6.08.2010

Hoarder or Collector?


There's fine line between hoarding and collecting. Hoarders keep things they think are valuable while collectors keep items that fall under a theme, such as dolls, stamps, music, or camera equipment. Thinking about how O.C.D my grandfather was, I believe his styrofoam containers and Whole Foods napkins fall under the theme of "take out". It was the anal way that he curated his things that made them a collection. Hoarders tend to be messier and nonchalant about categories. But maybe I'm underestimating hoarders. 


I just skimmed through this Could You Be A Hoarder quiz, a qualifyer being "I have multiples of many items, e.g. plastic bags, cards, pants of the same color." I wasn't sure whether to answer the questions in regards to my current situation (living in an inherited hoarder house) or what I would really do (not keep plastic bags or pants of the same color). I'd answer yes to "I avoid having people over because of all the mess" but it brought up some painful feelings. It made me remember that this isn't my crazy garage but that it was given to me. I'm learning to separate myself from my mother's mess. Which is why I decided to start this blog-- to document about this absurd situation and get some much needed distance. It's easier to cope when I can view this all as a flaming, hairy spectacle. 

Anyway, I took the quiz and... I'm not a hoarder! I've had little trouble tossing things, minus cool items such as the sex plug or the stamp collections. I'm beginning to have stricter guidelines for what I can keep, formulating collection themes. If the items are beautiful, unique, useful, sentimental, or not too large, I try to keep. Themes include vintage jewelry, Sanrio products, letters and literature, vintage clothes, and outdated electronics that could be decorative. I thought about keeping different colored sweatpants but I'm learning to let go. 

I'm steering clear of Whole Foods napkins too. I wonder if I should take them back and sneak them into the napkin dispensers.

6 comments:

jade said...

i love the idea of you taking the napkins back to whole foods and sneaking them into the dispensers! if you need an accomplice, i'll go on your secret mission with you.

Raina Lee said...

sweet! jade, i was thinking of making a short video of sneaking the napkins back into the dispensers. do you want to direct? I hope they haven't changed the napkin "model" or "style"

Ben said...

I'm loving this blog, I almost wish I had an infinite garage.
Since hoarders get attracted to the emotional history and value of objects, for you it must be doubly hard since it is the history of the objects and what they meant to your family, _and_ what that connection means to you.

Keep it up, I love that you are freeing the stories of all these objects from being just "hoards" into living memories...

lshih003 said...

Raina, thank you for memorializing these memories on the interweb. Grandpa and his wonderful O.C.D. quirkiness will live forever in our memories and now, also with the fans of your blog. Seeing how meticulous Grandpa was about cleanliness, it's no surprise he collected napkins. It must be a combination of his experiences in the war, seeing how wasteful we are as a Americans and his compelling need to ALWAYS have a napkin to keep himself clean. Besides, an extra napkin comes in handy after a cigarette and a shot of whiskey. <3 Grandpa!

Raina Lee said...

Hi Ben, thanks for reading! that's a good way to think about it, unlocking the stories from objects. The stories want to come out! Again, nice meeting you at FROG!

lshih, no prob, wai-gong's OCD (and beef noodle recipe) deserves to be remembered. do u want some of his napkins? They're hard to trash but I don't want to use Whole Foods napkins at home. He also left some really old booze.

erin said...

I always told you the difference between an archive and a junk yard is organization!

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