The Difference between Nostalgia and Hoarding

If you’re like me, you like to keep things to remind you of the past – whether it’s your stuffed animals you had when you were a child, a piece of confetti that you picked up at a concert, old birthday cards or maybe t-shirt you made at summer camp when you were 10. I have a small box filled with little trinkets like these, but the question is; when is it too much?

After leaving home to go back to university for my second year last fall, my parents were moving also – which gave me the opportunity to go through all of my things and get rid of stuff that I didn’t need. And boy, did I figure out I collected way too much stuff. I had kept every single Christmas, birthday, Valentines and other cards that I had received since I moved to Canada 8 years ago. That’s, like, literally an entire drawer’s worth of cards and one of them – which I had received when I was 12 – even still had money in it. That’s right; I didn’t even remember to take the $20 bill out of the card before I tossed it in with the rest of them. 

Although these kind of things are nice to look back on, it also gets to the point where you’re simply keeping things just to keep them. Hell, in the 8 years I spent building up that collection, I didn’t go back to look at them once until I was looking through them to decide which ones to keep. So, it was at this point that I decided to part ways with my beloved card collection, with the exception of my favourites (shout out to my best friend who drew me my favourite band on my birthday card when I was 15!) So, if you’re guilty thinking about that one drawer of stuff in your closet that you haven’t touched in years, I encourage you to look through it, reminisce, and think about letting some things go.

However, of all of the things that I collect, there is one thing that I can almost never bear to get rid of: my stuffed animals. That’s right, I am 19 years old and I still have about 30+ stuffed animals still chilling in my room (I have a killer Webkinz collection). This number used to be even higher, but I managed to pry myself away for them and put them in my family’s garage sale or gave them to goodwill when my parents moved. 

But I don’t think I’ll ever be able to surrender my Webkinz collection – they’re here to stay. Oops.