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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?