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Collector vs. hoarder, what’s the difference ?


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14 hours ago, Peter Gariepy said:

trash, money and organization (or lack thereof) are factors.

 

I think that another factor of hoarding is the thrill of acquisition vs. the reality of ownership. When collecting cars (as opposed to other most things) considerations like storage expense, maintenance expense, registration, title headaches, insurance and often restoration expense are things that strongly inhibit the desire to own. People who horde tend to forget about those important things when they're chasing a new vehicle. The desire to acquire is very strong. Then, once the thrill of the hunt is gone, maybe they don't want to spend money or effort on those necessary things, so the acquired items fade from focus...and often decline in condition.

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1 hour ago, Garrett said:

Collector seeks to have items in working order and to fit an organized category range. 

 

Hoarder is disorganized letting items rot. 

 

In vintage racing , an area of the hobby I am quite involved with, There is so much more needed { unless one is very wealthy indeed } that takes up a tremendous amount of time and space. First off you should have a drawing of nearly every part of the car itself. Not the outside supply items like engines and gearboxes, wheels , but everything Lotus, Elva , Lola or whoever actually made themselves.  Plus a good drawing of the radiator {s}. Then jigs to make any of the control arms and probably the frame if you have a tube frame car. Then molds for all the bodywork. 

 If you set foot on the track without these things you are taking a very expensive gamble. Any race car can be rebuilt after even a catastrophic crash, but if all the drawings and jigs available are with a marques specialist, most likely based in the U.K. get ready for the huge cost of shipping it over and back and hundreds of hours of skilled fabrication and re assembly time. 

 The cars themselves are small, but the back up to keep one alive takes time , money and space.

 

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21 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

 

In vintage racing , an area of the hobby I am quite involved with, There is so much more needed { unless one is very wealthy indeed } that takes up a tremendous amount of time and space. First off you should have a drawing of nearly every part of the car itself. Not the outside supply items like engines and gearboxes, wheels , but everything Lotus, Elva , Lola or whoever actually made themselves.  Plus a good drawing of the radiator {s}. Then jigs to make any of the control arms and probably the frame if you have a tube frame car. Then molds for all the bodywork. 

 If you set foot on the track without these things you are taking a very expensive gamble. Any race car can be rebuilt after even a catastrophic crash, but if all the drawings and jigs available are with a marques specialist, most likely based in the U.K. get ready for the huge cost of shipping it over and back and hundreds of hours of skilled fabrication and re assembly time. 

 The cars themselves are small, but the back up to keep one alive takes time , money and space.

 

That is neither 'collecting' or 'hoarding', but 'stockpiling' for when a need arises.  

 

A typical car dealer's Parts inventory is neither a 'collection' or a 'hoard'.

 

Craig

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If you don't know what you have or can't lay your hands on what you do know you have without moving hundreds of pounds of other stuff, you're a hoarder.

 

I had a neighbor who had that hoarding sickness. Broken furniture, vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers, filing cabinets, whatever. Newspapers piled to the ceiling in their house so that there was just a narrow path between the front door and each room. All four bedrooms with their windows obscured by boxes of stuff. A 2-car garage packed front-to-back, top-to-bottom with broken crap. Even if he knew what he had in the back of the garage, how would he ever get to it? He may as well not have the thing.

 

I understand buying spares--I have a ton of spare parts for all my cars that I may or may not ever use. However, they're in labeled boxes in shelves where I can get to them and see what I have. As soon as my storage room becomes inadequate or overflows or has so much stuff in it that nothing can be found, my family knows it's time for me to be put somewhere and the junk tossed in a dumpster.

 

If you don't use it or can't lay your hands on it, it's hoarding. THAT'S the difference.

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On 7/11/2021 at 9:51 PM, Larry Schramm said:

 

Holy crap. There is a guy in the top center of the picture.

  I did'tsee him either the first time I saw the picture.  All I

  noticed was the old car under the piles.  I display my junk   

  but secretly wish the Americaan Pickers would show up an

  load up.

