Things, things and yet more things. Is one of your life goals the gathering of things? Compendiums, clutter, stuff — call it what you want but many of us (myself included), have an obsession with the collecting of stuff. For me it’s board games. I honestly have more than 200 of them and some I have not even taken out of the box. For my friends it’s collectable teapots, books, plants, car parts ... the list goes on and on. But when does collecting cross the line into hoarding? And is it really an issue if you become obsessive with your chosen collection? Does the possession of things make us happy? Or is our contentment with ourselves dependent on what we own? Hoarding comes in all sorts of forms. Let’s be honest, most of us collect something. Are you someone who loads their shopping baskets with special two-for-one deals from your favourite clothing store? Or maybe you are a sucker for the specials from the dry food section at your local supermarket. I know a lot of people who collect objects that have no monetary value to anyone, only sentimental value to themselves: film tickets, sports memorabilia, bus and train ticket stubs. Are you a hoarder of sentimental stuff? Are you someone who finds it really difficult to part with even one item from your collection? I think that is the key difference between collecting and hoarding — the anxiety or lack thereof when needing to part with some of your beloved collection. Then we enter the area of dependency on things for physical and mental wellbeing. Where do we fit on this scale? Are you a keen collector? Does it stop at collecting? Or do you have heaps of items, untouched, still in the packaging? Are you collecting item after item because you simply can’t bear to throw them out? I hope I still sit in the healthy range. But perhaps older age has a few surprises in store for me yet.