Randomized waitlist-controlled trial of buried in treasures facilitated support groups and in-home uncluttering (BIT+) for hoarding disorder

Michael G. Wheaton, Andrea D. Varias, Thasveen Sandhu, Paula A. Muñoz Rodríguez, Pavithra Mukunda, Maria Filippou-Frye, Andrea Millen, Anthony Lombardi, Peter van Roessel, Hannah Raila, Kelley Anderson, Omer Linkovski, Amanda Mahnke, Catherine Sanchez, Elizabeth McCarthy, Brianna Wright, Chiseche Mibenge, Yvette Rico, Sarah Righi, Camilla HalseyLilleana Torio, Sepehr Asgari, Tori Qiu, Geronimo Garcia, Booil Jo, Becca Belofsky, Lee J. Shuer, Randy O. Frost, Carolyn I. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The Buried in Treasures (BIT) workshop is a promising treatment for hoarding disorder (HD), though many participants struggle with home uncluttering. This randomized waitlist-controlled trial investigated the efficacy of a version of BIT, augmented with in-home uncluttering practice (BIT+). Method: Adults (N = 41) with hoarding disorder were recruited from the community and randomly assigned to BIT+ or waitlist. BIT+ consisted of 16 sessions of the BIT workshop and 10 uncluttering home visits over 18 weeks. Outcome measures included the Saving Inventory-Revised (self-report) and the Clutter Image Rating Scale (self and independent evaluator rated). Between group repeated measures analyses using general linear modeling examined the effect of BIT+ vs waitlist control on hoarding symptoms after 18 weeks. Within group analyses examined pre-post effects for all BIT+ participants combined after 18 weeks. Results: After 18 weeks, BIT+ participants benefited significantly more than waitlist controls on hoarding severity with large effect size (Cohen's d = 1.5, p < .001). BIT+ was also associated with improvement reductions in hoarding symptoms, clutter, and functional impairment. Conclusions: The BIT+ intervention offers promise as a treatment option for hoarding. Adding in-home uncluttering practice may incrementally improve discarding practices. Future controlled trials are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Aug 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
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  • BIT
  • Buried in treasures
  • CBT
  • Clutter
  • Hoarding disorder
  • Uncluttering


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