Rich People Can Be Hoarders

Posted By on March 26, 2012

Yes, Jeff Lewis, rich people can be hoarders.

In the commercial for designer Jeff Lewis’ new show Interior Therapy, the home of a wealthy couple shows a pile of stuff in a room, and Jeff asks the question: “Can rich people be hoarders? I don’t know.”

I found myself answering the television, “Yes, they can.”

Hoarding is a mental illness, and it doesn’t matter how much money is in your bank account, where you live, what education you have, what job you have, or your gender and race.

Hoarding does not discriminate

Three or four years ago, a surgeon and his wife who lived in an expensive neighborhood in Houston died in a house fire because firefighters couldn’t reach them due to the clutter throughout their home. One of my co-workers recently sent me an article about a man who was trapped in his home because hundreds of yachting magazines fell on him.

Now there is some indication hoarding can run in families, but whether it’s a nature vs. nurture matter is unclear. The research continues in that area. I can tell you from the organizing work I do that some people have natural tendencies to be on the “messy” or “neat” side of things.

Hoarding can also develop with people who are compulsive shoppers. With compulsive shoppers, it doesn’t matter whether they’re shopping in thrift store or expensive stores. The result is still the same.

So yes, Jeff Lewis, rich people can be hoarders too.

If you or someone you know is a hoarder, you can seek help through the Institute for Challenging Disorganization and mental health professionals.



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