I am the 21-year old daughter of a 62 year old hoarder. My mother's behavior is tough for me to classify - most of my life I used the label "packrat" or "keeper" because I didn't know what else to call it. It wasn't just that she didn't mind the house being a mess of value-less things which junked up every living space of our relatively small home - she was in a hugely different mental space than anyone else in the family. Despite my urgings she could not, would not talk about the junk, who it belonged to (90% her), and what to do about it. At first I was young and angry. I tried all the worst tactics, shame, guilt, etc, to force her to change. I couldn't stand the constant sense of claustrophobia in the family home. I moved out at 18 to get away from it - even though my boyfriend at the time became increasingly abusive, even that seemed preferable to the immense stress of living with a hoarder. I wanted a nice, clean, minimalist life. I wanted to know exactly where everything I owned was. I wanted my papers to be in order. I was angry with my mom for hoarding, angry with my brother for his apathetic complicity, angry with my dad for his impotence.
Now I'm older, wiser, and determined to whip this house into shape, one room at a time.