The Fine Line Between Having Stuff, And HoardingDodai Stewart5/26/10 3:20pmFiled to: consumption junctionhoardingHoardersburied aliveStuffJunkCrapCollectingPackRatArchivist242EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkA 76-year-old-woman and 79-year-old man from Chicago who'd been missing for three weeks were found. At home. Buried alive in under heaps of crap. A police spokesman described the couple as "hoarders." Ever worry it could be you?AdvertisementSometimes, it's just so hard to throw things away. Once when my mother called me a pack rat, I explained that I was actually an archivist. Fulfilling the desire to acquire is an American past-time; our TVs, magazines and roads are filled with commercials, ads and billboards. We're a consumer culture, yet we love to gawk when it goes too far: Hence the shows, from Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous to Hoarders, Clean House and Hoarding: Buried Alive.But just because you save old letters, pictures, magazines and a drawer of T-shirts you haven't touched in 2 years doesn't mean you're on your way to being crushed by your possessions. There's having a floordrobe, and then there's this:AdvertisementFire crews had to don special haz-chem protective clothing before breaking down the door of the flat on Monday night.They were hit with the unbelievable smell, piles of rotting food waste, and trash.A commenter on this Daily Mail article suggests that the couple were suffering from Diogenes syndrome, which seems quite possible, but the crux of the matter is this: In a society riddled with disposable clothing, furniture and electronics — where we value those who have the newest/latest/best/most things — don't we all relate to those who take it to extremes?Buried Alive Under Mounds Of Rubbish: Elderly U.S. Couple Missing For Three Weeks Found Safe By Horrified Firemen [Daily Mail]Earlier: Do You Own Your Stuff Or Does Your Stuff Own You?