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5 Key Differences Between Preparedness and Hoarding

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

We all remember the 2020 run on toilet paper. We all saw the social media posts

complaining about those hoarders. We've all heard of the show Hoarders. Nobody wants to be that guy, right? And as you start to think more in terms of preparedness you've probably been met with a quip from a family member or neighbor about becoming a hoarder

and start to question your resolve to get more prepared.

But preparedness isn't hoarding. It is quite different. In fact, you could say in many ways they are opposites. Sure, both involve acquiring stuff. But the mindset and method behind it are nothing similar and that makes all the difference.

Thinking Two Steps Ahead vs Scarcity Mentality

Preparedness is thinking and planning ahead. It is about looking at the known ups and downs common to life and trying to get ready for the down times during the good times. Preparedness takes into account various of areas of life from your own personal needs and life details and also from a global and historical perspective. It is about trying to take into account all these various areas of life to help you be ready to navigate whatever life throws at you.

Hoarding is panicking that there may be a time that you won't have enough. At its core hoarding holds a belief that there is never enough and therefore, if someone else has, it means someone else does not have. It is a win-lose mentality frantically grasping at physical possessions to try and avoid becoming a loser. And this, my friends, is when people start quarreling over toilet paper.

Stocking Up vs Frantically Aquiering

Preparedness is a strategic stock up. It is a slow and steady game. After taking into account history at large as well as personal history and future plans, such as a new baby or starting school, preparedness sets goals and makes a plan of action. And from this plan comes a personally cultivated, intentional collection of useful items. Preparedness takes into account what may lay ahead and the best time to buy. Preparedness acquires things slowly, with goals and planning.

Hoarding frantically stocks up on anything just because it is a good a good deal, offered, available or possible. It is chaotic, incohesive and unintentional. It is a person frantically pulling in anything around them based on fear or insecurity. It is never wise to do things from a place of fear.

Strategizing for a Simpler Today for a Better Tomorrow vs Unhealthy Way to Cope with Stress

Preparedness is a strategy to have a simpler today for a better tomorrow, not just in the case of an earthquake or economic collapse. It focuses on doing things that will be useful now with the added benefit of being helpful during possible emergencies. A dual purpose that was intentionally planned for by thinking ahead. Preparedness is all about doing things that have a multifaceted benefit to make life simpler today as well as act as a safety net in case of emergencies tomorrow.

Well Rounded Approach vs Over Emphasis on Stuff

Preparedness is a well rounded approach. It doesn't just focus on having things to "make you prepared." It focuses on mindset and skills. It focuses on natural disasters and life downturns. It takes into account financial preparedness, mental preparedness, social preparedness, and spiritual preparedness. If there is an area of life to plan ahead for or improve in preparedness is all about it. Preparedness is a mentality and a way of life.

Hoarding has an over emphasis on stuff. It is about accumulating "all the things" as if personal possessions are the sole source of security. Hoarding doesn't look at skill sets, mind set or even plan for actual emergencies. Hoarding is just having an us vs them mentality and thinking that if they can win at having the most stuff they will be on top.

Purpose and Fulfilling vs Meaningless and Suffocating

Preparedness is about being self-reliant and hard working. Preparedness is knowing those principles bring enjoyment and fulfillment to your life and are therefore worth doing regardless of if there is an emergency or not. This self-reliant and hard working mindset brings skills and resiliency to younger generations and therefore is something that should be safeguarded in society. Preparedness takes into account a wider variety of probable emergencies. Instead of just looking at earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods preparedness also looks at job loss, crazy days, and unexpected events. Because we all know having your car break down on the side of the road is more likely than the zombie apocalypse (though 2020 has made us question that statistic, just a little).

Hoarding has no purpose. It doesn't help bring anything good into your life. In fact, it eventually suffocates you and takes over your life, burying you in piles of possessions as fear grips you to your core. Hoarding is usually based on worse case scenarios, like EMPs taking out life as we know it, which leads to extreme decisions that usually don't make sense in the here and now and won't help you in life's most likely scenarios. This fear based decision making causes people to put off planning for their actual future and leaves them ruminating on horrors that most likely will never happen.

Preparedness is planned out and practical. Start preparing right now by printing out our free 5 Possible Emergencies sheet linked down below. Write down five possible emergencies and three steps you can take to be more prepared for that emergency. Include natural disasters that are likely in your area such as sever wind or flooding but don't forget more every day occurrences as well such as sliding off the road in the snow or getting home late after an unexpectedly long day.

List of 5 Possible Emergencies
Download PDF • 58KB

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