You Might Be a Hoarder if…

Your child’s closet looks like this:


Yes, it’s a photo from my house. I’m the hoarder. In my defense, I absolutely despise hoarding in general. I buy very few clothes items, rarely stock up on food (even if it’s on sale) and so on. But I have one weakness: getting  toilet paper and paper towels in bulk from Staples. Those items don’t go bad, so why not? And it’s not like we won’t be needing toilet paper in a near future.

Naturally, I wait till there is a special offer from Amex or Visa Checkout, like $25 off $100 purchase. Staples almost always has a decent sale going on, so the discount makes the deal even sweeter. Except there is one problem. My son’t closet has looked like this for the last few years. I’m constantly replenishing my stash. After all, who knows, maybe we’ll never see this sort of discount again. Ever.

Hmm, that sounds like something a hoarder would say, doesn’t it? My son is too little to complain, but I’m sure eventually he will get sick of having toilet paper rolls in his closet.

Few days ago I was actually planning on making another toilet paper purchase due to, you guessed it, Staples Visa Checkout promo (ends today). But first I wanted to see how much space there is in his closet. Hey, I could probably squeeze in a few more packages. If we need to get to his clothes, we can always remove the supplies first and then put them back in. Wait, what?

I’ve decided that we have enough paper supplies for the foreseeable future. I’m betting on the fact that either Amex or Visa Checkout will come through in a few months. It’s very clear that the supply outpaces the demand in our case.

I think it might be helpful to view miles and points in the same manner. I’ve always argued that it’s good to have some emergency stash on hand, just in case, especially if we are talking about flexible points. It makes it easier to plan vacations in the spur of the moment or help others when need arises. Think of it as an extra set (or two) of paper towels.

Now imagine having millions of miles and points, yet limited vacation time. It would be an equivalent of having toilet paper  stuck under beds, in hallways and fill the entire garage.

Obviously, miles and points don’t take up physical space, but they are very similar to material things in one respect. Namely, they represent sunk cost. You’ve spent time, energy and money accruing those points. If you already have a huge supply, yet constantly replenish it whether you need it or not, you will always have unused amount that you’ll never cash out. That’s toilet paper down the drain.

Wait, that makes no sense. Toilet paper is supposed to go down the drain. Anyway, my point is, if you have a ton of household supplies or miles, start using them before acquiring more!

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2 thoughts on “You Might Be a Hoarder if…

  1. Stashing some discounted items for rainy days isn’t bad, we all do it, but hoarding is something different. Hoarding is a kind of mental disorder when people buy because its cheap, but don’t use it or buy more than what they need. I’ve seen people going into credit card card debt because of this problematic compulsive buying habit.


    • @Freedom from debt I definitely agree that hoarding is a mental condition. Some are more predisposed to it than others. Hoarding is very real in the miles and points hobby, and I think we all need to be careful not to fall into its trap. I know I have a hard time resisting a good deal.


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