Save. Spend. Splurge.

Is it hoarding or collecting?

My aunt who is the Vice-President in one of the divisions of a huge global firm, has a thing for shoes.

Correction, she has a total fetish with shoes.

Expensive shoes.

We’re talking $900-a-pop shoes.

It has gotten so out of hand (in my opinion), that she hoards these shoes in her childrens’ rooms in their closets, and has basically taken over the ENTIRE CLOSET all to herself filled with boxes of these expensive shoes andΒ her husband, has a little corner rack for his things.


I am not even sure she even wears these shoes, but it made me wonder if it was really a collection as she called it, or a hoarding tendency tinged with a need to fill that empty, blank space in her life by buying lots of expensive designer shoes she will never wear.

(This so reminded me of the movie In Her Shoes, actually)

The difference for me between hoarding and collecting, is that a collection is either used or displayed.

If it’s stuck in boxes, gathering dust in the garage or in other peoples’ rooms and you don’t even really know how many shoes you have, and what they are… then it’s hoarding.

Expensive hoarding, but hoarding nonetheless.

On a money note, if I were to think about how many shoes she had at $900 a pop, I think it’d be upwards to $100,000 just in shoes alone, not to mention her clothing.

Still, it seems to.. make her.. happy when she shops for them and then stuffs them in her closet, never to be pulled out to see the light of day again.

It just makes me wonder why she doesn’t just go ahead and build an awesome shoe room where she gets to see all of them displayed in neat little rows by colour and heel height.

I think I collect more than I hoard, namely in jewellery (I do love me a good necklace!), but it’s something I have to be cognizant of when I want to add a new piece to my collection.



  • Chris Coble

    A double walk on closet, three giant chest of drawers, and two other cabinets of clothes..500+ pair of shoes and buying a pair least 150 belts,…there was so many clothes on the rack that it pulled away from the wall and fell..such a shame..

  • Tania

    I don’t understand collectors and curio cabinets. To each his own but I don’t understand it. I buy some pieces that others “collect” but in a lesser quantity and usually use them. For example, I like vintage glasses but I actually use mine, not display them in a cabinet. I also like momoji dolls but just have two. I also have one vintage crystal perfume decanter on my nightstand while collectors would have dozens stored in a case. I do tend to accumulate too much wardrobe items but not with the intention to collect them. I recently let go of almost all my high heels because I don’t wear them anymore but when I bought them I fully intended to wear them but now I no longer work in a business district so it is not only unnecessary but impractical as I’m now surrounded by farm land. I do think this is an area where setting quantity limits could be helpful if someone has collector tendencies they’d like to break. Limit oneself to a set quantity where you need to get rid of one before bringing a new one in.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I let go of my ONE PAIR of suede pink high heels because I realized I’d never wear 3″ heels and be comfortable. Right now all my heels are at 2.5″ or lower. I don’t care how childish this looks to true fashionistas.. I’m comfortable at work.

  • Karen

    I collect postcards and used to collect patches from the countries I’ve visited thus far. It’s a collection that doesn’t take up a lot of space and I will eventually get around to displaying those postcards in a creative way.

    I’d say my parents are sort of hoarders. Their basement is unfinished but full of cardboard boxes of stuff, a lot of which doesn’t get used and just sits there collecting dust. It’s probably the main reason why I don’t like clutter and try to avoid buying unnecessary things. I’m more about collecting experiences. πŸ™‚

  • AdinaJ

    While I do consume more than the average woman when it comes to clothes and accessories, I use everything I buy. I really don’t understand those people who have clothes with tags still on in their closet – what’s the point of buying them? But although I do use my stuff regularly, I also think of it as a sort of collection because I love clothes for more than just their function. If that makes sense?

    Even as a self-professed collector, though, I am always wary of lapsing into hoarder territory. I’ve watched those shows – ugh!

    • save. spend. splurge.

      You consume as much as I do, don’t you?

      I wear everything I buy. I only keep tags on if I am unsure and it usually ends up getting returned. My clothes are also more than just function.

  • ArianaAuburn

    I see it as expensive hoarding because I can never spend $900 for shoes. It must be a pain in the ass to pack all of those shoes should she move.

  • Erin @ My Alternate Life

    If she’s not wearing them, it seems like hoarding. On the plus side, she’s not hoarding crap — like trash. I think most high end hoarding can be easily passed off as collecting, whether it is or not.

  • Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle

    The aunt seems a bit like a hoarder but if everything is clean and no emergency exits are blocked by the shoes then it is more of a collection. It just seems like a big waste of money to me. Imagine the trips she could have experienced with her family with all of that shoe money.

    I would love to be a dog hoarder but only if I had enough money to have a full time dog brusher/poop scooper on staff.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Well, it’s not necessarily blocked with shoes, but when I go into her kids’ rooms it’s.. piled sky high.

      They’re also rich, so they don’t need to worry about money for trips. I guess excess money for her, is meant to be spent.

  • Pauline

    Looks pretty much like hoarding. I wouldn’t know where to put them or how to carry them! Having half a dozen pairs of superb classic shoes I can understand but piling them up in the closet not so much.

  • Adam Kamerer

    The idea of someone having a neglected hoard of $900 shoes just makes me cringe. Heck, the idea of someone paying $900 for a pair of shoes is cringe-worthy enough as it is!

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