Development and Validation of the Clutter Image Rating

  • Randy O. Frost
  • Gail Steketee
  • David F. Tolin
  • Stefanie Renaud


Few instruments are available to assess compulsive hoarding and severity of clutter. Accuracy of assessment is important to understanding the clinical significance of the problem. To overcome problems associated with over- and under-reporting of hoarding symptoms, the clutter image rating (CIR) was developed. This pictorial scale contains nine equidistant photographs of severity of clutter representing each of three main rooms of most people’s homes: living room, kitchen, and bedroom. The psychometric properties of this measure were examined in two studies. Internal consistency, test–retest, and interobserver reliabilities were good and convergent validity with other questionnaire and interview measures was also good. The CIR correlated more strongly with measures of clutter than with other hoarding and psychopathology scales. The CIR’s very brief pictorial assessment method makes it useful in clinical and treatment contexts for measuring the clutter dimension of compulsive hoarding.


Hoarding Collecting Saving Visual assessment Testing 



This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health to the first two authors (R21 MH 068539; R01 MH068007; R01 MH068008).

The authors would like to thank Jennifer West, Allison Kenyon, Hala Al-Saud, Rebecca Kingston, and Yanique Matthews for their help in developing and scaling the CIR.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Randy O. Frost
    • 1
  • Gail Steketee
    • 2
  • David F. Tolin
    • 3
  • Stefanie Renaud
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySmith CollegeNorthamptonUSA
  2. 2.Boston UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Living and University of Connecticut School of MedicineStorrsUSA

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