20 Signs You’re a Prepper, Not Just a Hoarder

Being a prepper, although logical, can sometimes leave you feeling overwhelmed with all you’ve accumulated. If you’re quite serious about prepping, you might even have the thought cross your mind, “Am I a hoarder?” Given that both groups tend to stock up on things that they might need, it’s not necessarily out of the question.

That said, there’s a lot that separates the two camps as well, which can make it easier to be honest with yourself about what you’re doing and whether or not there’s an underlying problem that you need to address.

To ensure that you’re prepping rather than hoarding, we’ve come up with a list of 20 signs you’re a prepper, not just a hoarder. See if you identify with the signs below to relieve yourself of any doubts!

1. Your Stockpile Is Rather Organized

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Preppers understand the importance of organizational systems to not only allow them to stockpile what they need but to access whatever they might need in an emergency.

Hoarders, on the other hand, rarely have organizational systems, throwing their items wherever they can find the space. If your stockpile is organized rather than disjointed, chances are that you’re a prepper.

2. You’re Constantly Swapping Old Things Out

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Some items like food and water need to be swapped out now and again when you’ve managed to go so long without an emergency and need to stock up on fresher items. Preppers will do this with ease.

However, hoarders tend to have a hard time letting things go, which means that they can end up just piling new items on top of their older stuff.

3. You’re Using the Things You Stockpile

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Continuing with the above point, stuff that’s about to expire or even tools that you’ve purchased for a potential emergency should be seeing some use. Preppers might have some things that just sit around, but others will use foodstuffs and other items and refill or replace them as needed.

If it’s become more about collecting rather than getting real use out of what you have, you might be a hoarder.

4. You Don’t Feel Distressed at the Thought of Throwing Things Out

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When you know that certain things need to be thrown out, do you become anxious, angry, or sad? If things are just things to you and you’re stockpiling them for a rainy day, you’re a prepper. If, however, you start to experience an emotional reaction to the concept of clearing out some of your stockpiles for whatever reason, this isn’t a good sign of what your activity truly is.

5. The Goods in Your Stockpile Are Quality Goods

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It’s important to preface this tip by saying that not everything a hoarder ends up buying and putting into their hoard is trash. That said, a lot of hoarders do have trash lying around because they’re unable to distinguish between valuable goods and goods that are hazardous or need to be thrown away. If everything in your stockpile is objectively not trash, you’re a prepper.

6. Your Reasons for Prepping Are Not Emotional in Nature

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People who hoard do so because there’s underlying trauma that’s leading to an emotional response, that being their hoarding. Preppers begin to collect goods that might prove useful later because they’re interested in being prepared for any emergency.

Knowing there’s no emotional connection to your items or driving your prepping is a good indication that you’re a prepper rather than a hoarder.

7. You’re Intentional About What You’re Purchasing

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Ask yourself, am I buying anything that might be useful or am I being intentional about what I’m stocking up on?

Buying everything and everything you can get your hands on and then trying to justify how all of your items can be a sign of hoarder behavior, especially as things accumulate and never leave your space.

8. Things Have Actual Uses, Not Just Potential

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Everything in your stockpile should have an actual application. Many hoarders will stock up on generally useless items that they will then justify having, saying that they can use them someday for something.

If you know what your things are for and you can truly use them in an emergency, you’re probably a prepper.

9. You’re Able to Navigate Your Daily Life Without Disruption

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While an initial hoard might only take up a little bit of space, it doesn’t stay small for long. Most hoarders can barely navigate their space over time or may find that they’re unable to use certain rooms or appliances in their homes.

If you can go about your daily life while prepping and it doesn’t consume you, you’re a prepper!

10. Your Family Isn’t (Too) Concerned

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Prepping isn’t for everyone, and chances are that there are individuals in your life who have something to say about what you do. That said, you aren’t likely to be approached by everyone in your family telling you that something is wrong and that you need help.

If they are, this could be a sign to be honest with yourself and see if you do need some support with your activities.

11. Your Personal Health Hasn’t Taken a Hit Due to Your Prepping

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Prepping is an activity that shouldn’t affect your health at all. Hoarding often causes health issues because it allows for mold growth, rat droppings, and other health hazards to accumulate.

