Celebrity hoarders are real people. They start out like you and me, and then it’s keeping up with the Joneses. The lavish living with the rich and famous turn ordinary folks into celebrity hoarders.
Today on Ask a House Cleaner we look at how to end the cycle of celebrity hoarders. And what happens when you’re stuck with the most toys? Compulsive hoarding can range from famous collections to downright addiction.
Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru gives tips and practical advice on minimalist living. Whether you’re a fancy megastar or a DIY collector these tutorials will make you a savvy cleaner.
Listen: Celebrity Hoarders – Keeping Up With The Joneses
Watch: Celebrity Hoarders – Keeping Up With The Joneses
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.
Question: Celebrity Hoarders – Keeping Up With The Joneses
Today’s question comes from a celebrity, who wants to know, “Is it possible that I’m a hoarder? And if it is, how do I stop being a hoarder?”
Then they go on to give a little bit more explanation and say that they have a custom closet that has 160 pairs of designer shoes on display. “I have to have designer shoes and designer clothes in my business. Because every time I go out in public, people snap pictures.
And those pictures go to social media, and I can’t be caught wearing the same thing twice. If I do, I’ll make the tabloids. And they’ll say, ‘Oh look, this celebrity wore these clothes at two different occasions,’ like, what’s up with that?”
Answer: Celebrity Hoarders – The Mentality Behind The Stuff
It’s important to realize is that celebrity hoarders are a real thing. There is an expectation that celebrities are rich and have lots of fancy stuff.
Some celebrities hoard animals, some children, some plants. Others hoard painting, some cars, and some hoard clothes.
If you are a celebrity hoarder and how do you stop? That’s an excellent question.
Celebrity Hoarders Can Be Actors, Musicians, Politicians, Athletes
I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is the home of the Carolina Panthers. It’s home to the Charlotte Hornets and the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Charlotte is the second largest financial center in the nation next to New York City.
So, there are lots of celebrities that live in Charlotte, as well as many CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
Celebrity Hoarders Are People Just Like You and Me
During the course of my 25 years as a professional house cleaner, I’ve had the privilege of working with a few of the celebrities that live in town. Having said that, the celebrities are just like everyone else.
They go to bed at night, they get up in the morning, they eat breakfast. Daily routines for celebrities are a little different than average folks but they’re human just like us. And they make a whole lot more money than most of the rest of us. Which allows them to buy more things. And yes, that does contribute to what we call organized or celebrity hoarding.
How Many Cars Do You Need?
All right, so how many cars do you actually need? How many boats do you actually need? How many homes do you need? We’ve heard story after story of celebrities who buy many homes across the globe. And then one day they wake up and they’re broke. The banks have called in the loans. The lines of credit are maxed out because these celebrities are trying to keep up with the Joneses.
New Money Needs New Discipline
A recently drafted NFL player new to money needs new money discipline. There is a financial transition going from college savings to having millions of dollars. But there also needs to be a financial discipline.
There’s a tendency to want to jump in and buy what everyone else has. You want the fancy house, the fancy cars, and you’ve got to host the fancy parties.
The problem is you don’t have 10 or 12 years of millions of dollars coming into back that up.
So, if this is your first big money job, saving and investing some of that money would be wise. Because you never know when the job is going to go away.
We’ve seen it too many times where people overextend themselves and then they’re broke.
Who Are the Joneses?
Keeping up with the Joneses, what is that all about? Who is it that’s keeping score? Is it our insecurities? Our need to be liked? Or admired?
I was in a house cleaning one time when the grand piano movers came to deliver a grand piano.
My first thought was, “Oh no, I’ve got a grand piano now I’m going to have to dust beside my regular cleaning.” I said, “Hey, I’m surprised, I didn’t know anyone in the house plays the piano.”
And they said, “Oh, no one does, but they’re having a party here in a couple of days and there’s this empty spot on the floor and they wanted to fill it up.”
So, they bought a grand piano. (By the way, a new Steinway & Sons concert grand piano costs about $80,000 US dollar.)
That’s a colossal waste because no one in the house is going to use it, and I’ve got to dust it. In my opinion, that’s buying unnecessary things to keep up with the Joneses.
Who Are You Trying to Impress and Why?
What happens if the Joneses call you and they say, “Hey guess what? The game is over, you win.” All right, so you’re the one stuck with the most toys, and then what?
So, having all this stuff is not necessary. And as far as having a different outfit every single day, I get that. I understand where that comes from and that does go back to a marketing ploy. It’s often milked by high-end designers who lend or give clothing to celebrities in exchange for name dropping and recognition.
But those who don’t yet have designer deals feel the pinch to wear fancy duds.
Designer Clothes Don’t Have to Be Expensive or Hoarded
There’s a website called RentTheRunway.com where you can rent these designer clothes for $20 or $30 a day. Here’s how it works. They ship you two sizes of the item you rent. One is the size you claim to be and the other one is the size just above that, just in case you lied about your size.
So, you’re going to wear one of them to the special occasion. And then when you’re done you ship it back in the packing they provide, and they do all the dry cleaning for you.
So now you’re not paying the lavish prices for the designer clothing. You’re not paying for the dry cleaning. Nor are you paying to store or keep up with those expensive items. It’s a one-time wear, you’re seen in the pictures, bam. You send the clothes, shoes, accessories etc. back and you’ve recycled it.
