Outdoor Hoarders Create Visual Blight



As I walk around many neighborhoods and talk to folks who live in them, an issue that seems to plague many comes up frequently – neighbors who hoard junk (if it isn’t junk, then why store it outside and subject it to the elements) in their yards be it the front, side or rear yard.

Hoarding is a very interesting aspect of human behavior. For some it gives those who do it some sort of pleasure of having a lot. Others say they may find a need for “it later.” For some the junk has been used to annoy neighbors around them. This is sometimes called passive/aggressive about their junk as they make great effort to look nice in front, even have fairly clean garages and behold some even park their cars in the garage.  But take a look beyond the façade and you see rusting items, old hoses, piles of wood, unused sporting equipment, etc. I am sure the reader has seen them all. This storing/hoarding also encourages vermin such as rats to build nests in this rubble. It could even impede emergency folks from doing their job as they climb over and through it. Someone could even get hurt in the process.

One person I spoke to who is a psychologist stated that people who display this type of behavior usually have one or more mental issues – feeling of inadequacy, seeking revenge, displaced anger. It runs the gamut to even being ignorant or not having the ability to make a decision – get rid, keep.

Some of the people I have spoken to said that approaching these folks is useless, goes right over the heads, are defensive, grin and walk away. Do we need another ordinance? Don’t we have a beautification committee? Maybe Village Laguna wanting to have more trees planted is their answer to covering up these eye-sores in neighborhoods.

We live in paradise is a favorite statement here in town. Our home is an expression of ourselves/dreams. Many people want to live in our town. So why would someone with a $1 million plus home do this? Does any one have a good explanation?


Ganka Brown, Laguna Beach


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