Compulsive Hoarding. Also known as Hoarding Disorder. A pattern of behaviour that is characterised by excessive acquisition and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment. (Wikipedia)
In almost every person you know there is a hoarder. Apart from a miniscule number of people the act of hoarding is something every person does do whether it’s unknowingly or knowingly. This piece explored a college environment to see what the average person is like in terms of collecting and keeping things.
Many people do hoard. From the time that I have been able to understand things around me I have learnt this. My grandfather was a hoarder. He kept everything he came across that he thought could be more useful. After his death, when my grandmother was cleaning out his almirah she found things inside that were both useless– to us– as well as strange. We found a large stack of 2 Rupee notes. There must have been over a 100 of them in there. For many it’s all about nostalgia. Tresa says “I hoard the things I find memories in.” There’s no specific for her. “It can be a pencil to a keychain.” She tells me while sitting in our noisy canteen. For Ashwin hoarding means something similar. “Probably things from my childhood.” He says after thinking a moment.
Kritika is a guitar string hoarder. She says, “At times it does (annoy me), because it occupies stupid space in my cupboard, but other than that, it’s completely fine.” She goes on to say that if anyone tells her to stop her habit she wouldn’t care and would go on doing what she does.
Sometimes the act of hoarding might just signify a person’s determination and perseverance. As Amala tells me softly, “They have a lot of patience. If they are interested they will keep things”
Hoarding doesn’t seem to have annoyed people that do hoard things. On the contrary they have regretted throwing away things. Things they wished they hadn’t. Ashwin confirms my theory but refrains from telling me what it is he has thrown away. Kritika on the other hand reminisces with a slight grimace as she recalls painful times, “Books. Not really thrown but sold.” Sharon who says she doesn’t hoard at all sympathises with the hoarder. “It’s too addictive. When they start they don’t stop” Sharon says that since her friends are hoarders, she feels left out sometimes. She wishes that she wasn’t a person who would throw everything away. “My first boyfriends gift” She says, wishing she still had it.
However, she would not like to spend her life with a hoarder. “I would try to change the guy!” She exclaims after vehemently saying a series of ‘no’s like she doesn’t even want to think about it. Similarly, Amala says, “Maybe he’ll change his mind…” looking horrified at the prospect of having to live with a hoarder.
Tresa says she would be disturbed if she had to live with a hoarder. “After a point, if the stuff gets too much I would get irritated.” Ashwin comes to the defence of his hoarder saying, “Messy places are okay!” He justifies saying he does it too. But for Kritika it all comes down to the basics. “It’s depends on the kind of person he or she may be.” She says. And in the end, that’s what it all boils down to.