used to the idea of sorting, organizing, and gradually removing their unwanted possessions. People who hoard tend to overvalue the importance of the things they own and keep. This book will also help people to recognize errors in their thinking and modify their thoughts and beliefs to more accurately reflect the value of their belongings. Worksheets for developing a personal organization plan and determining categories for filing are also included in this interactive, easy-to-use workbook. With these books, users can be active participants who successfully overcome their compulsive hoarding.
Buried in Treasures
Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding

Tolin, Frost, & Steketee (2007)


Buried in Treasures outlines a scientifically-based and effective program for helping compulsive hoarders dig their way out of the clutter and chaos of their homes.

Discover the reasons for your problems with acquiring, saving, and hoarding, and learn new ways of thinking about your possessions so you can accurately identify those things you really need and those you can do without. Learn to recognize the "bad guys" that maintain your hoarding behavior and meet the "good guys" who will motivate you and put you on the path to change.

Features of this book include:
  • Self-assessments to determine the severity of the problem
  • Tips and tools for organizing your possessions and filing your paperwork
  • Strategies for changing unhelpful beliefs about your possessions
  • Behavioral experiments to reduce your fear of anxiety and fear of discarding
Digging Out
Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding & Compulsive Acquiring

Tompkins & Hartl (2009)


Many people who hoard understand the extent of their problem and are open to help. This book is not for them. Digging Out is for the concerned and frustrated friends and family members of people who do not fully accept the magnitude of their hoarding problem and refuse help from others. If you have a friend or loved one with a hoarding problem and are seeking a way to guide him or her to a healthier, safer way of life, this book is for you.

In Digging Out, you will find a complete guide to helping your loved one with a hoarding problem live safely and comfortably in his or her home or apartment. Included are realistic harm reduction strategies that you can use to help your loved one manage health and safety hazards, avoid eviction, and motivate him or her to make long-term lifestyle changes. You'll learn how to handle a roommate or spouse with a hoarding problem, identify and work through special considerations that may arise when the person who hoards is frail and elderly, and receive guidance for healing strained relationships between people who hoard and their friends and family. Take heart. With this book as a guide, you can help your loved one live more comfortably and safely, salvage your damaged relationship, and restore your peace of mind.
Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding
Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding

Neziroglu, Bubrick, & Yaryura-Tobias (2004)


This book, the first ever written for savers and their families, provides an overview of compulsive hoarding and how it relates to obsessive-compulsive disorder. It discusses hoarding broadly, offering readers perspectives on the physical, behavioral, and value-oriented aspects of the condition. Readers can use its assessment tools to help decide why they or their loved one hoards. Skill-building exercises help readers determine how to beat the hoarding problem by addressing issues that often underlie compulsive saving. Even though this is fundamentally a self-help book, it contains a frank discussion about the need for professional help in some hoarding cases, how to find it, and what medications have been proven effective for savers.
Hoarding Handbook
The Hoarding Handbook: A Guide for Human Service Professionals
Bratiotis, Schmalisch, & Steketee (2011)

Hoarding is a serious, time-consuming, and expensive problem for virtually every community across the United States. First responders often encounter hoarding unexpectedly and are confused about how to resolve the wide range of problems, from public health and fire safety violations, to housing violations, to concern for the welfare of children, elders and animals. Sometimes solutions must be coordinated across several human service disciplines. The first of its kind, this handy guide is a nuts and bolts resource filled with case studies, tips and strategies, and easy-to-use suggestions for professionals responding to hoarding situations.

Organized around the common ways hoarding captures the attention of social service providers, this user-friendly guide provides tools to assess the problem, to coordinate and delegate tasks among helping professionals, and to work directly with reluctant hoarders and those affected by the hoarding. Chapters give hands-on guidance and decision trees for who should be involved and what strategies are needed for each case. This book is compassionate and comprehensive, an invaluable reference for social workers and human service providers in a broad range of fields.



International OCD Foundation Hoarding Center