Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I am a collector. I live in a Museum.

Your Favourite Blogger discusses the differences between hoarding and collecting. And, possibly rambles a bit...

Some people like to collect things. A woman I used to work with had a stamp collection, there was a lady featured in Frankie magazine that liked to collect Christmas themed deer and elf ornaments and I, I like to collect a lot of things. Collecting is not always looked upon as a nice hobby. Some people confuse it for hoarding, while others think it is just as bad. Are both hoarders and collectors doomed to spend a lot of time and money becoming attached to objects that they don't need for their survival? Or are we different?

This is where I decide to get really technical and look up some definitions. According to TheFreeDictionary.com the definitions are:

Hoarder- a person who accumulates things and hides them away for future use.
Collector- A person or thing that collects.

So yes, dictionary's are not always very helpful...

In my opinion a hoarder is one of those people that you see on DR Phil. The one that buys all these things with price tags still on them that they never use. They throw all these things in a junk room because they can't bear to get rid of them and the room becomes a disgrace. Nothing is looked after and the person obviously needs a guy with a bald head and thick accent to help them get through the emotional distress that caused them to create such a big pigsty.

I believe collectors are more civilised than that. I think collectors are people that like certain things and decide to collect only those things. Collectors look after their possessions and try to keep them tidy. Many collectors have their collections on display for guests in their house to see; In a cabinet or on a shelf. I think the major difference between collectors and hoarders is the selectiveness and care that collectors have towards possessions. Because collectors take care of their possessions they value the items more highly. In my experience I think that collectors are more careful with their money because they pay more attention to the finer details of an item such as the cost. I am biased of course because I am a collector myself.

So what do I mean by Selective? When I said that collecting was selective I meant that people who 'collect' only collect certain things. Collectors tend to pick one item and focus on collecting that rather than just hoarding everything. Some people do have more than one collection growing in their house(like me) and as long as it doesn't get too out of hand money-wise or start to take over the house I don't see any issues with that. Not only are collectors selective about what types of things that they collect, but they are specific about which items will make it into the collection. Reader's might collect books, but they don't just collect books in general. Often the books will fit a certain category/s. For example Fantasy novels and Classics might be the only books this particular reader collects and they might not like Charles Dickens, so his books wouldn't be included.

Not all collections should have to be spick and span or organised in alphabetical order, but should be in some way orderly. I think in a way my room is like a museum. There is a bit of dust here and there, a few things lying around that have been pulled out of place, but nothing major. I can still walk to the door without tripping over anything, I can still see the floor and I don't have a TV crew looking around my room while that bald guy tells me to let go...

Obviously collecting isn't too far from hoarding. For all I know it could possibly lead the way to it. There are a few times when I go to the $2 store and see something cheap (like say notebooks or imitation perfume) and I think "That's only $3.50 and I could get one in each colour for this much" or "If I bought 3 perfumes it would still be cheaper than going to the chemist and purchasing the real thing". The thing is that sometimes you feel like you want to collect everything and you have to reason with yourself. Maybe you just saved yourself some money buying 4 perfumes. They were cheaper than the real thing. But, if you didn't buy any then you would have saved even more money...

Overall, I think my opinion is pretty clear. I am a collector and I like to collect. As long as you manage your collection well and keep it as dirt and clutter free as you can then there shouldn't be any problems. Once I got called a 'hoarder' after someone saw my room. Yes it wasn't clean, but I wasn't exactly expecting them either. It was a little messy, but not OTT. I am a hoarder. I live in a museum. That museum just happens to get a little messy sometimes...

What do you think about Hoarding vs Collecting?

Your Favourite Blogger,

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