By in Health & Fitness

What's the Difference Between a Hoarder and a Saver?

Just about everyone has heard of hoarding. People with an irrational need to collect and keep much more than they can possibly use have been the focus of countless television programs, radio talk shows, Internet chat rooms, and magazine articles. Unfortunately, all the attention has led some people to confuse people who are thrifty and refer to themselves as "savers" with those who must keep acquiring goods and can't throw anything away. If you are among those who are not sure of the differences between a hoarder and a saver, here are some distinctions that will help you understand.

No Room? No Problem!

Hoarders are not the least bit concerned about whether there is room for new stuff. The main object is to acquire whatever captures the eye first and worry about where to put it later. As a result, a hoarder's home is usually packed from basement to attic with piles of stuff, very little of which ever sees any actual use.

By contrast, a saver is focused on buying goods with a definite plan in mind. For example, those bolts of fabric that are purchased on sale are destined to become clothing, window treatments, or maybe even some gifts for loved ones. Since the project will get underway shortly, finding a spot for the fabric will not be a problem. There is usually space set aside in a storage closet or in the craft room for just such a purpose.

Things Equal Security

Hoarders have often lived through some sort of life event where they felt deprived of something very important. For example, a hoarder may have lived through a time when it was impossible to purchase new clothes or keep food on the table. After emerging from hard times, the individual goes to extremes to purchase in abundance those items he or she had to do without. This means clothes closets begin to overflow into the bedroom, then begin to make their way into the hall and into other rooms.

A saver may also have learned thrift during hard economic times, but takes a different approach to the hoarder. Savers make sure the food pantry is always full, but tends to consider that enough. A saver buys quality clothing in classic styles that can be worn from one year to the next and look fresh by adding different accessories. While both the hoarder and the saver are mindful that deprivation could come again, one focuses on quantity while the other goes for quality that will last through anything that comes down the road.

Home is a Dangerous Place

Hoarders often live in conditions that are not healthy. Going far beyond a home that simply is in disarray, the hoarder may refuse to throw out food after expiration dates have passed, or household pests have burrowed into boxes of pasta or sacks of flour. The sheer volume of stuff packed into each room may make it impossible to clean the home properly, leading to an atmosphere that is increasingly toxic. From this perspective, hoarders are placing themselves in grave danger.

Savers like clean spaces and have no problem getting rid of stuff when things begin to get cluttered. Their thrifty nature makes them fond of donating to recycling centers and charity shops. Spoiled food is thrown out promptly, old clothes are handed off to friends or given to shelters, and older kitchen appliances are disposed of at yard sales or some other venue. Savers know when to let go and keep the house a safe and inviting place to be.

If you suspect that you are on your way to becoming a hoarder, call a counselor today. Stopping this type of counterproductive behavior now will be much easier than dealing with it after the house is jammed full of useless items.

Image Credit » by Hans

You will need an account to comment - feel free to register or login.


grandma20121 wrote on January 25, 2016, 5:48 PM

I have watched the show hoarders many times I do know the difference I try to be the saver

lookatdesktop wrote on February 2, 2016, 6:41 PM

I guess I am a saver. I like a clean house and do get rid of old stuff when It sets around and starts taking up space. I don't want to become a hoarder. That would be just awful.