  657385547_IMG_17481.JPG.6c75ae6c67abebf7f8f0a90adf4d6a03.JPG

   

Edited by Paul Dobbin (see edit history)
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I like that term stockpiling, so I've now officially gone from a hoarder to a stockpiler. I have an attic full of stuff I'm saving for when the need arises. Besides, nothing rots when it's nicely stored indoors up in the attic of a dry heated building. If I have it, I'm sure I can lay my hands on it in a day's time or less. 

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I did not sell the Riviera, floor jack, or magazine holder. The Bernie For Senator bumper sticker is hidden because no one gets the connection of my name being Bernie, wrong impressions are unacceptable. And I still use the fender cover.

 

The rest has been sold, either by the item or in a lot.

 

The DVD box was full of car show plaques from a defunct trophy shop. I am still getting $8-$15 each for them on Ebay.

 

I do not consider myself a hoarder. I am more of a conduit. Sometimes the flow is a little slow.

 

I refuse to usurp a buyer's right to purchase an item by taking it upon myself to throw it away. At times that generosity encroaches on me.

 

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3 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

If you don't know what you have or can't lay your hands on what you do know you have without moving hundreds of pounds of other stuff, you're a hoarder.

 

I had a neighbor who had that hoarding sickness. Broken furniture, vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers, filing cabinets, whatever. Newspapers piled to the ceiling in their house so that there was just a narrow path between the front door and each room. All four bedrooms with their windows obscured by boxes of stuff. A 2-car garage packed front-to-back, top-to-bottom with broken crap. Even if he knew what he had in the back of the garage, how would he ever get to it? He may as well not have the thing.

 

I understand buying spares--I have a ton of spare parts for all my cars that I may or may not ever use. However, they're in labeled boxes in shelves where I can get to them and see what I have. As soon as my storage room becomes inadequate or overflows or has so much stuff in it that nothing can be found, my family knows it's time for me to be put somewhere and the junk tossed in a dumpster.

 

If you don't use it or can't lay your hands on it, it's hoarding. THAT'S the difference.

 

I agree completely Matt. However if a person lives in an area where space is comparatively cheap what you are describing as the correct way to do things is just time and a methodical approach. In my part of the world, space is the second most unaffordable on the planet. Just slightly more affordable than Hong Kong. 

I have a little yard space ,and had hoped to put up a 30 x 50 shop this year  but construction costs , like almost everything else in this region, are out of this world.  Price wasn't cheap at all even a year ago. But today you are looking at at least twice as much as last year. Why not just buy a 1929 Packard roadster ready to drive? Cheaper than the cost of a half decent sized workshop.

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If you've never heard the tale, do a Google search for: "Collyer Brothers," and if that story and photo record doesn't spur you to clean your storage space, or if you think "that doesn't look so bad..." then seek some assistance. The story of the brothers is just tragic. 
 

People are so adaptable, that when you live with/around crazy for awhile, we start to think it's normal, or "not really that bad."

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13 hours ago, JBP said:

People are so adaptable, that when you live with/around crazy for awhile, we start to think it's normal, or "not really that bad."

 

40 years ago, U-Store-It places were few and far between.  Now, they are all over the place!!

 

Craig

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I think the process is the same. We may collect for different reasons, but how we deal with our collections determines our mental state. I think that in everyone's life when he reaches a tipping point, or maybe more aptly stated a mind set change. Beyond that point we either step back, re-evaluate and be ready to let go, or we just withdraw from reality.  

 

I think all of us here have some level of a collectors mentality, or we wouldn't be reading this. We will always have certain core of things that we feel the need to keep. The process requires a constant re-evaluation of what, why and to whom we pass it on. If an individual is unwilling to adjust he has lost touch with reality. There are others involved in this process. Selfishness is not a sign of a healthy mind.

