Material Girl: Is Tori Spelling a Hoarder?

By    November 6, 2013

tori spelling

Is reality TV celebrity, best-selling author and former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star Tori Spelling hoarding her possessions?

RadarOnline.com reports that she is stashing millions of dollars worth of furniture, designer clothes and other belongings in several self-storage units measuring more than 20,000 square feet. By comparison, the typical American home is roughly 2,400 square feet.

“It’s all very well organized,” a RadarOnline source said of Spelling’s stuff, “but she refuses to part with any of it.”

Update: In October 2014 on her Lifetime reality TV show “True Tori,” Spelling revealed that she spends about $3,000 a month to rent 127 storage vaults for some of her belongings. She tracks this stuff in a document that’s more than 440 pages long. “What I’m paying on storage is seriously a mortgage,” Spelling said.

An ‘Extreme Collector’?
One hoarding expert said Spelling sounds like an “extreme collector” rather than a hoarder. Unlike a hoarder, Spelling seems to be taking good care of her stuff by organizing and protecting it in storage units, said Geralin Thomas, a professional organizer in Cary, NC. Thomas has appeared on more than 20 episodes of A&E’s reality TV show “Hoarders.”

“I think a lot of people find themselves with storage units full of things and find it overwhelming to deal with the contents, so they do nothing,” Thomas said. “Meanwhile, they’re paying a lot of money every month, which, of course, adds up over time. When people are overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed wisely, they procrastinate.”

SpareFoot surveys of consumers show the bulk of storage renters use space temporarily to cope with major life changes like a move or a divorce. Far fewer renters turn to storage units to clear out or prevent clutter.

Thomas said Spelling’s accumulated belongings are “only a problem if it affects the quality of her life and interferes with her day-to-day activities—if she couldn’t cook in her kitchen or sleep in her bed due to piles of stuff on top of it.”

tori spelling book

Time for a Garage Sale?
The RadarOnline source said Spelling could generate hundreds of thousands of dollars if she sold just some of her furniture and clothing.

“Tori is obsessed with her stuff, and does go to the storage facility at least one a month to drop off/pick up various pieces of furniture for her house. There is no reason for Tori to ever buy another piece of furniture ever again … . She could fill 10 houses with her stuff,” the source said.

This news comes on the heels of the revelation in Spelling’s new memoir, “Spelling It Like It Is,” that she’s in “financial ruin.”

“Tori’s storage-unit rental is $3,000 a month, which is a huge house payment for most Americans! She just refuses to get rid of anything because she thinks it will be needed down the line. When it comes to her kids’ stuff, which also takes up a huge chunk of space, Tori absolutely won’t even talk about getting rid of bicycles or old toys,” RadarOnline’s source said.

“She says she will hold onto their things to give to them when they are adults for their own families. Tori’s life would be so much more simpler if she just truly scaled back.”

Thomas said she can’t pinpoint why Spelling appears to be an “extreme collector,” but she can single out a possible reason: Around-the-clock access to online shopping has contributed to the amount of stuff we amass.

“Advertising convinces us we need to upgrade and replace things with more frequency than our parents and grandparents did—thus, we have more stuff to deal with,” Thomas said. “Credit cards have completely transformed how we shop and how much we spend; we are less cautious about spending when using credit cards.”

tori spelling craft wars

Extreme Collecting vs. Hoarding
So, what constitutes “extreme collecting”?

In a blog post last year on PsychologyToday.com, Susan Krauss, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, cited a British study that found up to one-third of adults engage in some form of collecting. By contrast, 2 percent to 5 percent adults qualify as hoarders.

Krauss outlined these four differences between extreme collectors and hoarders:

  1. Collectors seem to be more flexible in how they characterize and hold onto their valuables than hoarders are.
  2. As much as they may cling to their prized possessions, collectors don’t seem to fret as much as hoarders do about the loss of their items, and collectors don’t have as strong of an urge to keep them.
  3. Collectors tend to display their possessions, while hoarders typically let them pile up around their homes.
  4. Unlike hoarders, typical collectors enjoy strong family ties, interact socially with other collectors, and don’t feel guilt or regret.

“Just because you enjoy collecting, and may even have a few stashes around your home or office of objects that mean more to you than they do to others, this should not be a cause for alarm,” Krauss wrote.

But if you or someone you know starts to exhibit serious signs of extreme collecting, it may be time to seek professional help, she advised.

Images courtesy of Valspar Paint, Simon & Schuster, TLC

John is editor of The SpareFoot Blog. He first moved to Austin in 1999, when downtown Austin wasn't nearly as lively as it is today. John's loves include pizza, University of Kansas basketball and puns.

  • Therese

    It’s all relative I suppose. The more money you have access to the more you accumulate. But I have to agree with Geralin, Tori seems to be a very active shopper & exteme collector. The way it’s organized nod accounted for doesn’t lead me to think of her as a hoarder, just a girl with too much stuff.

  • Becky@OrganizingMadeFun

    Yes, I suppose if we can keep it all organized, it would seem less like a hoarder and more like a collector. I guess if she can manage it, she can do it. I would think having so much would make you feel weighed down. Letting go of so much is freeing.

  • Standolyn

    I’m not sure we have enough information to make the call.

    Right now she’s in the position to store her things neatly in rented space. She also has the time to manage it.

    If the same amount of stuff was crammed into her home, and she had no free time to manage it, would she still be considered just a collector?

    I wish her the best, and know that she’s not alone either way. We are all working on something.

  • http://nachorganiza.tumblr.com/ NACHOrganiza

    Standolyn makes a good point. What if an extreme collector doesn’t rent a unit and have all the stuff in her/his house? Could that be a path for a hoarding behavior? Maybe Tori is an extreme collector, but not all the collectible are in display, so that could be a sign of someone who has a problem with shopping in excess or excessive accumulation. According to the source “It’s all very well organized,”, “but she refuses to part with any of it.” and this sentence sounds to me as a problem. I don’t know if there are records about extreme collectors trespassing the line between that and a hoarding behavior, maybe provoked by emotional distress.

  • Natureboy007

    This is typical behavior of a Hoarder. What’s let go of provides space for what’s to become. Maybe if she gets rid of the non productive clutter she may not have so many financial problems…..

css.php