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Compulsive hoarding is characterized by the acquisition of, and failure to discard, a large number of possessions and clutter that prevents the use of living spaces as intended, and often the items acquired are unsanitary, worthless or hazardous. (Frost, Pekareva-Kochergina & Maxner, 2011) Acquiring materials from hoarders poses significant challenges to archivists who rely in part on the retention decisions of creators and collectors.

This paper will define compulsive hoarding, identify the challenges that hoarded environments present for archivists and will share steps taken by myself and other professional archivists to filter through two hoards. Included is a list of supplies and materials other archivists may find useful if confronted with a hoarded environment.

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