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I thought of this the other day.What's the difference between a collection and a museum and how many cars dose a museum make? ( inside the museum,infinity goes up on trial)Bob Dylan

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I only have one old car, and STILL cannot find enough time to drive it as often as I would like, nor enough space in the garage to avoid piling stuff on top of it between drives. I cannot imagine how some people manage to have more than a few cars and a small stash of parts without having all that stuff overwhelm them. It takes discipline, and many people just don't have it. Discipline, to me, is what defines the difference between hoarding and collecting. The actual amount of stuff may be exactly the same, but a collector has the discipline to organize it, maintain it, keep the collection focused and move stuff along when necessary, while a hoarder does not. A collector has a plan for each car he owns and the discipline to actually follow that plan, even if it sometimes does get sidetracked or delayed. A hoarder has no plan and no focus, merely a desire to accumulate and vague dreams about getting to it some day.  

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2 hours ago, Big Beat said:

I only have one old car, and STILL cannot find enough time to drive it as often as I would like, nor enough space in the garage to avoid piling stuff on top of it between drives. I cannot imagine how some people manage to have more than a few cars and a small stash of parts without having all that stuff overwhelm them. It takes discipline, and many people just don't have it. Discipline, to me, is what defines the difference between hoarding and collecting. The actual amount of stuff may be exactly the same, but a collector has the discipline to organize it, maintain it, keep the collection focused and move stuff along when necessary, while a hoarder does not. A collector has a plan for each car he owns and the discipline to actually follow that plan, even if it sometimes does get sidetracked or delayed. A hoarder has no plan and no focus, merely a desire to accumulate and vague dreams about getting to it some day.  

 

That leads to another discussion, boring people vs. interesting people. Nobody wants to watch "American Neat People Pickers".

Bob 

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I've cleaned out hoarder estates in the past. One house was stacked at least 6 foot deep. I had to use a pry bar to get the doors open as they were nailed shut. Had just enough room to get myself in the door to climb over the pile. While cleaning stuff out I found about 10% to 20% of good saleable stuff to 80% to 90% trash that needed to go in a dumpster. You know, the Depression and the Dust bowl of the dirty thirties is coming back mentality is out there. Funny thing, when I got to the closets in the house they were empty other than one had a box of depression glass. Sold off most of the stuff that was saleable. Kept a few Items that I liked. 

I had an auction a few years ago and rid myself of a lot of stuff that began to collect dust. Don't miss any of it. I guess that makes me a collector and a business man. Hoarders just plain hoard. Dandy Dave!  

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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On 7/12/2021 at 4:30 PM, TAKerry said:

I always thought that when referring to yourself, you are a 'collector'. When speaking of some else, they are a 'hoarder'!

 

I was going to say this and Kerry beat me to it.   To be more specific,  when an old coot won't sell me his car he is a "hoarder".

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

 

I was going to say this and Kerry beat me to it.   To be more specific,  when an old coot won't sell me his car he is a "hoarder".


I have been asked why I am such a hoarder only by people who want something from my collection when I will not sell it to them… perspective is everything with the concept.

 

Pictures are older, now most of this is in glass display cases, but I still continue to hoard them.

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8 minutes ago, TheMoneyPit said:


I have been asked why I am such a hoarder only by people who want something from my collection when I will not sell it to them… perspective is everything with the concept.

 

Pictures are older, now most of this is in glass display cases, but I still continue to hoard them.

884D4EE0-E7B1-40D7-97DD-37F25D58B67B.jpeg

 

I don't call that nicely organized and laid out display a 'hoard'.

 

I've found my 'cure' for wanting something someone doesn't want to sell is to have an item they want really badly, and will gladly trade for it straight across. That way, both parties win; you get the part you need for your car, and the collector has something different and equally nice or interesting for his display.

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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9 minutes ago, The 55er said:

I think for a lot of folks the thrill of acquisition is more important than the hoarding itself. Once it gets home the bloom is off the rose so to speak.

 

Three "P"s of collecting:

 

Pursuit,  Purchase, Purge.

