Why We Hang on to Too Much Stuff – and How to Stop

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Some people have a difficult time throwing things away, even when clutter gets in the way.

Hoarding is a disorder marked by the persistent need to hold onto things and extreme anxiety at the thought of having to part with objects, even things with no value or use. But even people who don’t have hoarding tendencies can find it difficult to get rid of things and to clear away clutter. Dr. Simon Rego, Director of Psychology Training and Director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Training Program at Montefiore Medical Center, and Collette Shine, who runs a professional organizing company called Organize and Shine and is the New York Chapter President of the National Association of Professional Organizers, discuss the psychology behind clutter and hoarding, why we find it so hard to let go of certain items, and what that reveals about our personality.