Never Enough: The Hoarding Mentality
Ever wonder how you managed to accumulate 13 black sweaters or 100 pairs of high heels? Incessant collecting is a metaphor for some deeper, perhaps long-standing issues. Crystel Riggs has a thing for toothbrushes. This South Carolina mother bought nine new ones at once because they were on sale, she says. "Now when my toothbrush wears out, I know I will have a new one waiting, and I won't have to use an old scruffy one."June Summers's "thing" is ceramic houses and cookie jars. She has hundreds, many of which are displayed and many that sit in boxes in the basement. "I couldn't walk away from a flea market or a yard sale without picking up another piece—whether or not I really even liked it," she admits. "I was obsessed with having every piece of ceramicware ever created."Summers's obsession with collecting was brought under control while cleaning out her deceased grandmother's apartment. Grandma had also been a collector, salt and pepper shakers, menus, toothpick holders, hotel room soaps. "It was so depressing when we cleaned out her closets and found all of this stuff," says Summers. "That's what was left of her life—stuff. Was she any happier for having it all? All that time and money she spent collecting and hoarding, she could have done volunteer work or purchased things that would have left more of a legacy. That was the turning point for me."Though the object of collection may vary, most people have at least one item they just cannot pass up, be it shoes, baseball cards, notepads, little black dresses or toothbrushes.