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Interesting discussion and comments. I think a lot of collectors have the idea that stuff they acquire they will eventually get "roundtuit" to restore, fix etc. Many literature collectors I knew wanted to get every piece of literature on a particular make, series or of a specific year. Some were so obsessed that even if they had a sales catalog they wanted every other one that was exactly the same because it was on a make they collected.  That stopped a lot of people who collected literature for the beauty of the illustrations or photographs, or historians/writers who wanted it for the information ( some literature has dates on the back that translate into when it was printed and how many pieces!) to use to put pieces together to get the story correct from what was told in the era but couldn't do that because one guy had all the same brochures.

Some people just feel superior because they have something you don't nor will you ever as long as they are around, they want to be the supreme beings, masters of their universe. Some share , most do not. Some people want others to share what they have and be generous but will not have the same value if someone asks them - just blow the other person off as someone who will forever be a newbie. This seems to be more prevalent for some makes then others or at least used to be.

We all think we will get around to some projects some day , maybe next year - then reality sets in that the "next years" we have left are not as many as they were a decade ago. We know that we never will but a lot of guys won't part with anything because it will pass the 'value' of having it on to someone else so will then diminish their 'aura' in the eyes of everyone else, they desperately do not want to slip down the status ladder. Sad commentary but the way it is with a lot of people who want others to share what they have with them but will not willingly share with others what they know or have.

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8 hours ago, Walt G said:

We all think we will get around to some projects some day , maybe next year - then reality sets in that the "next years" we have left are not as many as they were a decade ago. We know that we never will but a lot of guys won't part with anything because it will pass the 'value' of having it on to someone else so will then diminish their 'aura' in the eyes of everyone else, they desperately do not want to slip down the status ladder. Sad commentary but the way it is with a lot of people who want others to share what they have with them but will not willingly share with others what they know or have.

William Harrah said until he died, "You can't restore them all!"

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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Craig, and Bill Harrah tried his best to do that - restore them all. Many he did . He was not unrealistic, had his own shop as well as others working on many cars at one time and I feel both Bill and Austin Clark never really got/get the due credit for saving so many cars that people now have, see and enjoy. A friend just e mailed me that he saw a car for sale by a dealer who proudly proclaimed it was from the "Harris "collection. Must be a really serious well versed dealer to know who Harris was - I never heard of him , only guy I ever heard of was a band leader Phil Harris who was married to actress Alice Faye.

Bill Harrah was a close friend, we exchanged Christmas cards for years and spend a week each summer together hanging out and driving around in Franklins at the annual Franklin Club trek ( meet) near Syracuse, NY. He even brought his two adopted sons to the trek , they liked to climb trees better then ride in the cars! Until I was able to get my own Franklin to the trek I was loaned a Franklin that Bill had brought there ( he usually brought 3 or 4 cars every year) for the week. He and I also would walk around the flea market at Hershey together looking for stuff and at cars. His enthusiasm for cars matched everyone here who loves old cars and trucks, he was like a little kid ( who was 6 feet 4 inches tall) at Christmas if he found something he didn't have and wanted to share his "find" with friends.

I have way to many stories and memories, thanks for taking the time to read this everyone.

Walt

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There have been many times when I took the role of a hoarder just because I didn't trust anyone else to properly care for an item. I know that whatever the item is, it will be in safe keeping with me. And when I can't screen the future owner close enough I make sure the price will guaranty endearment.

 

Like I mentioned before, sometimes the process moves slowly, but there is a mission there.

 

Yesterday I asked my wife what her thoughts might be on this topic. She said "You're getting better".

 

My grandfather would have told her "A King couldn't do more". Of course he was the one who taught me to always keep some distasteful junk around to hide the good stuff under. Never a better deterrent.

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We have a good balance in my house. I am a self proclaimed pack rat. My wife on the other hand will throw something in the trash if she hasnt used it within the last week.

