Hoarders acquire their belongings through numerous methods.
Excessive buying—Many hoarders acquire belongings through excessive buying. Items may be purchased in person, through mail order (i.e. catalogs, QVC) and through the Internet. It is acquiring items that many hoarders crave rather than using them.
It is common to find piles of brand new items, still with tags, in the homes of hoarders.
Decreased mobility--This especially impacts older adults. Individuals who depend on others for transportation to and from shopping may overbuy in order to minimize the need for future trips. Discount warehouses that sell items in large quantities are a favorite (the “Costco syndrome”).
Catalogue and Internet shopping enable hoarders to purchase items without having to leave home. For individuals with limited mobility, the human interaction involved in the purchasing process itself may seem to fulfill important social needs.
Acquisition of stuff (trash)—Many hoarders acquire things that have been discarded by others. Hoarders are often big proponents of recycling and regard discarding objects as wasteful because “you never know when you might need something.” Lack of proper disposal opportunities are often cited as reasons why items cannot be gotten rid of. Piles of aluminum cans or paper are kept so they can be ‘recycled properly.’