Do you have a problem?
So this topic completely came out of interest and curiosity. In no way does this mean that I may have a problem with hoarding. I was just sitting in my game room one day, and thought the hit me: What color is my carpet?
After scooting a couple boxes to the side, I realized it was blue, maybe bluer than I remembered. That’s when I found a book my wife had bought me for last Christmas Coping with Hoarding. Turns out, it was under these boxes all along. Well, this book a now fuzzy gray piece of pizza. I had been meaning to read it for some insight into the sick and twisted world of people who hoard.
Once I started looking into this, I found that there was an actual guide that the National Study Group on Compulsive Disorganization created a as a guideline for professional organizers making their first contacts with clients. It’s called the Clutter Hoarding Scale, and I’ve adapted it slightly to meet our needs as gamers:
All doors and stairways of the home are accessible. Normal household hobby activity with light evidence of untouched sprues. One to three spilled wash pots evident. Clutter is not excessive. Home has normal, healthy housekeeping and safe and healthy sanitation. No odors.
One exit is blocked and/or one stack of White Dwarf magazines has not been touched for at least six months. Some gamer odor, sprue clipping waste piles, light hobbyist dander, three or more incidents of unopened models boxes. Clutter inhabits two or more rooms. Slightly narrowing pathways throughout the home. Limited evidence of housekeeping, light unpleasant odors, overflowing garbage cans, and moderately soiled food preparation surfaces.
Visible clutter outdoors, including items normally stored indoors, such as codex books and primer spray cans. Two or more broken sets of clippers. Number of unfinished paint projects exceed local limits, stagnant glue containers, used sprues piles not cleaned. Indoor clutter leads to narrow hall and stair pathways, one bedroom or bathroom isn’t fully usable due to Battleforce boxes and small amount of obviously hazardous substances or spills.
Excessive dust, assorted dice cubes and no recent vacuuming or sweeping (due to fear of losing that bit that fell on the floor 3 months ago). Heavily cluttered food preparation areas, with three of more half-assembled models per square foot of counter space. Strong unpleasant odors throughout the house.
Checkbook shows chronic damage older than six months, dried up paint pots in piles, inappropriate use of kitchen appliances as sub-assembly area. Start Collecting boxes exceed local limits by at least four still in shrink wrap, more than three instances of models in jars being stripped but have sat long enough that solvent has evaporated. Hobbyist dander on all furniture, sweat damage in home and on furniture, excessive Orks and Eldar Wave Serpents.
Bedroom is unusable (he’s a nerd, so it’s not like there’s a lot of traffic through there anyway), hazardous materials (spikey model bits) are stored in the living area or attached garage. Rotting food on counters, one to 15 cans of empty spray cans with buckled surfaces, no clean dishes or utensils in kitchen. No bed covers, Skaven Plague Monks on bedding.
Obvious economic damage, broken relationships, disconnected electrical service, no water service (thinning paints using Mountain Dew), no working sewer or septic system (clogged with Termagaunts). Piles of unopened miniature boxes are dangerous to occupant and guests.
Three or more Imperial Knights in sight, Orruk infestation and regional critters such as Snotlings, inside the living space or attic. Kitchen and bathroom unusable due to clutter. Occupant is living or sleeping outside the home. Racoons have made homes in one or more piles of old codices, rotting food and more than 15 out of print paint pots inside the home.
In my personal opinion, I feel like you are perfectly fine and normal is you sitting somewhere between a level 3 and 4. I myself deem my hobby situation to be a 3.8 – 4.5. I don’t own any Plague Monks so I think I’m good. My wife seems to have a problem with all the gamer dander clouding up the air in our home, but I disagree. I enjoy the musky odor of congealed sweat that I leave on every surface I touch.
Plus, my other hobby is creating baked goods for my local church bake sale, so that doesn’t leave me much time for cleaning up. I hate how everyone makes everything a big deal. I’d like her to show me even ONE HOME that doesn’t have three or more dried up stripping jars. Give me a break.
Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with you, there’s something wrong with society if they think having unopened boxes of hobby is a problem.
Where are you on this scale?
Hey! This article is brought to you by my top-tier Patreon supporter Mike Cowley!
Thanks Michael, smooches!
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