Its a revelation that is both personal and cultural. Some of them regard themselves as business people and entrepreneurs.The psychology is a bit morbid, teetering as it does between mild eccentricity and out and out madness. It’s the kingdom of rubble…
A title of C.P.O? Yes, a certified professional organizer or hoarding expert specializing in unpacking the art of hoarding. It’s a mark of our consumer society in which hoarders are in. Almost hip, if it wasn’t for the pathological aspect. There is even a reality t.v. show called Hoarders, in which “specialists” give advice to families and their peculiar lives are transformed into a commodity, call it the surplus value of what they have accumulated. Chronic Disorganization disease looks at the basic hoarding issues: pure play hoarding, pack-rats, clutter-bugs, and the clinically disorganized. How would one classify the United States with its military stockpile? If Einstein’s desk and mind weren’t so cluttered…
What inspired you to become a CPO-CD?
Geralin Thomas: I’ve been organizing as long as I can remember. Even as a young girl I appreciated having quality over quantity. I was emphatic about keeping only one Barbie and wanted nothing to do with any of her friends. Instead of dating Ken, my Barbie stayed in on Saturday nights organizing her dream home & evening gown collection which was color-coded in ROY G. BIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Indigo, Violet)….
…In elementary school, when we started diagramming sentences using the Reed-Kellogg system, I was in organizing geek heaven. I knew then and there that if organizing words could bring me such joy, organizing tangible stuff would be nirvana.Read More:http://blog.rubbermaid.com/home/2010/03/geralin-thomas-professional-organizer.html
Could Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Motivations have foreseen this? Is hoarding a high form of self-actualization or is a post phase where the accumulator in a transcending and consolidating phase? Or, the whole learning theory of Carl Rogers where the element of meaning to the learner is built into the whole experience of accumulation. But, its easy to rag and caricature the economically disadvantaged on television for mass market amusement, but there is little that separates them from hoarders on the upper spheres of the income ladder. It’s just a question of status and reflecting their individualism more ostentatiously since they enjoy the means:
On Jay Leno: His three garages near Burbank are packed with sports and special-interest cars, antiques and classics, old motorcycles, oil company signs and “automobilia.” He hasn’t counted everything up recently, but he owns more than 50 cars and about as many vintage and modern bikes. Read More:http://www.forbes.com/2000/12/18/1218lenols.html
Obviously, there is a fine line between hoarding, collecting and the various “survivalist” tendencies among the general population. In a sense, all collecting beyond a reasonable and necessary fulfillment of our needs is obsessive compulsive.
Even the “Giving Pledge” of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates is a bit of a crock. They are asking hundreds of other billionaire Americans to give away at least fifty percent of their wealth to charity. So, all these hoarders under the socially non-stigmatized sign of “investing” get to transfer their hoard of cash into another hoard. Ideally, these billionaires should be on the show Hoarders, and have their stash hauled away and burned as kindling or electronically erased.
So, the t.v. show Hoarders is a bit deceptive, a narrow focus on a simplistic context. In hoarding, there are elements of survival, the social class system, how the individual values things, outright waste, and how much people are willing to toss out. In the stuff people throw away, they see aspects of their own lives and there is a sense of how we all live together from the basement hoarder, the “binner” and captain of industry…
This secrecy and shame make it difficult to know exactly how many people have the disorder.
Some experts think between 200,000 and 500,000 Australians compulsively hoard, but others put the figure closer to 800,000.
“It’s a sleeping giant,” Chris Mogan, a clinical psychologist and expert on hoarding, says. “There is no systematic estimate of how many hoarders there are in any Australian setting. I suspect there are many, many more out there than we are aware of.”
Louise Newman, the president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, agrees…. a
…“I’ve only seen one case in my career [because] these people usually only come to light when the council steps in and orders a clean-up. Hoarders desperately want to keep hoarding. They don’t want to be stopped.”
There is little research on the condition in Australia and not much in the way of funding or treatment programs, but experts are hopeful hoarding will be included in the next (fifth) edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the bible used by mental health experts to diagnose psychiatric conditions. Read More:http://peterhbrown.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/compulsive-collecting-finding-hope-in-the-misunderstood-world-of-hoarders/
Joseph Heath:Consider the case of waste – or to be more specific, the particular sort of waste generated by conspicuous consumption. Veblen’s criticism here is relatively simple. Some goods are valued and consumed for their intrinsic properties. Thus the “advance of industrial efficiency” leads to improvements in the quality and comfort of life. Yet property is accumulated, not just to satisfy our basic physical needs, but also for its honorific qualities. It serves as a basis for invidious comparison, not just with respect to quantity, but also quality. This sort of accumulation is collectively selfdefeating, for the simple reason that not everyone can be above average. The result is that, regardless of how much the standard of living rises, “the normal, average individual will live in chronic dissatisfaction with his present lot”(1899, 31).
One way of articulating the problem to say that status (along with all of its derivative concepts, such as self-respect, esteem, honor, and merit) is essentially an ordinal ranking system, and thus the quest for status is a zero-sum game. Read More:http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~jheath/veblen.pdf