This will be my final post about Stuff. I spent much of yesterday morning discussing the recent spate of crime on Black Friday by crazed bargain hunters. While I spent little time discussing hoarders who are also compulsive shoppers in previous posts, Frost and Steketee do talk about them in the book. Some people are addicted to the high that they get when they make a purchase. Other people are obsessed with how the item will make their life better, or help them to prepare for some kind of disaster. F & S encourage the shopper/hoarder to take non-buying trips to shopping malls and analyze how long it take him/her to get over being upset when s/he does not buy an item. This treatment is a form of desensitizing the hoarder so that s/he will not be driven to buy so easily.
As we all know, American society is obsessed with bargains and shopping. After 9/11, our government essentially asked us to strike a blow against terrorism by hitting the mall. We are told that spending money will help the economy to revitalize itself.
As we enter the 2011 holiday season, it might be a good idea for everyone to reflect and regroup. Look at the possessions that you own, and decide whether you need more, or whether you can donate some to others who have less. Look at your bank account, and reflect on how much happier you will be with less debt and more money saved. Think about whether people really should spent their holidays selling items in a mall rather than with loved ones. While this won't cause hardcore hoarders to have an epiphany, it is a good start for the rest of us.