According to the January 1, 2008, New York Times article “A Clutter Too Deep for Mere Bins and Shelves,” hoarding is a symptom of something much larger than just being messy and disorganized:
Excessive clutter and disorganization are often symptoms of a bigger health problem. People who have suffered an emotional trauma or a brain injury often find housecleaning an insurmountable task. Attention deficit disorder, depression, chronic pain and grief can prevent people from getting organized or lead to a buildup of clutter. At its most extreme, chronic disorganization is called hoarding, a condition many experts believe is a mental illness in its own right, although psychiatrists have yet to formally recognize it.
Adding more storage to a home will not remedy the problem. The added storage just becomes a clutter safety net, like we discussed here. More on this from the article:
…the problem with all this is that many people are going about it in the wrong way. Too often they approach clutter and disorganization as a space problem that can be solved by acquiring bins and organizers.
Measures like these “are based on the concept that this is a house problem,” said David F. Tolin, director of the anxiety disorders center at the Institute of Living in Hartford and an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at Yale.
“It isn’t a house problem,” he went on. “It’s a person problem. The person needs to fundamentally change their behavior.”