Are you a hoarder?

I think it stems from my parents’ ‘make do and mend’ mentality.

I’m very bad at getting rid of things and have far too much clutter, even a storage unit doesn’t help. Storage unit is full of stuff I really need to sort out but am never inclined to do.

Many older gadgets have seen little use for many years but I keep them as they were originally pretty expensive, they generally still work.

I was looking for a charger yesterday and couldn’t find it or an old DSLR that I suddenly noticed wasn’t where I thought it was, I have so much old paperwork too and embarked on scanning items years ago but these days find that incredibly tedious, especially when most things are available to download now. Paperwork now often gets consigned to boxes to sort out ‘another day’ which will probably never come.

I’m always saying we need more room, but having less stuff might be better.

Vinyl takes up increasing space. CDs and DVD/BluRay are rarely used these days, but many of the latter are unavailable to stream.


Hmm, can be tricky but personally I find a periodic clear out incredibly cathartic. Though the one time I moved on a few records still hurts! But that’s the only regret.

I used to find books the hardest to part with but, after several decades, if I’d kept them all my house would look like it belonged to Mr Trebus!

Oh and a decent shredder is a bonus. And not one of these things that you have to feed one piece at a time before it overheats after 5 minutes either, get a proper one you can shove wads into and keeps going for half an hour if needed!


Yes, absolutely. Not bag-lady stuff, but drawers full of old gizmos, cables I’ve no idea what they’re for, old single edge razors (used to collect and still use one or tw…three); stuff that needs repair because I can’t stand to see something that could work just thrown out; bikes, bike parts etc etc. The loft is contortionist territory to get to the mountain of storage boxes under the eaves…

Let’s not talk about the LPs, CDs…I have to lose about 100 - 150 LPs just to make space for new ones.

It’s simple - we need a big house. Have modest flat.

And…my wife says I’m a hoarder - so I must be.

Whoops, forgot the shoes…call me Imelda…


I think that’s a big part of it, available space - years ago I spread my stuff across several rooms, now with 2 kids at home needing their own rooms/space/storage, a fairly large 4 bedroom house has significantly less space for ‘my stuff’.

Ideally I’d want somewhere far bigger with several more rooms for specific purposes, but I think that’s unlikely now.

I do think it is a problem with UK houses, which invariably seem a lot smaller than comparatively similar priced homes in other countries.

That and a lack of basements in most UK houses makes finding room for stuff that much harder.


There is also the question of ‘bargain purchases’. Certain things seem like good buys when discounted, trouble is I often buy things and store them.

While looking for the Canon camera yesterday I came across a 2TB SSD purchased ages ago I’d forgotten I’d actually bought. Lots of good plans/intentions I think, but ones which really need proper free downtime with no one else around to utilise them properly.

I’m often quite productive when no one else is in the house but as soon as everyone returns from work/school I’m not.

Our loft is full of stuff. We had a structural engineer come and do some calculations for a wall we wanted to remove and when he poked his head into the loft and turned on the light, he said (and I quote) “Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.”

A lot of it is mine and included is a fair bit of hifi. But another fair bit belongs to our grown-up children, who both have their own families and houses.

When we say things like, why don’t you take your stuff out of our loft, so us to help tidy it up, the reply comes “Don’t worry about it parentals, we will clear it out when you are dead…”

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My parents died in 2019, 2020 was a mess, I’m yet to get into the loft to assess what’s up there, not much I suspect but my loft is a right mess as a builder told me a few years ago blaming some ceiling issues on my stuff.

This is not the sole issue but it’s a very good point. In Britain we obsess on “affordable homes”. It translates as affordable at the point of purchase rather than affordable over its lifetime.

What’s missing is the issue of minimum space standards. The impact on mental and physical health of building tiny boxes, semi-detached, terraces and town houses and such
like is clear cut and yet it’s not an oss7e in anyone’s agenda.

