What’s In A Name? A Case For Hoarders

An antique dealer strikes gold in the museum.

It seems to me that people consider hoarding a BAD thing, ever since that TV show, Hoarders, started running on A&E.  I don’t see it that way. 

Hoarding can be a fun and rewarding hobby.  The problem is that the term “hoarder” has acquired such a negative connotation.  We can solve this merely by substituting a more positive title.  Instead of “hoarder”, why not call the passionate collector an…

Animal Lover:  If giving shelter to 93 cats doesn’t scream animal lover, I don’t know what does.  Same for that lady who provides a refuge for millions of homeless cockroaches.

Conservationist:  Think of the tons of waste that are kept out of our nation’s landfills when people choose to store their trash in their bedrooms.

Collector:  Most hoarders have a fixation on a particular collectible i.e. Beanie Babies, broken ceiling fans or Tupperware.  You have to admire their single-minded drive to acquire more of their chosen collectible.  One lady on the show had a collection of angels.  She couldn’t pass by anything at the thrift store that had an angel on it.  Also anything that had wings, feathers, or started with the letter “a”.

Museum Curator:  See “Collector” for a description of some of the interesting stuff these curators are preserving for posterity.  They should charge admission to their homes (providing patrons can get the front door open).

Mountain Climber:  The hoarder gets a great cardiovascular workout every time she has to scale Mount Trash to get to the corner of the broom closet where she sleeps.

Recycler:  Everything is reused, because nothing is thrown out.  Nothing.  Ever.

Orienteer:  Navigating through narrow paths surrounding by towering mountains (of stuffed bunnies in ruffled dresses); using nothing but a compass and instinct to reach your goal (the hotplate, the only working appliance in the house, which is hidden under a teetering pile of dirty dishes) – this sounds like the stuff of merit badges, not fodder for ridicule.

Librarian:  Preserving every Reader’s Digest Condensed Books ever published is a service to all mankind.

Antiquarian:  There has to be some treasure hiding among all that junk, if only you can unearth it.  Several other reality shows have sprung up based on this premise, with dealers picking through the hoarder’s stuff for profit.

Historian:  The hoarder can tell the riveting history of almost every item in their collection, like whether they went with the kiddie Mac-burger or kiddie Mac-nuggets in order to land their coveted prize.  

Archaeologist:  No need to go to Egypt.  The hoarder’s home is a gold mine for scientific inquiry.  Where else can you analyze a core sample of the 2 feet of filth covering someone’s bathroom floor, and determine exactly what he had to eat for lunch on May 5, 1997? 

There you have it.  If we remove all the judgment-laden verbiage from our dialogue, maybe this fascinating hobby and those who pursue it will finally get the respect they so richly deserve.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to dash.  It’s 50% off yellow-tagged items at the Goodwill today and I need to get down there before all the good stuff is snapped up.

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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52 Responses to What’s In A Name? A Case For Hoarders

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    That’s it – I’m having you committed!

    Like

  2. pegoleg says:

    I AM committed. Passionately committed.

    Like

  3. Oh the makings of another musical. “She’s got it, by George, she’s got it” from “My Fair Hoarder”. Can you hear it? ♫ “I have a hunch that junk collects in bunches.”♫ Yep, it’s me chiming in, hoarding those musical notes.
    This is so, so funny. I love it when you get carried away. 🙂

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      You’re a genius! That’s a musical I would see.
      And I still can’t figure out the musical notes. My keyboard doesn’t have an F13 or 14 (or is that a dumb thing to say?) and when I try to hit 1 and then 3, it doesn’t work. Help me, o techno-goddess!

      Like

  4. I laughed when I saw the Beanie Baby. I have that one and a thousand more. I’ve been trying to dump them for a year. I might have to go to E-Bay. Nice post.

    Like

  5. joehoover says:

    I believe they are also to blame for every lottery ticket that goes unclaime, they must be somewhere and any sane person would have cashed them in..

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I don’t know about that. They might all be in the bottom of my purse. I buy a Lottery ticket a couple of times a year, thinking $1 is cheap for the richness of my dreams of how I’d spend the money. But I never look at them again, because I know the odds of being struck by lightning are much greater than those of winning, and I feel like a big doofus for even bothering to check.

      Like

  6. Lenore Diane says:

    Before I go take a shower (because I feel filthy after reading this post), I want to offer one more term to use instead of ‘hoarder’.
    “White Elephant Extravaganza!”: Come and find the best gift to give for a white elephant gift exchange. Then again, just leave your best white elephant gift at the door, please.

    (You need to read my ‘The Tale of the White Elephant’.)

    Like

  7. Oh, please tell me you’re not going to wind up on one of those shows. I can’t watch them, but my friend at work is addicted. She’ll tell me about this woman Peg who sits in heaps of hoards and writes a blog and nobody would ever know she lived in such a home and I’ll wonder about cats. Yeesh.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      See, this is the kind of narrow-minded, knee-jerk reaction to the term that I’m talking about. Sounds like your friend is a discerning television viewer. Also sounds like you hate cats. (shakes head, sadly).

