Collecting or Hoarding?

A couple of weeks ago, I was texting with my best friend and we were talking about my closet. I casually mentioned that I’m a hoarder, and she replied with the truth—as best friends do in these situations. Not for the first time since I started writing this blog, I thought: Am I a hoarder?

Compulsive hoarding is described by Wikipedia as a pattern of behaviour that is characterized by the excessive acquisition of and inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment.

By this definition, I’m not. Let’s get one thing straight; I still live with my parents, so all of my stuff is confined to one room, and being in my mid-twenties, I’ve accumulated a lot over the years. I’ve kept certain things under the guise of “I can’t throw this out because I might need it” and “I’ll keep this because I’ve had it since I was little and I have fond memories of it”. There is a difference between collecting keepsakes and collecting junk.

If we’re going by a loose definition of hoarding of someone shopping too much and not being able to throw things out, then yes, I am a hoarder. I love shopping and I hate throwing things out. Is this because of the way I was raised? Or is it in my nature to want to keep everything? I’ll be the first to admit I’m a messy person at home. I’m not in denial about that. During the conversation with my best friend I say I’m a hoarder, but am I really? I have no problems throwing out actual garbage when I try and clean my room, which some hoarders find extremely difficult to do. Last year I donated three enormous bags of clothes, shoes, and purses with no problem. In fact, I felt relieved to be rid of it.

Hoarders have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that is manifested through hoarding. I have some tendencies that can be related to OCD, but who doesn’t? Thinking about this in a rational way yields scary revelations, but they’re important. Slow down on shopping and dispose of the things I don’t need anymore.

Looking at my closet, it’s easy to see that I have a lot of stuff but I feel like I have a mild case of hoarding. It’s hard for me to get rid of things, but not impossible.

The conversation between me and my best friend about being a hoarder.  

The conversation between me and my best friend about being a hoarder.



Stephanie is a twenty-something Professional Writing student at Algonquin that can be found forever cleaning her closet. Which is what this blog is all about. When she’s not cleaning her closet, she is either reading, writing or watching copious amounts of television.

Stephanie can be found on Twitter and Pinterest. She also follows this blog The Happy Slob's Guide To Housecleaning