collecting vs hoarding

Hoarding Vs. Collecting: Distinguishing The Hobby From The Harmful Habit

Admit it. At some point, you may have collected something like baseball cards, dolls, coins, and sneakers. And while having these things does bring joy into our hearts, there are other reasons why we choose to collect specific items like nostalgia, potential monetary value, etc.

On the flip side, there are also people who tend to “collect” various items inside their houses to the point that they can no longer live comfortably and it’s already affecting their quality of living. This type of collecting is called hoarding, which is already featured in TV shows like “Hoarders” on History Channel.

Are you fond of collecting stuff? If so, how will you be able to know if you’re a collector or a hoarder?

If you want to know more, then we advise you to go on reading as we are going to tackle hoarding vs. collecting: distinguishing the hobby from the harmful habit in today’s post.

Collecting And Hoarding Defined

In simple terms, collecting is the act of seeking, acquiring, organizing, storing, displaying, and maintaining any items of interest as a means of a hobby. The items collected can range from anything so as long as it provides these benefits to the person:

  • Emotional fulfillment (it makes you feel happy)
  • Monetary gain (you see the monetary value of the item)
  • Historical significance (makes you feel proud owning a piece of history)
  • Sentimental value (potential heirloom to kids and conversation piece to friends)

On the other hand, hoarding is defined as the excessive accumulation of both necessary and unnecessary items with the difficulty of parting with any of that stuff due to intense emotional attachment.

Hoarding is classified as a mental condition because the person who has it has an uncontrollable urge to hoard regardless of the actual value of an item, which often leads to extreme cluttering.

Also, this condition is associated with anxiety and depression.

Key Indicators Of Collecting And Hoarding

The keyword for collecting stuff is ‘hobby’. In short, you do it because it does something good to you either physically or emotionally (or both). Likewise, it is an activity that you can be proud of sharing with other people. And even if you have collected tons of things, you always see to it that your collection is organized or neatly displayed in a particular room or space in your house.

However, the same can’t be said with hoarding because even if it’s considered as a habit, it is harmful in the sense that it overwhelms the person entirely that they can no longer live normally as expected, even causing their physical and mental health to be deteriorated in most cases.

And emotionally-speaking, hoarding is a means of “escape” for people who are depressed because it gives them a sort of happiness and sense of satisfaction. Moreover, hoarders are aware of their condition but choose to deny it because they are not really proud of their doing. As a result, they often regress into solitary confinement, which can also affect their relationship with family and friends as shown in the TV shows.

In addition, their capacity to sort out things is no longer apparent. And that’s the reason why most hoarders’ homes are filled with clutter inside their living spaces.

Final Thoughts

Overall, collecting is a beneficial activity while hoarding is the actual opposite of it. And if you know someone who needs help from their hoarding behavior, then it’s recommended hiring a professional junk remover like a reputable junk removal service in Atlanta today to clean the mess caused by hoarding.

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