My fifteen years of being a landscaper in Denver, with those LONG winters, deepened my tendency to store stuff, which LITERALLY kept me from losing my home each winter, as did dumpster diving for food at grocery stores, getting life's basics (clothes, blankets, pots and pans) etc at apartment complexes and thrift store dumpsters, pet food at wholesale distribution site dumpsters and so much more. Plus it allowed me to most months add $50 principal payment....so when this my retirement home went on the market the fall of 1998, I had EXACTLY its $60,000 price in equity in my tiny 829 square foot Denver home!!!! Scavenging also let me pay off my car VERY early at 0% interest rate using balance transfer offers that came in the mail. Selling the Denver house at the top of the market allowed me to pay off the debt of fixing both houses up. Most scavengers/"hoarders" I've known did it simply as a survival response to low or uncertain incomes...but I HAVE met a few "classic" hoarders who clearly did it as a life dominating compulsion. My lean times, thankfully, have been gone since 2005, so it made sense to follow my gut and so a DEEP purge and cleaning of my home. I've made HUGE strides in my front yard, but much remains to be done out back. One cool benefit of those LONG lean years is habitual daily gratitude for the abundance in my life whereas I know some folks who've ALWAYS been LOADED with money and they never seem to be satisfied, to have "enough".