Are you currently living in and suffering from your stockpile? This will help you distinguish between normal prepping and hoarding.

12. Your Home Isn’t Falling Apart

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Hoarders have serious structural issues as their home is overwhelmed with trash. This can include walls breaking down, floorboards becoming damaged and rotten, and other problems.

Those with stockpiles that don’t weigh the house down or otherwise damage it should be confident that they don’t have a hoarding issue.

13. You’re Not Panic Buying

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Panic buying happens from time to time, especially when there’s a development in our society that causes immense uncertainty. But outside of those key developments, you shouldn’t panic buying things you might need.

A constant sense of anxiety that drives your purchases and causes you to stockpile so much more than you need is a sign that something else is wrong.

14. The Reasons for Prepping Aren’t Rooted in Severe Paranoia

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Some people prep who are known as extreme preppers. They’re very paranoid about society breaking down and will do everything and everything in their power to make sure they’re prepared.

More often than not, these people will have a ton of money, but those who don’t can live in disarray preparing for an apocalypse. If you’re not so paranoid that your life is completely revolving around prepping to the point of hoarding, you’re in a good spot.

15. Your Financial Situation Is Stable

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Hoarders spend and spend and spend some more so that they can accumulate more. Preppers have a budget and stick to it. Is your financial situation stable? Are you able to stop when you hit your budget limit?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’re very likely not a hoarder.

16. Everything Is in Its Place

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Everything should have a place when you’re prepping, and you should never feel that you’re being encroached upon by the things that you’re buying to prepare for emergencies.

Only when things start piling up and you’re no longer able to move around normally should you worry that your prepping has started to turn into something else.

17. Everything Hasn’t Become About Prepping

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Prepping is something that should be a side focus in the grand scheme of things. A well-balanced person should have multiple hobbies and focuses.

Hoarders, on the other hand, are just focused on hoarding. If you are only prepping and you’re doing nothing else, you may have transitioned into stocking up on too much, which could lead to hoarding.

18. You Haven’t Been Threatened By the City

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Some hoarder properties are terrible, with houses or properties needing to be condemned because they’re no longer fit to live in.

Once the city notices something is wrong or gets word of what the inside of your house looks like, they’ll let you know that there’s a problem and that you need to fix it. Haven’t gotten a notice from the city? You’re in good shape.

19. You Don’t Get Defensive When People Point Out What You Have

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People will talk about your prep, and that’s fine. You’ll hear what they have to say and then shrug it off. Hoarders, on the other hand, may become defensive when someone talks about how much stuff they have, knowing on some level that there’s a problem or becoming worried that someone might try to do something about it.

If you’re not triggered by what people have to say about a stockpile, you’re a prepper.

20. You Can Come to the Conclusion That What You Have Is Enough

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Prepping comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes, with some prepping for a 72-hour natural disaster and others prepping for much more serious issues.

However, most reach a point where they realize that what they have is enough. Are you here? If so, you’re a prepper. If that moment never comes, that could be an issue!

20 Crucial Supplies for Surviving a Societal Collapse

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In the face of uncertainty, being well-prepared gives you at least some degree of control and security. The thought of a societal collapse, while extreme, prompts us to consider how we might endure without the conveniences of our current lifestyle. Here’s a list of 20 essential items that could prove indispensable in such a scenario. This guide isn’t about succumbing to fear but embracing preparedness and resilience.

14 Essential Canned Goods for Your Emergency Pantry

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I firmly believe in keeping a well-stocked emergency pantry. While fresh food is ideal, in a survival situation, we may not be that lucky. So, for my family, even though we grow a lot of our own food, canned goods play a crucial role in emergency preparedness. They offer a reliable source of nutrition when access to fresh produce may be limited. The goods you stockpile should be affordable, easy to store, and full of nutrition.

Best Regions in the U.S. to Escape to When Society Collapses

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Choosing a refuge in the event of societal collapse involves weighing the pros and cons of each location against your personal preparedness goals and abilities. Whether you’re drawn to the solitude of the desert or the protective heights of the mountains, the key is finding a place that offers safety and the opportunity for growth and renewal.

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