It’s an earth-friendly way to have the nice things without the costly price tags.
A Collection is Different from Hoarding
If having 160 pairs of designer shoes is your thing, great. But in this case, you recognize the fact that you don’t need 160 pairs of designer shoes.
Maybe it’s time to let some of them go. Maybe part of your marketing campaign could be, public recycling and donating.
Recycling Can Be a Public and Rewarding Effort
So yes, go out in last year’s style of something. Wear the dress, take a handbag from a different year, shoes from a different year, make a new outfit.
Let your publicist understand this is a recycled outfit. Yes, use the media to show your pride in wearing recycled clothing and accessories. After the photographs, donate those items to charities or fundraisers. The auctioned items will bring new perceived value.
You can create a new marketing campaign where you donate stuff that you have that’s just sitting in a closet. It’s not helping anyone, including you. Because you’re never going to wear it again. You might as well get some PR out of it.
Snobbery is So Yesterday’s News
The next thing that we want to think about is snobbery. I know there’s a bunch of snobberies that comes along with, “Well, I don’t want to wear something that somebody else has already worn.”
That thinking is so outdated.
A few years ago, I lived in Los Angeles, California. I was taking acting classes at the Edgemar Center for the Arts. The Edgemar Center for the Arts is this little eclectic school/theatre in Santa Monica where lots of celebrities kick around.
Right next to the Edgemar Center, there’s this little vintage shop. One day I was in there and the tee-shirts are on sale for $250, like who on earth is going to spend $250 for a tee-shirt?
I needed a little black dress for an event. They had one in my size but it was like $4,000. I’m like, “$4,000? That’s too much money.”
Snobbery is About Perceived Value
So, I asked the lady that owns the store, “How on earth can you charge $4,000 for this little black dress? In any other store, it’s going to cost you $28 to $40. What’s up?”
She said, “The people in this area will pay it because this is a one of a kind dress, they don’t make this dress anymore. This dress is 20 years old.” I’m like, “Yeah, I get that, but everywhere else in the world where I’m from, they call that a thrift store. How is this a vintage shop and everything is so much money?” She said, “Because people will pay it.”
All right, so the reality is this. Whatever it is that you’re buying, or selling, you can recycle it. Just call it vintage, and that’s why they make dry cleaners.
Go take it to the dry cleaners and have it cleaned, and now you can be wearing “vintage clothing.” One of a kind, they don’t make them anymore. Nobody knows if you spend $4,000 or $3.49 down at the local Goodwill, right? You don’t have to buy the most expensive stuff.
Who is Keeping Track of the Stuff You Own?
And by the way, who’s keeping track? Who really cares how many pairs of shoes you have in your closet? You had to have a custom closet made so that you could display all your shoes.
How many people actually go in your closet and look at your shoes? Not a lot of people, right? Except for the house cleaner, and I tell you what, we’ve seen them. Okay, yeah, Woohoo, you’re rich, you’re famous, we already knew that.
We’re not any more impressed than we were before. We’re still impressed, yeah. All right.
So, are you a hoarder? Yeah, it’s possible that you are.
Celebrity Hoarders Can Change Their Mentality
How do you change your mind? Well, you realize you don’t have to buy everything. You don’t have to own everything. You can get just as much enjoyment going through a museum. It costs $16 for a ticket, and you go through and see original pieces of art. You don’t actually have to own the art.
The museum will store it for you. They will make sure it’s in a climate-control environment. There’s somebody there on staff that’s going to dust the paintings and the frames. And you can go in anytime you want and enjoy it.
You just pay $16 per visit. That’s a lifetime of visits for less than the cost of one original piece of art. And you don’t have to pay for security. You don’t have to pay for 24-hour guards, you don’t have to pay for all this stuff.
We call it the museum mentality. You get to enjoy things that other people have that you don’t have to own.
Rent the Image – Save The Space
You don’t have to own the luxury yacht. Imagine saving the cost of the boat. You’ll also save on the property tax, the insurance, the cleaning, servicing, and storage. Even if you own a fancy boat you don’t get to tote it around behind you. It’s not a dog.
Unless you told people, they wouldn’t even know you owned a boat, so don’t own a boat. If you’re going to take friends out for the weekend, rent the boat and then turn it back in and you’re done with it. It’s so easy.
Are celebrity hoarders a real thing? Yeah, they’re a real thing. And yes, the fact that you recognize it is a time and a turning point for you to make new habits for the future.
All right, so I hope that helps just a little bit, and until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
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Resources For This Episode
Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save and How You Can Stop – http://amzn.to/2hdsXHf
The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life – http://amzn.to/2jEy47X
Zen of Hoarding: 108 offerings for deciding what you own – http://amzn.to/2fwpNP1
Don’t Let Your Stuff Suffocate You! Simplify Your Life & Free Your Space – http://amzn.to/2ws0cRR
If I’m So Smart, Why Can’t I Get Rid of this Clutter?: Tools to Get it Done! – http://amzn.to/2wCauKo
365 Days of DIY Hacks – Home, Parenting, Pets, Gifts, Budged – http://amzn.to/2xhIPC4
Organize Your Life: Organize Your in 5 Min. Per Day – http://amzn.to/2jFX1Qs
Enough: Finding More by Living with Less – http://amzn.to/2xMJ5KM
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own – http://amzn.to/2hdtedf
The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life – http://amzn.to/2jHyjPQ
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