Mentally Hoarding VO “STUFF”

by | Aug 3, 2016 | Ruminations | 10 comments



You’ve seen those houses on the news:  47 cats, the smell of urine & feces, and a narrow path through each room bordered by stacks of just…junk.

THAT’S the visual definition of hoarding stuck in our brains.  The TV show “Hoarders” only furthers the mystique.

We all recognize those physical signs of hoarding — a  mental state whereby people identify common objects with their own personal identity, and can’t throw them away.  But what about mental signs of hoarding that have little or no physical manifestation? 

I’m not sure if I’m verging into my own psychological theories here, but I’m darn sure I AM a mental hoarder.

Are you?

Here are some possible signs:

  • your hard drive is filled with articles you WILL eventually read (uh-huh)
  • you’re relieved when your brilliant idea goes in a list with other ideas (and grows dust)
  • merely HAVING a resource gives you reassurance that you have the knowledge within that article (even if you haven’t read it or listened to it)
  • you flag and bookmark great videos and blog articles for later consideration
  • you feel edified when signing up for webinars and workshops, but the info languishes

For a voice actor, the syndrome takes a form something like this example:  you’ve paid good money for a business coach, and spent time on skype for 10, one hour-long sessions.  You take copious notes, and record the sessions.  The notes collect dust on a shelf in your office, and the videos are safely tucked away on your HD with all that knowledge

If you need it, there it is.  But for some reason, you never seem to need it, and eventually the info gets out-of-date. You’re somehow content that it’s part of a library of knowledge, but you never visit the shelves.  The fact that it’s THERE seems to impart some sort of confidence that you know the content.  But you don’t!

Sound familiar?

Here’s another example:  Your daily outings on the internet result in the discovery of scads of useful websites and articles.  You store those URL’s on a FeedReader, Pocket, or Instapaper, just knowing that you’ll be back to read them over the weekend.  A year’s worth of weekends pass, and now the resource links you found are out-dated, but somehow you feel a calm that if nothing else you collected them!

It’s a sickness.

You could call it a unique form of procrastination I guess…but it’s something more insidious…it’s mental hoarding…minus the smell of cat urine.

So-o-o-o-o-o, I’m resolving today to stop the hoarding, or actually READ all I’ve collected or both.  Here’s the problem…and one of the reasons I’ve failed before:  stopping to actually absorb the information takes time, and I’d rather defer.

My answer to that is my new maxim:  “…it’s better to lose a few minutes of my day absorbing valuable information…than save a few minutes, and never read anything…”  

Sure, with this new motto I’m not going to get to as many resources, ’cause my time will be absorbed actually taking in information instead of skating to the next link.  I will miss things.  But at least I’ll get SOME information, instead of no information and a full hard-drive.




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  1. Laura Branch

    Okay CourVO, where is it? You know…the hidden camera you snuck into my office. My hard drive. My phone. My BRAIN! 😉

    • Joe Braden

      Dave, you lookin over my shoulder?

      Laura, get some sun, you look pale.

      • CourVO

        YES….I’ve been watching you, Joe…and it gave me the inspiration for this blog!

        Ha ha…thanks for reading and responding.

        Dave Courvoisier

    • CourVO

      Laura….you made me laugh out loud.

      No, I’m not spying… just publicly outing my hoarding issue to I can be accountable!!!

      Thanks for checking out my blog and commenting.

      Dave Courvoisier

  2. Michelle Giacopuzzi

    Finally!! I am relieved to know that I have a diagnosis to my “illness”.!!! I guess I should go through my notes and information that I’ve been hoarding. THANKS CourVO!

    • CourVO


      See? You’re not alone AND you’re not going crazy… you just need to take advantage of all those incredible resources you’re stashed away!

      Dave Courvoisier

  3. Jeff Schwartz

    Great read Dave, and so true! I think it’s a symptom of the Information Age, where such easy access makes the brain grow complacent. This post hit a nerve with me and I’m sure a lot of other readers. Gonna save it to re-read at a later, imaginary date.

    • CourVO


      Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad to find I’m not alone… your response confirms there are other mental hoarders out there!


      Dave Courvoisier

  4. Howard Ellison

    Yep, this really hit home, hard. All the signs, the total syndrome. Should read and clear seven years of sheer stuff, but oh the fear, the fear, of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, or the cat with the basket. But maybe actors are programmed to hoard? Saving up bits of experience, funny voices, mannerisms – as our stock in trade. Yes, that’s it, my excuse.

    • CourVO

      Thanks for the confirmation that I’m not a total basket case, Howard!

      I think I touched a nerve given the amount of responses I’ve gotten.

      Dave Courvoisier


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