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Resources to Help Kids Thrive Newsletter

Hoarding in Children

A weekly update of content from childmind.org featuring parenting advice, in-depth articles, and the latest thinking on children’s mental health and learning disorders.

December 6, 2022

Lots of kids have messy rooms, but children as young as 6 or 7 can actually be hoarders. They accumulate things most people consider worthless, from random “treasures” they pick up on the street to last night’s pizza box. And some of them feel so emotionally attached to these things that they have meltdowns if they are thrown away — or even touched.

Hoarding is a disorder that is related to OCD, and this week we round up resources on hoarding and other OCD-related disorders. They include excoriation (skin-picking), trichotillomania (hair-pulling), and body dysmorphic disorder (feeling that something is terribly wrong with your body). These disorders all involve either obsessive thoughts or compulsive, repetitive behaviors. And they all respond well to treatment with a form of cognitive behavior therapy called exposure therapy.

Related Resources

Hoarding in Children

Kids who hoard get very emotionally attached to their stuff, often things others discard.


What Is Trichotillomania?

When hair-pulling becomes a serious compulsion.


Excoriation, or Skin-Picking

When kids, usually teens, can't stop picking at skin or cuticles.


What Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

How to help kids who feel they have disfiguring flaws.


What Is the Best Treatment for OCD and OCD-Related Disorders?

It’s called exposure with response prevention or exposure therapy.