You might just be a Hoarder?

Updated: Jan 23

Who would have thought that a Global Pandemic might make people act just a little crazy? Okay, a little crazy is to be expected. Right. We are only human. In 1986, The Human League told us that, via song. So, I ask you….is buying the “most squeezable” Charmin by the pallet, nuts? How about having cornered “the Lysol market” in your neighborhood? And lastly, hoarding up all the damned eggs! Seriously people, where are all the damned eggs. Did you steal the chickens too? This is longest I’ve gone in my life with out scrambled eggs. If I had any money, I’d take my all my spite down to Costco, buy all the bacon, just so you’d have to barter with me, filthy Egg Bandits!

Okay, where is this blog going you ask? All the above had me thinking like Elmo. If any of you have been at home these past few weeks trapped with a children my daughters age, you’ve too, have likely seen every episode of Elmo’s World. You too, then know that Elmo teaches us, when you see something, and you are curious…it makes you “wonder even more.” And I was wondering about HOARDING!


First, to clarify, I was raised by parents I considered hoarders. (Everyone else in the neighborhood thought so…so they were probably hoarders.) There’s no doubt after this article. Second, as an appraiser and auctioneer for almost 20 years, I’ve seen some amazing hoards, that’s for sure. But third, I’ve seen people call someone a hoarder or think of themselves as hoarders that I didn’t consider meeting the criteria in my brain or experience. This is what made me “Elmo” wonder.


Are there levels or degrees of hoarding?


Has it been measured by psychologists?


What causes it? Can it be cured?


Is it hereditary? (It was not in my case, but has it been known to be.)


So, let’s get to the bottom of it together….


What is Hoarding?


Hoarding is a known disorder. Someone with diagnosed hoarding disorder will experience great levels of stress at the mere thought of getting rid of something. I have personally witnessed this with clients and my immediate family. If you have ever witnessed or have tried to help someone downsize with this affliction you will see their deep seeded and perceived need to save almost everything. Regardless of actual value. Its personal, psychological and runs deep. Almost ever episode of the popular TV Show Hoarders I have seen; the same psychology plays out repeatedly. Honestly, it just reminds me of home and my childhood, but I know it’s not normal. Further, I am sure it why I became an auctioneer and an appraiser. It was to help those people dealing with a loved one downsizing. I found it odd how the hoarder will not listen to family but generally listens to a 3rd party. Not the people that love them, but the stranger. My parents were like that and so were most of my hoarder clients. Just another curious human nature thing, and perhaps for anoth