Collector or hoarder? Time to downsize…

Collector: a person who collects objects because they are beautiful, valuable, or interesting

Hoarder: a person who collects and keeps a lot of items, even things that appear useless or of little value to most people (according to the International OCD Foundation)

How is hoarding different from collecting? • In hoarding, people seldom seek to display their possessions, which are usually kept in disarray. • In collecting, people usually proudly display their collections and keep them well organized.

I recently had a great conversation with someone who is an avid collector. He collects a wide range of items: from vintage newspapers, to vintage…cars! He admits that he never sells anything!

I collect vintage cameras, custom jewelry as well as suitcases…and handbags! I sometimes sell them, usually when I need money (to buy another item) or because I’m running out of room! (My kids joke about me becoming a hoarder! I got scared after watching the show ‘Hoarders’ on television!)photo(15)

  1. Selling online: for heavy or large items, I would suggest to sell locally on sites such as craigslist or Kijiji. For smaller items, you could list them on ebay, etsy or even on Facebook (many local groups to choose from for selling clothing to decorative items)
  2. Garage sale: it’s my last option, as people are not willing to spend money, even for quality items.
  3. Trading/swapping: you also have the option of trading with other collectors – Some of the online sites give you that option. You can also visit the specific shows (cameras collectors show, paper ephemera show etc…) and try to exchange it with a dealer or fellow collector.
  4. Donating: depending on which kind of items you are collecting, you could donate it to a charity (and you would get a tax receipt!), a gallery, a school…

 Isabelle V.

Information about hoarding on the International OCD Foundation website:


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