the collector

Several weeks ago, a friend shared Shel Silverstein’s “Hector the Collector” with me as we talked about hoarding in literature. I read this as a child but presumably forgot about it in this new context of adult self-diagnosis and recovery. Frost and Steketee also define the collector in their Q & A on

A major feature of hoarding is the large amount of disorganized clutter that creates chaos in the home. Rooms can no longer be used as they were intended, moving around the house is difficult, exits are blocked, and life inside the home becomes dysfunctional. Collectors typically keep their possessions well organized, and each item differs from other items to form an interesting and often valuable collection. Further, an important purpose of collecting is to display the special items so that others can appreciate them. People who hoard are seldom able to accomplish such goals.

Although a self-proclaimed collector, Hector was seen by society as “Hector the Hoarder.”


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