People often think that hoarding and squalor are the same, but that is not true. Hoarding is the accumulation of items over time. However, squalor is a state of highly unsanitary conditions. A home in squalor might contain rotten food, open animal or human waste, and a foul odor. Squalid home conditions can cause public health issues for both the occupant as well as neighbors. However, squalor is not synonymous with hoarding. The main difference between squalor and hoarding is:

  • Squalor is almost always associated with hoarding.
  • Hoarding is NOT always associated with squalor.

In other words, some hoarders may live in a hygienic home but have an enormous amount of clutter. This distinction between hoarding and squalor may seem minor, but it is important to understand.