Quiz: Are You a Hoarder? Or Just Very Well-Prepared?

Amelia Diamond | February 4, 2016

The answer is likely hiding underneath that terrifying pile of pants on your floor.

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After waking up from a recent concussion, the thought crossed my mind that possibly, maybe, potentially, I had a problem.

The shoe that knocked me out came from the top shelf of my closet. It was a left shoe; the right one had been long gone — lost after a strange night out, an impossible bet, a terrible poker face and a lopsided walk home. I never threw out the present half because what if the pair’s missing side came back? You should never give up hope, they say.

Here are some things I’ve never given up, either:

– That jacket with the embroidered sleeves that has been three sizes too small for me for as long as I’ve known it

(But what if one day I have a child who would like to try it on?)

– This skirt that I once got at a thrift store: vintage, shiny, 80s Dior, tacky and mostly terrible

(But what if it trends again? Also, Dior.)

– Every white button down shirt regardless of missing buttons and/or the fact that at least 10 of them are no longer white

(But won’t they make for great painting shirts should I ever begin to paint?)

– A Benjamin Franklin wig-and-bald-spot

(Theme party)

– A coconut bra

(Different theme party)

Hot pink neon leggings

(In case I get tricked into attending a rave)

– And about 5 million other things that, though I never wear, possess the faintest possibility that I might.

At least half of them have caused closet-related injuries before. Deep inside my tiny two-foot wide cave of carefully-hung clothes live piles of sartorial miscellanea. They bow precariously like Dr. Seuss trees, teetering and threatening to crash down. One wrong yank and you’ve just lost a dangerous game of knitwear Jenga. One miscalculated reach and you’ve just won 52-shoe-pickup…which is how I got knocked out in the first place: because I am 5’3″ with a reckless habit of disturbing my Just-In-Case footwear (a compilation of the previously-mentioned Left Shoe, a pair of purple boots, plexiglass platforms) that live next to my back-up jeans, high above the in-rotation racks.

So there I lay. Flat on my back, regaining vision in my eyes, wondering if I had a problem. Just because I hide my overstocked secret (my room, at the surface level, appears to be neat and orderly) doesn’t mean this isn’t some form of TLC’s main source of income, hoarding.

But what if I’m actually just well-prepared? What if one day I do attend a rave, and the theme is not only “founding fathers,” but also “tropical”? What if I need those jeans, or that bag, or an extra toothbrush, and it’s an emergency? What if the situation finally presents itself with the textbook occasion to wear a polka dot puff sleeve top?

Hoarder or not, I think I’ll take my chances; err on the side of careful; fill in the holes preventatively (like Botox!) rather than panic in a time of need about what I lack. I feel more comfortable with that.

And though not physically dangerous but good for you to know about in case I do die next time: under my bed are boxes of novelty accessories (rabbit ears, a fanny pack), wearable tourist mementos and a stash of non-perishable snacks.

Survival kit bag by Preppi; Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.

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  • I’ve got an authentic German lederhosen dress from a world fair project in sixth grade (I’m 23 now). Because what if I shrink to that size again and happen to need a super-legit outfit for Oktoberfest?

    • Amelia Diamond

      Exactly. Do not get rid of that.

      • Kelly McGee

        ” My current salary is more than 4700 dollars each week..” Over a year ago I was in a horrible condition , jobless and no bank credit . Thanks to one of my friends who showed me a way where I was able to gather myself and making average of 58 d/h. So it can change your life as it has changed mine.

        Look here for details
        lm…

      • 35

    • A few years ago, I decided to act as a reasonable, adult woman and acknowledge I am not likely to lose enough weight to be able to wear some of my favorite jeans again (which were not too old). So I gave them away.
      It is unbelievable how often I think about those jeans these days. Because they would fit me now and I loved them.

      • Life is hard! Incidentally, I did end up wearing it again in high school (although it was quite short) to a couples-themed dance. My date/best guy friend rented a male lederhosen costume and found condoms in the pocket. Hoarding/preparedness for the win, at least on my end!