 

To clarify, at least in my mind a pack rat is different from a hoarder (not really!) Although I live in the mid atlantic, i have a new england yankee mentality. I hate to throw something away that I may be able to use. For years I would bring home the smallest bits of construction material and store them. There were a lot of times that these bits would become useful, but I also ended up with a lot of 'trash' laying around. I have gotten better, if I have leftovers and receipt it goes back to the store. Partial stuff goes in the trash. Every couple of months I do a big dump run and clean things out.  Old car parts go on the shelf. My thought process is to keep the original parts. The ones on the shelf are there because they are too bad to be put to use on the car, so they should be thrown away right? 

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3 hours ago, Walt G said:

Craig, and Bill Harrah tried his best to do that - restore them all. Many he did . He was not unrealistic, had his own shop as well as others working on many cars at one time and I feel both Bill and Austin Clark never really got/get the due credit for saving so many cars that people now have, see and enjoy. A friend just e mailed me that he saw a car for sale by a dealer who proudly proclaimed it was from the "Harris "collection. Must be a really serious well versed dealer to know who Harris was - I never heard of him , only guy I ever heard of was a band leader Phil Harris who was married to actress Alice Faye.

I would also add Ron Carey to the list. In this case, he restored tons of vintage trucks, including chain drive AC Macks, and at least one or two one-of-a-kind, including a 1914 Rumley that was sold new in Alberta.  He did leave a legacy for us, like Bill Harrah did:  Gasoline Alley Museum - Automotive Museum Guide  

 

Unfortunately, his untimely passing left us all in a state of shock when we received the news from the UK:  

 

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Every hoarder/collector saves a bit of that which is historically significant. Many, if not most, of the artifacts saved would not still be around if someone had not intervened to save them. The older that artifact the harder it is to rationalize saving something, at least from a practical point of view. 

 

Most people have a great deal of respect for people who have the resources to do what people like Bill Harrah or JB Nethercutt were able to accomplish with their collections. Sadly, however, some here, and society in general seem to vilify people on whom they pin the title of "hoarder." My question is are they really that different? They accumulate, maintain as they see fit, or are able to, and seldom part with anything. The way in which these collections are handled after their death may be different, but the fact remains that thing were saved that wouldn't have been saved, had it not been for their intervention. I want to say thanks to all who dedicated their resources and energy saving something. "Saving a little bit of history one piece at a time."

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1 hour ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

The way in which these collections are handled after their death may be different

I'm building a berm between my house and the curb. It's just to slow them down while my body cools.

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I I’ve had two experiences of hoarders 

my first wife mother was a hoarder she would buy every colour of the same skirt or jumper and leave in her bedroom still in bag and never wear . Every two years we would take 8 to 10 Dustin bags to charity shop , but the worst was a tenant , I had she wouldn’t allow me access and other tenants noticed vermin , so I got an order to inspect , when we entered the hall had been reduced in width to a foot wide , by magazines and papers stacked each side floor to ceiling , we couldn't enter the lounger or bedroom  as was covered with rubbish head height ,there was a small passageway foot wide into kitchen which was similarly full of rubbish to ceiling , all that was left was a single mattress size space by the cooker and sink . She was filthy covered in sores and rat bites , the authorities put the poor woman  in care .

we completely stripped flat back to bare brickwork and new floors , took away over 50 cu m of household rubbish .😁

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On 7/14/2021 at 4:28 AM, Dandy Dave said:

I had an auction a few years ago and rid myself of a lot of stuff that began to collect dust. Don't miss any of it. I guess that makes me a collector and a business man. Hoarders just plain hoard. Dandy Dave!  

 

Yeah, but you went and bought back the road grader that you sold at the auction.  🙂

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We had a renter on our storage lot that left a semi truck full of "stuff".  Just like Dandy Dave's experience, at least 80% of the stuff was junk from water leaks & squirrels, etc.... The rest we tried to sell with some success.  The rest went into a 30 cubic yard dumpster that was very packed down.  The boondoggle cost us over $2,000 to get rid of including legal notices, etc... not to mention our time.

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Over the course of my lifetime I have attended the liquidation of many "Hoarder" estates and came away with many treasures.  I am forever thankful to these individuals for saving everything

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