Most people who hoard have been struggling with this problem all of their adult lives. Typically, compulsive hoarding begins with some clutter and difficulty discarding, but then progresses over time until it becomes unmanageable and overwhelming. Most people who hoard are older adults, with an average age of 50, although hoarding behaviors can begin as early as the teenage years. Persons who hoard tend to live alone and often have a family member with the problem. About 2 to 5% of the population have a serious hoarding problem.