Hoarding itself is a very sensitive issue for me. My closest friend was found dead aged 49 in what we assumed was his old student house, a place he’d allegedly been renting out for 20 years. 3/4 of the roof was missing; each floor of the terraced house was covered in about 4 foot of accumulated hoarding/rubbish and the fire brigade needed special gear to just get up the stairs and get him out because the weight of stuff on the stayed had rendered them unsafe. No-one had a clue it had been happening. It’s easy to fool people if you want to.

So there is hoarding and there is “hoarding”. I lived in a 2 bed flat for 8 years and became ruthless at disposing of anything I didn’t immediately need. That carried over into a detached house but over the years you drift. I’ve got back on track recently but it’s been interesting breaking up plastic CD cases as I file the discs themselves away in flight cases now I’ve acquired a streamer. Every bone in my body is screaming that it’s wrong to not have a physical asset but I’m fighting it.


So sorry to hear about your friend Mike, it’s a serious issue.

One positive about streaming services is that there’s nothing physical to steal which also makes physical CD/LP/CC collections relatively uninteresting to thieves. We were burgled in 2005 (threatened with a knifing by some scroat I kicked in the arse) and around £4000 of audo/video was taken (hardware aside), these days I’d imagine they’d regard it as pointless.

Nearly filled 2 flight cases with CDs and discovered that both will fit under the bed so they don’t even need to go into the garage. It’s reassuring to know that if we were burgled there are 3 backups (CDx1 and HDDx2).

Yes. Why waste money throwing something away that very likely will be needed one day? It comes from growing up having very little, inherited from parents who survived the war (and in my dad’s case surviving meant against all kinds of deprivations, including nothing but the ragged clothes on his back in a Siberian winter).

I just need to get better at tidying and organising storage…


I guess I do hoard like everyone has said, and I love fixing something with some screw or piece of wood I kept from 20 years ago. However during the Tidy Up session I started last year when Covid and my retirement started, I realised that a lot of trash actually gets sold on eBay, so should I do the same? I initially did it just to recycle and know that something I have ignored for 20 year gets a second life. I sold my first Digital Camera that was probably broken, but didn’t have the charger to check. It sold for a fiver which went in my Naim Fund. I then sold my second very old digital camera, my University Amp/CD player/Tuner which was in the loft doing nothing, a Ferrari pen I had as a present which never got used, and was amazed how all my old tat can add up. I still of course hoard, but it is stuff that I might use again, rather than just kept because I didn’t know what to do with it, and hadn’t had the heart to throw out. Try it…


I have moved 3 times. That way one can clear items that you do not need. It is when you never
Move that things accumulate. When i have read books that are not valuable they go to cancer


Yes, moving does create a review opportunity - neverttheless at our last two home moves my wife commented about the amount of “junk” we were taking. I said its not junk.

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All local recycling centres have been closed because of covid restrictions, a few are now open but you have to book a slot. So you can’t just rock up with a load of unwanted stuff or rubbish.
I would imagine many are in the same position of having their designated dumping area overflowing right now.
Somethings you just know that once it’s got rid of, it will be needed two weeks later !


I have just filled a skip bag with un needed items.
Daughter,on the odd visit. ‘What you doing?’
Me.’Having a clear out’
Daughter ‘ Good, saves me a job when you go.’



I often watch house programmes where families say they need more space, so need to move or extend.

Many times these families just need to have a grand clear out and generally when you see the end of their project, that has also happened.

I tend to clear out, my wife is a may need that one day person. We compromise.

A friend is an extreme hoarder, visits result in me standing in a small space as there is no where to sit. We tried decluttering but his emotional attachment to many things and I need that, meant we barely dented the mass.

He lives in a small park home, knows there is an issue but can’t sort it out and it impacts on his health. Only he can decide when he can deal with it. I suspect he never will.

Sorry no solution, but moving can give an opportunity to clear stuff out or give new space to fill.


The need usually seems to arise very next day, and you end up Having to go and buy brand new!

The worring thing is when you forget you’ve kept something because one day it will be needed, that day cones and you’ve forgotten you have it and buy …only to find the one you kept immediately after you’ve used the new one! That is the signal to sort everything out…


Very true, we had limited opportunities for ages, and this business of booking a slot is a real annoyance.