Georgie Evans’s weekly visits to her grandma’s means she knows what never throwing anything away looks like. The small bungalow got fuller and fuller as Grandma collected more and more things. But when does a desire to hold on to objects, and to endlessly gather more, become a problem? And why are some people celebrated as collectors while others are dismissed as hoarders? In this series, Georgie attempts to understand why her grandma needed to surround herself with so much stuff, and why hoarding behaviour can be difficult to define and discuss.
Even though her home was overwhelmed with stuff, Georgie Evans’s grandma couldn’t stop buying things. In this series, Georgie delves into hoarding, and attempts to make sense of her grandma’s behaviour.
Being ‘a collector’ is often celebrated but being labelled ‘a hoarder’ can be humiliating, at best. Georgie Evans asks what makes one set of objects a collection and another a hoard.
Hoarding is a slippery subject – difficult to define or diagnose. As she tries to explain the intensity of her grandma’s collecting, Georgie Evans finds the words and tools at her disposal aren’t all that helpful.
As Grandma’s dementia advanced, the things she’d amassed became more important: they consoled her. Clearing safe walkways through the piles became the first – though unwelcome – compromise.
As she strives to deepen her understanding of hoarding, Georgie Evans turns to books. But depictions of hoards and hoarders are few and often sparse, except in one surprising place.
About the contributors
Georgie Evans is a writer and bookseller from Halifax. She has an MA from Goldsmiths University and has published words in Brixton Review of Books, the Rialto, the Pomegranate, and the Telegraph. She is currently working on a hybrid non-fiction book about deafness and dementia.