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The other day I was bored and decided to watch a couple of episodes of "Hoarders." I'd heard of this show for years but had never watched it before. The first hoarder they featured was one of those sad cases with waist-high garbage all over their house, and I felt only sadness (and horror). But the second woman was a collector. An antiques dealer. Her home was clean, but it was stacked to the rafters with antiques and collectibles. She was a dedicated Dumpster-diver, garage-saler and flea-market enthusiast, and she sold things online and on Craig's List, but she took in way more than went out, and over the years she had accumulated thousands of items.

Now I started to feel uneasy. I have only recently gotten serious about buying and selling antiques and vintage, and my inventory has grown exponentially. My office is about as full as it's going to get, and a few of my items have migrated to the living room.

I've always felt confident that I wasn't a hoarder, because I'd heard that hoarders had a terrible time parting with anything, even trash. I'm not like that. I will happily part with anything if I can make a profit on it. But this lady on hoarders sold things, too. And her things were nice, really nice. Dozens of beautiful old picture frames, for example. Her problem was, not enough space. She was being forced to do something because her house was a safety hazard.

Lack of space is my problem, too. I live in a small house, and I only have one bedroom for my business. The walls are lined with shelves. I have packing supplies in the middle of the room because there is nowhere else to put them. (I would post a picture, but I'm too embarrassed.)

So where is the line, and have I crossed it? The rest of the house isn't so bad. A little cluttered, maybe. My office, however ... scary.

How about you? Are you a hoarder, or do you have rules about your collecting so that you don't go overboard and get buried under the things you love so dearly? Any advice so I can avoid an intervention down the road?

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Comment by Kara Lennox on June 17, 2016 at 7:17pm
Graceful Antiques, I can't say there has been much progress made, but I just had pull down stairs installed for the attic, where I intend to relocate my inventory. That will help a lot!
Comment by GracefulAntiquesVtg on June 17, 2016 at 2:57pm

Revisiting this post. 

How are you coming along on staying on task with all your treasures? 

I still honestly watch one or 2 of these shows from time to time to force me to stay on top of collecting and selling. I will immediately get to cleaning when I see one. 

Comment by Scott Colby on June 12, 2015 at 10:42am

I think when I have this finished I will treat myself to another auction and pick up just one more bit of stuff. True sign of a hoarder!!!!!

Comment by Kara Lennox on June 12, 2015 at 9:59am

Scott, I know! I am getting ready to paint my living room and I have no idea where I am going to put my stuff.

Comment by Scott Colby on June 12, 2015 at 9:24am

OMG Just having carpet installed in all my downstairs rooms and had to move "my stuff". My kitchens is jammed , I have to squeeze down my central hallway and my deck is full of furniture with tarps covering it. That's only one side of the downstairs. Still love my stuff but sure hate moving it.

Comment by Kara Lennox on June 11, 2015 at 10:00pm

Elizabeth, I have no trouble with selling stuff, if only it wasn't so much work! I love buying, though.

Comment by Elizabeth on June 11, 2015 at 6:20pm

"Museum House" ..... love that idea! :-)

We moved from our "starter home" of 25+ years to a larger house about a year ago. I nearly DIED going through my stuff and getting rid of some things but not nearly enough. Now I have 2 storage buildings that I need to condense to one, and a nice finished basement that is piled up, waiting for me to get through the stuff. It is good stuff, just too much. I am considering a booth or 2 at local antiques/vintage malls... researching that now. I think I could possibly part with things if I didn't actually have to be the salesman! I have bought on ebay for 20 years, but never sold anything. Now that is a crying shame!!!

Comment by Kara Lennox on February 9, 2015 at 10:37am

Scott, yes, totally. But I do think collections should be enjoyed, and when I have so much stuff that I lose track of it or put it into storage and forget it exists, it is time to purge! I, too, need another house. One just for show, maybe. My museum house.

Comment by Scott Colby on February 8, 2015 at 9:22pm

Collecting things that you love sounds perfectly normal. The issue is really the amount of space that you have. Collecting these things makes me feel good. Now if I only had 2 more houses!!

Comment by Kara Lennox on February 7, 2015 at 9:57am

Constance, that is sounding very familiar. I am eyeing the garage, where I already have a workspace for my mosaic, as potential inventory space, or maybe a staging/packing room. It is a little damp in there.

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