Clutter Image Rating Scale

The Clutter Image Rating Scale consists of three sets of nine images showing an increasing amount of possessions have built up in a bedroom, kitchen and living room – with 1 being a few items on the floor, to 9 being about the height of a door.

Jordana Muroff, Patty Underwood, Gail Steketee
Group Treatment for Hoarding Disorder: Appendices. Copyright © 2014 by Oxford University Press
Oxford Clinical Psychology | Oxford University Press

The concept can be applied to other spaces (whether it be rooms, gardens, sheds, vehicles, offices, etc), and is widely used by the emergency services (especially fire services), social services and Professional Hoarding Practitioners around the World as a way of measuring and reporting the extent that a space has become engulfed in possessions.

It can also be used very effectively to start a conversation with someone about their space, and gauge the level of insight they have (or may not have) about related health and safety issues.

It was originally devised back in 2006, as part of a study by Professor Randy O Frost (Boston University) , Gail Steketee, David Tolin and Stefanie Renaud, and was first published in the Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. 2008;32:401–417.

Click here to download a free copy of the Clutter Image Rating Scale.

Hoarding Support Groups

Click here to find a map of Hoarding Support Groups in the UK

Professional Hoarding Practitioners

Click here to find a map of Professional Hoarding Practitioners in the UK


Understanding Hoarding (published by Sheldon Press) – by Jo Cooke – a Director of Hoarding Disorders UK CIC – aims to help those with hoarding difficulties, those that live with them, friends and professionals who wish to understand this debilitating condition.

It’s easy to read and packed with practical advice from professionals and those with personal lived experiences of being affected by hoarding behaviours – including family members.

GP Leaflet & Poster

Click here to view a leaflet which will help GP’s understand more about hoarding behaviours, and ask them to display this poster in their surgery, along with copies of the Hoarding Ice-Breaker Form.

British Psychological Society

In 2016 the British Psychological Society (BPS) published a free to download 24 page booklet entitled “Understanding Hoarding“, by Sophie Holmes (Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Sussex Partnership NHS Trust), Dr Stuart Whomsley (Clinical Psychologist & Formerly PR & Communications Lead, Division of Clinical Psychology) and Dr Stephen Kellett (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Social and Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust). A version entitled “A Psychological Perspective on Hoarding” by had previously been published in 2015.

Hoarding Support Groups & Forums

Help for Hoarders (founded by fabulous Jasmine Harman) has a list of support groups around the UK on it’s website. They’re open to people living with hoarding or clutter-related issues, and their families and supporters. Choose from meeting other people in person, or online or over the phone.

The website also has a forum for people affected by hoarding behaviours.

This video – Keith’s Story – explains about hoarding and how taking the first step of attending a Hoarding Support Group can really help a person’s recovery.


If you would like to understand this debilitating condition, or work with or are considering working with people who have challenges relating to hoarding or extreme clutter, we recommend attending training offered by highly skilled and experienced hoarding specialists who regularly work 1:1 with people in their homes.

See our Training & Consultancy page for more information.

Hoarding Awareness Week – #hoardinghelp

Hoarding Awareness Week (HAW) was first launched at the Houses of Parliament in London (in May 2014) by the National Fire Chief Council (formerly the Chief Fire Officers Association).

Their aim was to raise awareness of the safety issues related to hoarding behaviours, and it has gone on to become an annual event, supported by conferences and plenty of positive media coverage.

As a result, there is more understanding of Hoarding Disorder as a mental illness (and the types of things that can cause it) and the challenges associated with it.

The Hoarding Ice-Breaker Form is listed on their resources page – check it out:

HoardingUK charity

The charity HoardingUK offers support with issues that can affect people with hoarding issues, such as:

  • Advocacy
  • Benefits Helpline UK – 07444 053 520
  • Eviction Threat
  • eBaying unwanted items

They also organise hoarding conferences which aim to educate people about the realities of hoarding, and squash the myths and stigmas associated with this very emotive subject.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close