Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things
by Randy Frost & Gail Steketee
RC533 .F76 2010
New Arrivals, 2nd floor
Back when I had cable, I was a big fan of the design shows. More specifically, I loved the organization ones, where the pros would come in and help people get everything in order. It’s a glimpse into the lives and houses of others, and especially interesting to see how personalities play out with respect to how much junk they have. This week’s featured title looks at the people that just have too much stuff.
While Hoarders has brought hoarding to the general public for five seasons, Frost and Steketee have been studying it for over twenty years. They have put their knowledge together in this book, which details compulsive hoarding, a disorder that affects more than an estimated six million people. The pair use case studies to explain the facets of what compels individuals to attach emotions and feelings to objects. In addition, they provide insights into causes and treatments of the disorder, as well the impulses that govern our relationships with things. If you want to learn more about it, they also conveniently list their references for further research.
[1.] “Why do you have six garlic presses?” “To appreciate the technological differences to one task.” [2.] “And why four colanders?” “Why overlook artistic variety in perforated metals?” [3.] How many face cloths would you really need?” “Since I don’t know and can’t tell, a dozen seems a safe base–for now.” [4.] “On your workroom shelves you have almost a hundred small jars, boxes, and bottles; why?” “Think of the protection they give in preventing items from scattering into loss…” [5.] “You have about 72 assorted tiny Chinese and Japanese little dishes…” “I don’t like to see public surfaces unadorned, so I graciously donate…” [6.] “May I ask why you have that large jar with dozens of the small wing bones from chickens?” “One might have to make up a naturalistic art display at one time and would not want to be caught without the material for it…” [Interview between Chester, flaneur, and Floyd, in his “equipment-rich” living quarters…]