Hoarding and self-neglect

What is hoarding?

Hoarding is having so many things that you cannot manage the clutter where you live and find it difficult or impossible to throw things away. You might hoard because you feel a strong need to keep things. Your connection to these things can cause you distress and the impact of hoarding can affect your day-to-day life.

If you are concerned about yourself or someone else who is living in a property that is unsafe due to hoarding please see our resources below

We want to support individuals who may need help and we have a protocol to advise and support those working with individuals who have a hoarding behaviour and who are not meeting their needs due to self-neglect. Read more on the hoarding protocol or access our useful resources below.

Please use the risk assessment tool.

If you are concerned that someone may be at immediate risk call 999 or 111 if not so urgent.


Clutter image rating

This is a useful tool for describing levels of hoarding as individuals have very different ideas on what it means to have a cluttered home.

Fire risks

Hoarding in properties can at times pose a fire risk to the person and to others. Berkshire Fire and Rescue can come to the property and carry out a safe and well visit.


If you have concerns about a property, please contact the Private Sector Housing Team using email hmo@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 2151


Helpful organisation:

Hoarding is a now a recognised mental health condition. If you are concerned about yourself, or a friend or relative, the General Practitioner (GP) should be approached. Further advice can be found on the NHS website.

Hoarding Disorders UK

Hoarding Disorders UK have useful information on their website and can offer specialist advice for people affected by hoarding behaviours, chronic disorganisation and extreme clutter.

Hoarding UK

Hoarding UK is a charity dedicated to supporting people affected by hoarding behaviours.

A useful booklet published by Hoarding UK  is “Overcoming Hoarding The Basics”


Mind is a mental health charity with useful information on it’s website.

Last updated on 24/06/2024