      Like

      • I have a cat! I don’t hate cats. I hate the bodies of several dead cats lying beneath the filth of a hoarder’s home. I don’t hate the hoarder… I hate the mess. Yes, my friend is much more open-minded. She likes tabloids, too.

        Like

        • Tar-Buns says:

          Don’t worry, Peg’s not a hoarder like on those tv shows. Her collections are well arranged and boxed. I’m not a hoarder, either, can’t stand the clutter. Yet, I am addicted to the Hoarders show. Like watching the proverbial train-wreck. You just want to shake them and say “snap out of it!” Definitely a mental illness.

          Like

          • pegoleg says:

            That’s how I feel, Tar. Besides, it makes me feel better about the (relatively) clutter-free condition of my basement. You can still see lots of cement through the junk!

            Like

  8. Janu says:

    I don’t get that whole hoarding thing….or, that whole whoreding thing ala reality TV either.

    Like

  9. I like your attitude – this could apply to so many things in life. I’m not a “procrastinater,” I’m a “blog reader.” On a different note, I went to check the spelling for “procrastinater” and the Urban Dictionary popped up – you know what the definition is? “Procrastinater isn’t defined yet.” I thought that was kind of funny.

    Like

  10. Big Al says:

    Norman Vincent Peale would have loved your take on this.

    You only left one thing out. Mortician. No more of those outrageous fees for last expenses for loved ones. They’ll be buried where they fall. That will make the archaeology even more fun.

    Like

  11. I don’t know where or how you come up with your ideas, but they are golden! You are one funny, creative person!!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Thanks Lorna!

      I came up with this because it really is yellow-tagged sale week at the Goodwill and I usually get down there on Monday to see what’s available. Also, because I just called the lady at the auction house the other day to see where the check is for last month’s auction of all the stuff that had piled up in my basement.

      Let’s just stay I feel a certain amount of sympathy with the stars of this particular show.

      Like

  12. Oh Peg, you had me at “homeless cockroaches.” 🙂 You have such a unique way of looking at the world.

    Like

  13. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    I feel so much better now. I was thinking of taking medication for it, but now that I have a label for it, I’m fine! Great post, peg!

    Like

  14. k8edid says:

    You had me at doublewide.

    Like

  15. Dana says:

    Everyone who is not a meticulous collector of *something* will be sorry when A&E Biography comes a-calling and they have nothing tangible to show the film crew…

    Hoarders could also be called “Planners” or “Visionaries”– you really never know when you’ll need to whip out a dozen packets of silica in the future. Hoarders will be prepared. 🙂

    Like

  16. pattisj says:

    I love your beanie baby addition. 🙂 Everybody’s got at least one.

    Like

  17. I never thought I’d watch that show, but I get sucked right in…and I can’t stop! I’m obsessed with watching Hoarders. Is there a remedy for this disorder?

    The one time I could look away was the episode where this guy hoarded rats. Thousands of them. They crawled in his walls. Hundreds of them all over the house. I am having a seizure just thinking about it now. gahhhhhh!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Sounds like you’ve come up with a new reality show’ “Hoarders Watchers: Obsession”

      As far as the rats one, I’m having a sympathy seizure just visualizing what you saw. Stop!

      Like

  18. Pingback: An Apology from A Bloggy Scab | Peg-o-Leg's Ramblings

  19. gojulesgo says:

    I like your logic, Peg. I am no hoarder, but I am quite the Alcohol Appreciator, as my liquor cabinet will suggest.

    Like

  20. Hang on… I’m trying to get to the other half of my keyboard, but I’ve got to move a few things first…
    🙂

    Like

  21. Janu says:

    Do you ever sleep? How do you come up with all this stuff?

    Like

  22. A very amusing tongue in cheek take on hoarding here, which is no easy feat because hoarding can be something hard to find humor in, or to find any one thing at all in, when everything else is all crammed in there! But you pulled it off, or maybe unburied it, and thanks for the smiles! 🙂

    Like

  23. Barb says:

    Sometimes I think the hoarder show is “set-up.” Those hoardees…..let people in to scooch around piles, slack-jawed, commenting how bad the place looks. Don’t let them in. That would save a lot of tears, drama, and a trip to the dump. Thank you for your humanitarian efforts to change the public perception of this valuable artifact keeper.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Do you think it’s a setup? I don’t know. I think the true hoarders are genuinely mentally ill. I wonder if the show gets a list of properties that have been condemned and then goes in to film? Or if concerned children (or kids wanted 15 minutes of fame) contact the show.

      Like

  24. BillThePraiseAndWorshipGuy says:

    Actually, it’s the hoarders that made all the money on Let’s Make A Deal: “I’ll give you $500 if you have a kitchen sink in your purse!!!!” (always made me laugh when he’d ask a crazy one like that and NO MATTER WHAT HE’D ASK FOR the woman would dig through her purse, looking for a vase/chain saw/Egyptian artifact/fallen satellite hiding at the bottom…)

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Have you been digging around in my purse again? I think I saw that episode where the lady had a vase, a chain saw, an artifact and a fallen satellite in the bottom of her purse. But the artifact was Babylonian.

      Like

  25. When I saw ‘A case for hoarders’ I thought I’d buy one…..

    Like

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