Where do you draw the line between hoarding and collecting? When you walk into a hobbyist store, your immediate impulse as an outsider might be thinking that the owner has a problem and needs a storage unit. But if the owner is proud to show their collection and doesn’t rely on it, he may not have much issue at all. A collector’s is usually what separates him from the embarrassed atmosphere that tends to surround hoarders. It’s not a black-and-white definition, other factors can define hoarders as well.
Although a common media trope of collectors is that they want to complete their work, reality often differs. People who collect a type of item tend to aim for the valuable objects. After all, if they had the same thing as everyone else, their collection wouldn’t have much value. The idea of trading away some cheaper items for one, more significant piece, happens often within collector circles. By contrast, hoarders often keep things that can be useless. In the most extreme cases, letting go of actual garbage can be enough to distress a hoarder.
The size of a collection may be the most difficult factor to define between a collector and a hoarder. While most collectors don’t have more than 50 objects in whatever they like to keep, a still significant number have at least a hundred or more. The difference here is that many of these items are arranged and displayed in some way or another, keeping them neat, tidy, and organized. If you have a valuable collection, you want to ensure it stays in good shape. Whatever a hoarder is holding onto, it tends to pile up into clutter that can get so large it makes moving around a room difficult.
While many collectors gravitate towards introverted personalities, they still tend to show some degree of social interaction with friends, family, and other collectors. Their hobby tends to be nothing more than that, so they don’t have much regret or guilt associated with what they do. Hoarders, if left alone for too long, may start having trouble keeping their jobs, staying in touch with their family, or remaining social in general. These elements mean that hoarding can cause a significant amount of distress in someone’s life.
It’s best to not act as an armchair psychologist for a friend, family member, or yourself. If you believe you show hoarding tendencies that are negatively affecting you, contact a psychological expert for an accurate diagnosis. Whether you find you are a hoarder or a collector, when living in New York, you need as much space as possible. For a safe, climate controlled space to store your valuables, contact us at Treasure Island storage in New York and New Jersey today.