Compulsive hoarding is a condition in which people accumulate things. There are many similarities between living a frugal lifestyle and hoarding. However, there are also key important differences between the two. Living a frugal lifestyle is okay. Compulsive hoarding doesn’t feel good and is something to get help for. Check out the following ten signs to make sure that your extreme frugality hasn’t turned into compulsive hoarding:
1. Hoarders keep things that are unsanitary or unhealthy for others in the home. For example, a hoarder may be unable to let go of food that has been expired for a long time even though others believe that the food is unsafe. Many frugal people choose to ignore the expiry dates on their food so that they aren’t wasteful. However, if this decision gets so extreme that other people are saying they won’t eat the food because they think it’s unhealthy then it’s probably worth it to take a closer look at your behavior. If you are putting anyone’s health at stake then you’re probably a hoarder.
2. Hoarders get things that they don’t need just because the things are free or cheap. Frugal people love to get a good deal. However, this can get too extreme. It can get to the point where you absolutely can’t pass up a good deal on an item even if you don’t need the item. Hoarders do this so often that they may run out of room in their homes since they have so much stuff. Trent Hamm points out that this has a cost. It may mean you need to pay for storage or for a larger home. Or it may just have an emotional toll from having to clean up around so much stuff. Frugal people factor this cost into consideration. Hoarders can’t do that and feel compelled to get that good deal.
3. Hoarders get mad when other people try to help them with their problem. Frugal people are always looking for new tips and tricks for saving money in a way that’s healthy and supports their other life goals. If you find that you’re getting defensive and angry when people make suggestions, you may be a Hoarder.