Helping Those Who Hoard

Is it hoarding, clutter, collecting, or squalor? And when does this become a problem?

Collecting or owning things does not make you a hoarder, and hoarding disorder does not make you lazy. Hoarding occurs when living spaces can no longer be used for everyday living and moving throughout the home becomes challenging. Clutter is the accumulation of possessions in living spaces. Collecting refers to well-organized possessions with each item differing from other pieces to form distinctive and often valuable groupings. Squalor refers to neglect of normal cleaning activities that result in unsanitary conditions in the home.

Hoarding can cause serious health and safety concerns. One of the goals of the City of Maryland Heights is to maintain a safe environment for residents, businesses, and visitors. Hoarding affects roughly 400 million people worldwide. There is no need to feel ashamed. The City has resources to assist.

The City encourages residents to reach out for help and to be proactive in preventing any potential hoarding issues. With the right resources and support, hoarding can be addressed in a safe and timely manner.

Below is a self-assessment that can be completed in the comfort of your home.

  1. Do you have difficulty getting rid of items?
  2. Do you have a large amount of clutter in the office, home, car, or other spaces that makes it difficult to use furniture or appliances or move around easily?
  3. Do you often lose important items like money or bills in the clutter?
  4. Do you feel overwhelmed by the volume of possessions that have “taken over” the house or workplace?
  5. Do you find it difficult to stop taking free items, such as advertising flyers or sugar packets from restaurants?
  6. Do you buy things because they are a “bargain” or to “stock up”?
  7. Do you avoid inviting family or friends into the home due to shame or embarrassment?
  8. Do you refuse to let people into the home to make repairs?
  9. If you have answered “yes” to at least one of these questions, speak to a healthcare provider or mental health professional about a full hoarding disorder screening.

Therapy and Mental Health Assessments:
St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute
(314) 534-0200 •
1129 Macklind Ave,
St. Louis, MO 63110
*SLBMI does not accept all types of insurance, and waitlists are often long. However, they have therapists on staff who specialize in Hoarding Disorder

Support Groups:
Online anonymous hoarding support groups are offered Sundays & Tuesdays on

Clean-Up Services:
BioOne Services
(636) 279-9570
1939 Wentzville Pkwy., Suite 273,
Wentzville, MO

(636) 328-6424
180 Hughes Lane,
St. Charles, MO

1 (877) 305-1095 or (636) 305-1095 • 1197 South Old Hwy 141,
St. Louis, MO

PureOne Services
(314) 470-1426 • Available 24/7
10805 Sunset Office Dr., Suite 300, Sappington, MO 63127

Emergency Services:
(866) 927-0714 • Available 24/7
Various Locations

Note: These services are only some of the options available to those in the greater Saint Louis area, and are not specific recommendations by the City of Maryland Heights.

For more information, contact the Maryland Heights Social Worker, Ericka Jones at (314) 738-2233 or at