I have been recording the series ‘Hoarders – Buried Alive’ and watching an episode each morning over breakfast.  I started off watching it because it made me feel like in comparison I am tidy and organised and not a hoarder. Despite the size and eclectic nature of my crafting stash…everything has a place in a drawer or cupboard or bookcase…so its not piles everywhere.

However, what I have realised is there’s a common theme with many of the people who hoard…

  • They have always been collectors of things.  ✅ that’s me, started with egg cups when I was about 8, then Winnie-the-Pooh, then Minions and now yarn and fibre.  Can I part with any of my Pooh Bear or Minion stuff…nope!
  • They keep things with the intention to fix them up or the thought they may come in handy.  ✅ that’s me too…I dismantled our old sofa and kept all the sponge and pillows and fabric and zips…to be fair I did use a lot in doing up my grandparents old chairs and footstool but why have I kept the rest?  Although if I’d thrown it away I wouldn’t have been able to do a matching seat for my spinning chair!  But why all the foam???
  • They are creative and like to make things and think one day they’ll make something with it.  ✅ no surprises here, but on mentioning basket weaving stuff in my stash, I know I won’t make anything really…and what about all the paints I have…acrylic, watercolour and oils, pastels is what I am most drawn to so why am I keeping all the other types, plus the different pallets, brushes, canvases/paper.  But what would I make with all the foam?
  • They have lost a family member, whether that be through estrangement, death or divorce.  ✅ my mum cut me out of her life nearly 3 years ago…uh oh that’s 4 ticks so far.
  • They are unemployed, often due to ill health. ✅ I am taking a career break.
  • Their parent(s) were prone to hoarding. ✅. My dad’s collection of glass coffee jars filled with rusty nails and screws from my childhood springs to mind.  My mum is crafty too, so has her own craft stash.
  • Oh and did I mention they also often have previous mental health issues!  ✅ I have battled with depression, stress and anxiety in the distant and recent past.
Yikes I’m thinking…I have all the ingredients to become a fully fledged hoarder!
My yarn and fibre and associated equipment isn’t a hoard, I use it weekly, its where I have at last found my passion and for every skein of yarn I own is assigned to a pattern in my queue or has a pattern marked favourite that eventually I will by and use the yarn.  Hmmm….think I saw an episode where a lady said something similar.
Today when the panic set in I started clearing out my landing cupboard!  I threw away tablets, inhalers, ointments, cough syrups etc etc etc.  Some with best before dates of 2002!!!  Next stop is the garage.  When I first went off sick I did donate masses and masses of stuff, but another round is needed.
What do you think?  Does the gene that makes you creative pre-dispose you to hoarding?  Is your stash just craft supplies?  When does a stash become a hoard?  Will I be on a future episode of ‘Hoarders – Buried Alive’?????  Or is there hope for me having realised the warning signs are there?!?


  1. I don’t have answers to any of your questions, Liz, but I enjoyed reading your post and asking myself some pointed questions about my stuff. I have some hoarding tendencies, but watching those shows confirms to me that I’m no where near being in that kind of trouble. I actually do crave seeing clear space and I’m pretty successful in not bringing in more stuff when I’ve decided to not do that. I’ve been pretty successful in not buying more yarn this year (except for a slip when I bought a bunch of crochet thread in one of my rare-this-year forays to the craft store. OTOH, I love being able to shop my stash when I get the itch to make something. Oh yet another hand, I kind of hate admitting that I can shop my stash (and usually find something) whenever I get the itch to make something. 😉


    • I’m feeling really good, as I posted loads of things on Facebook yesterday and already the 5 blocks of foam and some yarn I don’t like has been bought and collected. My oil pastels go on Monday and basket weaving stuff will be going on Thursday! I did immediately think that I’ll spend the money at Loch Ness Knit Fest next weekend! But some of the hours I am there are on a course for knitting 2 at a time socks. For sure I’m not as bad as the episodes I watch but hoarding is like a monster hiding under the bed …just waiting to jump out and get me. 😂


  2. For what it’s worth, I think we all have a tendency to hoard. It’s part of our nature – to have pretty things, to own stuff, to have some extras of whatever lying around in case of an emergency, to buy something as a reward, or just to make us feel better. We all need a “pick-me-up” at times, and for creative people, if the choice is between a nice piece of cake or some item to fuel our creativity, it’s a no-brainer (can’t eat chocolate cake while you’re knitting, it might spill on the yarn, you know 😉 ).
    It’s good and really brave of you to face yourself, recognize there’s a tendency to hoard that might get out of hand, and act accordingly. The acting part usually is the most difficult, especially for us who’ve suffered through times of depression. It’s so easy and so soothing to hold on to things when people start running from your life, and so frightening at the same time. It feels so good to let go of stuff, and regain control over your life. I admire you for fighting the hoarding monster before it comes out to get you.


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