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Collector or Hoarder?

I was going through my attic yesterday with my friend Dušan, thinking about the idea of selling some of the huge amount of stuff up there. The utility bills have got so high now that every penny (or koruna) helps, and I'm sure the ceilings are starting to crack under the weight!

There are actually so many things up there that I don't like or even want, I really am sure there are people out there who could use them and may even like them. These range I'm from old bits of furniture, doors, crockery... most of it I don't consider nice, but we've all got different tastes and I'd be happy if someone could give some of it a home.

But then a lot of the things up there I actually do like... and there's the stuff in the house that I don't use, but actually like... It brought back a conversation I had recently with my housemate and best friend, Rob, which ended in him asking me if I thought I was a hoarder.

I have given this a lot of thought especially as I consider my father to be a bit of a hoarder and it's something I view a little negatively, not really for him, but I didn't want or expected to end up as one myself.

I could never be described as a minimalist, I know that, and I do like to collect things, rescue things, give things a home... is that a hoarder?

On looking up an online definition I came up with this:

"If you are a collector, you are able to make a decision to eliminate or donate items from your home. You don't feel the need to keep things “just because”. A hoarder is different than a collector. Hoarders gather random items because they like them, they are on sale and/or they may be useful to them in the future."

I've always collected things I find beautiful, interesting, and also useful. I also don't like waste and have a tendency to want to rescue things. Something I've learnt in life is that some things just don't want to be, or shouldn't be rescued.

I also have an internal conflict with my attitude towards objects. On the one hand I do love stuff, especially old stuff for all the reasons I've always mentioned, but I also like the idea that these items belonged to, were cared for by, and were treasured and loved by people probably long gone. Maybe a part of them and their energy live on in the cups, dishes, chairs and tables I have here.

On the other hand, the older I get the more I feel that material objects somehow hold us to the material world and at some level this blocks our progression to something higher. I know that sounds a little deep, woo woo, or even crazy, and I can't quite explain it... I'm not saying it's unhealthy, but maybe holding onto things is a distraction from something more important...

This reminds me of the time I left my life in London to go and live in Italy. I sold and gave away almost everything I had, traveling to Milan with just a suitcase. For a brief moment it was one of the most liberating feelings I've ever felt... but as you can see, it didn't last long.

When it comes to being a collector or a hoarder I guess I kind of fit into both categories, but with a leaning towards the first (mainly because I don't want to see myself as a hoarder!) but to qualify for the label of "collector" and rescue my first floor ceilings, I do need to let go of some of the junk in my attic, and I'm quite looking forward to the freedom 💚

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