Last time we talked about compulsive acquisition or the uncontrollable urge to collect material possessions.
Some hoarders have a compulsive buying behavior, which should also be addressed when a support group is formed to lend a hand to a hoarder in need. The second facet of compulsive hoarding behavior is excessive accumulation or excessive saving.
Now, everyone knows how to save. And saving material possessions in and of itself is not a bad thing. Then again, it’s different when hoarders save stuff. Hoarders tend to save things that have little or no value. Hoarders save an excessive number of items for three main reasons:
First, a hoarder may decide to save something because of the emotional value that has been assigned to it. For example, a hoarder may say that a box of old toys should not be thrown away because it reminds them of their kids’ childhood. They will hold on to a box of toys for decades simply because it has some sentimental value.
Second, a hoarder may decide to keep something because of its instrumental value. Normally, a person acquires something for a particular purpose. If we buy a pen, we throw away the pen when the ink is gone. When a hoarder buys a pen, he will keep that pen long after the ink has been used because he will be able to come up with so many other uses for that empty pen.
Third, a hoarder can also collect stuff that other people might think of as junk, such as bottle caps or even cardboard rolls. If they like something for its physical appearance, they keep the item because of its intrinsic value.