        • “found” condoms…right…haha

      • Krista Anna Lewis

        This is the saddest thing that can happen to a closet.

        • Thank you. ☺ I hope I can call it sad one day … as it is, I seem to be stuck with ‘stupid’. ?

      • helloo

        @alcessa:disqus i did the exact same thing. they were fabulous, high waisted vintage jeans from What Goes Around Comes Around. i could fit in them now. i miss them. this is the only place i can share this sad tale.

    • Selina Moses

      I need to wear those pairs of lace and leather gloves I get from vintage shops. There will be an occasion one day

      https://matchamilady.wordpress.com/

  • I have these leather, orange finger-less gloves that i will wear as soon as I decide that it wouldn’t be a weird accessory to an ad agency in Dallas. I can’t get rid of them. They’re from Florence. And that’s a rule.

    Yes…i’m bringing them up again : /

    • Amelia Diamond

      Hahahah I was like WAIT, are these the Serena gloves? Bring ’em back!

  • Okay but now I’m realizing I need a tropical founding fathers themed rave party – a gap in my life I never knew I needed filled until now.

    Oh and I still have my elementary school graduation dress and I still fit into it at 27 years old and I’m convinced that if I ever get rid of it, I’ll inevitably need it. I know it. It’s white lace spaghetti strap. Clearly a necessity.

    • For all you know, tropical founding fathers need … ravi(shi)ng ladies?

    • Amelia Diamond

      white lace spaghetti strap is 100% going to come back. (and yea, that is no joke a party that needs to happen. )

  • Natty

    keep it… keep it all. not a day goes by that i don’t regret getting rid of this coat…

    • l:ly

      that is a damn shame. that coat is flyYYYY

      • Natty

        I KNOW AND WHAT IF I NEED TO GO TO A BIGBIRD THEMED PARTY

    • Amelia Diamond

      ugh.

      • Anna Thorpe

        My current salary is more than 4300 dollars each week. Over a year ago I was in a horrible condition,,,g jobless and no bank credit . Thanks to one of my friends who showed me a way where I was able to gather myself and making average of 59 d/h. So it can change your life as it has changed mine.

        Look here for details
        mo…

  • Nay, you are neither, you are simply attached to certain things because they most likely come with a memory – a good one, bad one – whatever, but there’s an emotional link and you are chained to it. x

    http://www.fashionedbylove.co.uk

  • Alexia Marcelle

    Marie Kondo’s book The Life‑Changing Magic of Tidying Up is apparently life changing and will make even the hoardiest of hoarders clean up their act. Also her thesis is based on the fact that you should only keep things that bring you joy! JOY! How could you argue with that?

    • Amelia Diamond

      I tried it. It’s too hard. IT IS TOO HARD.

  • l:ly

    what the fuck do i do with my graduation gown???/prom dress??? i will never wear either of them but they’re so ~sentimental~ (ew)

    • Amelia Diamond

      omg just LOVE ON THEM!!! this is what parents’ closets are for.

    • If I’ve learned anything from the movie Pretty in Pink it’s that your old prom dress could change a young girls life one day.

  • Claire

    I 100% am a clothing hoarder.

  • I have 3 pairs of homemade cat ears of various size, shapes, etc. from Halloween (Schrödinger’s cat, Princess Caroline, “cool” cat), my prom dress (memorable stains), what looks like a Red Army uniform jacket and other stuff that I’ve been thinking about parting with for… some amount of time. But like, I paid for the closet space… why not make… the… most of it?? Ugh

    • Amelia Diamond

      Schrödinger’s cat is so niche and cool

  • Lauren Swindol

    I’ve been decluttering and according to the Konmari art of tidying book, I have to finally say goodbye to some of these things. I’m keeping that vintage fur stole though, and the too small dressy dresses for when I get a breast reduction…which I might not ever do. Oh well, my mom just admitted she still owns my rocking horse from 1984. It admittedly runs in the family!

  • anoni81b4u

    Am I a hoarder? Or, do I just like balls ?