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LinkedIn Article: The Fine Line Between Collecting and Hoarding

Maybe we should ask, IS there a line between Collecting and Hoarding? I would venture to say that the answer is in the eye of the beholder. I collect things, and my husband says I hoard things. In his eyes, it is all "Old Junk," and in my eyes, they are beautiful remnants of the past. I have always loved history, which sometimes gets in the way of my reasoning abilities.

My hoarding, um, I mean my collecting, falls into three categories:

  1. Things I can sell on eBay or at an auction.

  2. Historical things.

  3. Items that are cool or remind me of my Granny.

I admit that most of my collection falls in the last category. I am a sentimental soul. The day I brought home 1200 plus magazines from the auction, I thought my husband would kill me! However, I ended up selling several for over $100 and one for around $500! Then there are the old pictures. I love looking at past pictures; to be truthful, a few of them are very collectible. They often tell a story, either beautiful or tragic. Old photos are probably my

favorite thing to hoard, um, collect.

Last month I won a box full of antique photographs. They included notes and medical books written by a Doctor Albert Freeman Africanus King. After some research, I discovered that he was at the Ford theater when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and was one of the three attending Physicians. He wrote many medical papers as well and was a very well-known Doctor. I still have that box. Not because I cannot sell them, but because I love them so much! Eventually, I plan on selling them at the auction, but for now, they are in my hoarding collection.

Now that I think of it, that may be precisely where the line is drawn between collecting and hoarding. A collector keeps things of value. Items that can sell at some point and for the right price will sell. A hoarder keeps stuff of sentimental value and little value to anyone else but themselves. So, where do I fall on this made-up scale of mine? I think I will say I'm a collector with hoarding tendencies. Or maybe a hoarder who sometimes collects things. Maybe, or not. All I know is it is not trash, so keep those grubby hands off my stuff!

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