social hoarding?

The last few weeks while I’ve been buried in writing places other than here, I’ve been mentally teasing out the difference between collecting and hoarding. At the root of it, collecting seems to be a social activity – one that both takes the collector out into the world and one that brings others in to appreciate the collection. But what of hoarding?

Hoarders are known for the isolation that accompanies their stuff. They cannot bring people into their homes and their own family members are generally pushed out. Home becomes inhabitable. Stuff rules. But many of these people also lead active social lives outside of their homes, and they often seem outwardly gregarious. Is it just the home-space that is overrun with things? And then, in some ways, both the crazy couponing people and the collectors are making their homes unhomely by allowing their collections to take over, as organized and catalogued as they may be. The gathering/gleaning aspect of hoarding forces the hoarder into the world and in some instances does create social connections.

Of course, I could read one of the twenty research articles I’ve downloaded on this very topic rather than letting the digital files gather dust as I write into the vacant blogosphere from which answers rarely come.

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2 responses to “social hoarding?

  1. Collecting digital files is always bad! When I have files that need to be dealt with, read, etc – I leave them open on my computer screen to guilt myself into having too much clutter open. That way, I have to deal with it to “reward myself” into removing it from the “pile.”

    • I leave them on my desktop, but eventually I just sort and file them away into folders. Ever since I learned how to “search” my computer for terms, I have gone archive crazy on my computer. Bad bad me.

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