The habit of collecting and hoarding things, on the pretext for later use, could be a sign of a compulsive disorder.
Dr Randy Frost said the disorder involved "compulsive shopping" as well as the "collecting of free objects".
"A new understanding of hoarding is desperately needed," News.com.au quoted Frost, one of the world's leading authorities on hoarding, as saying.
"While the disorder is often associated with collecting rubbish, up to 80 per cent of compulsive hoarders also suffer shopping disorders where they constantly acquire new items," he added.
According to Frost, very few knew how to treat the disorder, which can even cause clinical depression in some.
"Many folk who visit counsellors with other disorders are actually compulsive hoarders, its just a lot of them are too ashamed to say they hoard," said Frost.