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Stephaniemiller

Stephanie's books and other things

I like books. I like art. I have opinions.....you've been warned.

Currently reading

A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin
The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto
Tavis Smiley, Cornel West
The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, #4.5)
Stephen King, Jae Lee
Master Strokes: Watercolor: A Step-By-Step Guide to Using the Techniques of the Masters
Hazel Harrison
The Mad Art of Caricature!: A Serious Guide to Drawing Funny Faces
Tom Richmond (Illustrator)
Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things - Randy O. Frost, Gail Steketee I have one dog and three cats, onec at more than my limit. Any cat above two is “crazy cat women” territory (in my own circumstances) I'm hoping the presence of the dog would offset this.

My mom thinks three cats = animal hoarder.

She didn’t have to worry, I’m neither an animal hoarder nor a stuff hoarder but I have to admit people who are fascinate me. If I am flipping the channels and I land on the show Hoarders that is where the flipping stops, then I run around the house gathering up crap to get rid of. So when I came across the book “Stuff” I had to take a look. It had a lot of interesting “stuff” in it.

People who hoard have an over active nesting need. This is something we all have as instinct from the way back days, but with hoarders it’s on a higher level. When hoarders were children they would show signs of their future by collecting things. Odd things. All kids collect something at certain point of their lives, comic books, Barbie dolls, sea shells. For me it was rocks…….they were pretty. But future hoarders described in this book would pick up random things like sticks and leaves. When these things were discarded by whoever cared to discard them the future hoarders would cry and throw world class fits until the item was returned. One little girl, upon walking into a store, lost some mud off the bottom of her shoe, when an employee stopped and cleaned it up, she went into hysterics and was inconsolable. That was her mud!

Hoarders seem to me to be somewhat agoraphobic. They cocoon themselves with in their stuff and they like it. Being a bit of a claustrophobic, that would be a nightmare for me. Every bit of their belongings has meanings and memories attached to them, and for the hoarder discarding anything is like discarding an important memory itself.

A big problem for them and one of the biggest reasons they hoard it that they see possibilities in everything. They won’t throw things out because someday the may use that item, fix it, sell it, ect. So they hang on to it, and of course it is never used.

Random facts I found interesting.

• Cheap stuff (think Walmart) and marketing is making us a nation of hoarders.
• The average house size has increased 60% since 1970. Think McMansion.
• We have twice the number of shopping centers than schools.
• 40 years ago there was no such thing as a storage unit.
• Today there is 2.35 billion square feet of self storage in the U.S, and 90% of it is full.
If you abandon them, the folks from the show Storage Wars will descend.


There are two types of people, when it comes to their relationship with their stuff. One is the “having” sort…..the owner, the materialist. He thinks life will be better if he gets the stuff he dreams of. Then there is the “being” person, enjoys life more by having experiences, going out and living life instead of accumulating things.

I hope that I am the later.