Questions to ask

Questions to ask children of suspected hoarders:

  • Describe what your family does in your house, like preparing and eating dinner, studying and spending time together.
  • What do you do in your house and where do you do it?
  • Sometimes families use beds and tables to put things on when there is limited space. Where does your family put things?
  • Would anything prevent the family from doing things together in certain spaces like at the kitchen table?
  • If I were to walk into your house, what would I see in each room? Describe the neatest room and the messiest room in the house.
  • Tell me about your bedroom. How is it different from the rest of the house?
  • Sometimes families have to do their best when things are broken or messed up in their houses. Tell me about how your family does this.
  • Tell me the main ways that your house could be a better place to live.
  • Who has the tidiest house in your whole family? How is it different from your house?
  • Do you have a yard to play in? Tell me about your yard. Do you have pets in the yard? In the house? How many?
  • How do your parents feel about having guests in the house? Where would be the best place to visit with them in your house? Would it be better to visit with friends and family somewhere else? Why?
  • Describe any family celebrations, like birthdays and holidays, in your house. Do your parents have these celebrations somewhere else?
  • How often do friends visit you in your house? How would you feel if a friend visited your house today?

(Chabaud, S. (2011). The Hidden Lives of Children of Hoarders. Psychiatric Times. Retrieved from


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