Google defines hoarding as an act of amassing valuable items for future use. Right under that definition was the definition for hoarding disorder. I promise that my home will not be portrayed this year on an episode of “The Hoarders.” Nor will it be in “Better Homes and Gardens.” What I have is more like a collections of items.
Is there a difference? Do the number of items matter; or, do the type of items? I don’t believe it is a case of “this woman’s collection can be another woman’s garbage.” Could it be clutter? It absolutely could be if the items aren’t out for display. Worse yet, if the items are stored neatly in a box or cupboard and not in use.
A perfect example is my collection of Tupperware. My cupboards were filled with vintage pieces. I was constantly adding to the collection as well as using the pieces. Everything seemed perfect until I found many were not stackable, odd sized and not for use in the microwave. They were literally falling out of my cupboards!
This collection turned into clutter. Fast forward, I sold the items on Ebay or donated it. I did keep a few pieces that were my mother’s. Today, I have stackable containers that don’t fall out of cupboards.
I own a collection of depression era jade glassware which was given to me by a close friend. I have it prominently displayed along with my grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s doilies. They are really lovely to look at.
This, to me, is a collection. However, I fear that my children will find it clutter and toss it. What does one do with this type of collection that I believe is not clutter?
Last, I have a collection of mid-century dress patterns. I know I will never use them. I haven’t figured out a way to display them and they are neatly stored in a box. This is hoarding.
I’ve decided to sell this collection on Etsy. I really hate to as they are a piece of history that can never be replaced and I have enjoyed the time it took to collect them. A hoard is a hoard and hoarding can be looked at as selfish.
What type of collections do you have? One that is displayed? One whose use has expired and is now clutter? One that has turned into a hoard? Whatever the collection is, it meant something to us at one time.
What you do with your collection defines what it truly is and what it’s future will be.