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#28 Hoarding

Posted March 8th, 2008 by Peter · 34 Comments

Now that the little intermission is over:
let’s get back to the nitty gritty asian stuff.

hoard (ha!´rd, hōrd) Pronunciation Key
n. A hidden fund or supply stored for future use; a cache.

  1. To accumulate a hoard of.
  2. To keep hidden or private.

Do you ever wonder why asians have such large pockets or purses after leaving restaurants? No, It’s not because they’ve been getting paid to eat and it’s definitely not because they’ve been stealing tip money from other tables (even though they hardly ever tip correctly, but let’s save that for a later post). It’s a dirty little habit that has played itself over time and time again since the invention of disposable items.

Asians, pack rats, and socially deprived mental patients have one thing in common, hoarding. PackRatThe act may seem frivolously harmless, but there comes a time when the act becomes so something far greater. Asians have made it a way of life. When asians see paper or plastic grocery bags, they see trash bags. They see discarded Carl’s Jr.’s cups as potential cups for their babies. Asians are the purest form of entrepreneurs because they do not merely see the present use of items, but the future potential they made hold.

Though the Asian hoarding of goods is not classified as “compulsive hoarding,” it still ranks pretty high (behind the packrat but before the fox). That is because OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) is not even classified as a mental disorder in asian countries. Asian women are expected to keep the house clean, especially during the New Years season, where a dirty house could bring another year of bad luck. Since products are not so readily available in communist countries, these people are left out to dry. After immigrating to lavishly adorned Americas, this habit causes these over-stressed housewives to collect as many cleaning tools as possible, whenever possible. Hence, these women are forced to compete by any means with others for the cleanest house in order to make their cameos on the next episode of “Design on a Dime” on HGTV.

Other asians hoard due to something we all know so well about: Perfectionism. These asians are always aware of free objects due to their unrelenting thoughts about not having enough necessities. For example, asians that hoard paper towels, napkins, and even toilet paper all have the fear that they could wind up stranded in the middle of the desert one day with no help coming and a peculiar urge to take a crap. These people, men and women alike, can be found with a stash of napkins in their cars of purses from restaurants ranging from Black Angus to Pho 54. The same fear occurs with the asian need to keep their hair clean. That is why asians will have piles of shampoo and soap from hotels they have stayed at. These asians hoard in order to make sure that they will be perfect and ready in all situations.

And still, as if the previous two were not enough, there is a final reason for hoarding: Sentimentality. Asians have only recently immigrated to other countries. photosDue to their short tenure (about 120 years), they are forced to respect the people and the countries that they are now citizens of. The hoarding of historic items is very much apparent because it allows asians to feel more in touch with their new homelands. The sentimentality and history behind an object intrigues these types of asians. That is why these asians will collect memorabilia from the 1970′s, wrapping paper from the 90′s, or pictures of famous people that they will never meet. Where others see these pictures as momentos of certain events, asians become quite attached to them. Asians may cherish their relatives and family so much that they will hoard pictures of them whenever opportunities may arise. This leaves them with piles upon piles of so called “memories” that can never be bought back (even though their family members are the click of an email away).

According to the Oprah Winfrey Show:
“All of us get attached to things some of the time. We have things that remind us of people we love, or they remind us of happy times. But for people with hoarding problems, the attachment to objects becomes very intense””sometimes more intense than the attachment to actual people…”

Asians hoard like pack rats in order to suppress their innate obsessive compulsive disorder, satisfy their need for perfection, and to cherish their new homes and loved ones. They will even duke it out over the last napkin in the “Super China Buffet” dispenser. Asians always have reasons for doing things. This is why: Asians Love Hoarding.

Last 5 posts by Peter

Tags: Activities · Food & Beverage · Habits · History · Hobbies · People · Superstition

34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Justin // Mar 8, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    wows excellent post! i enjoyed reading it. i like to hoard pictures, napkins, free cups, free forks/knives, spoons, and some more napkins. you can’t ever have enough napkins.

  • 2 Quy Truong // Mar 8, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    lol funny stuff. Asians also hoard napkins cuz they are cheap. OH and condiments too!

  • 3 Val // Mar 10, 2008 at 9:04 am

    I also think Asians hoard because some of them have become accustomed to oppressive governmental regimes. Either back in their home country, they didn’t have the luxury of being able to hoard so they get here and collect things simply because they can. Or, they have that “what if” mentality. I need to stock napkins and toilet paper and canned food and two extra freezers of food in case something happens to me and I can no longer afford those things, or in case the government comes and takes away all of my wealth.

  • 4 Justin // Mar 10, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    good point! yeah, asians are also so used to lacking until they’ve seen the abundance of America, they want to make the most of it. also, they’re also under “survival mode” so they have to pack in case anything happens

  • 5 Kevin // Mar 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Ophra sucks, no asian family I know watches it. Perfectionism to some extent to most families I know, not mine though. No family I know is OCD and plastic bags is the only thing my family “hoards” for indeed the purpose of trash bags, but that isn’t just an asian thing.

  • 6 YASPY Chick // Mar 12, 2008 at 6:46 am


    I watch Oprah (when I’m not at work, anyway)

  • 7 Anonymous // Mar 29, 2008 at 12:14 am

    I laughed myself to tears reading this post. I am myself a hoarding but I never associated it with being asian … but now it all makes sense!

  • 8 CNM // Apr 12, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    LOL about using plastic bags as garbage bags…that’s a habit I picked up from my mom, in addition to hoarding napkins…they’re so useful on so many occasions! And Quy is so right about condiments, too. Hilarious!

  • 9 Steve // May 13, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Very true of my parents! Though I’m the only one that buys trash bags and zip loc bags and throw them away after 1 use. YAY!

  • 10 AVCOM // Jul 27, 2008 at 10:30 am

    When my grandmother visited me in Europe a few year ago, I was so shocked to find out that she’d been using the same pair of cotton buds over and over for at least a week!! Also she had a newspaper with her on the day she arrived and she kept reading it till the end of her vacation (there were no Chinese language newspaper there)

  • 11 Kvietgrl // Dec 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm



  • 12 su.that' // Feb 19, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    After living in the usa for 37 years, I am still hoarding and see myself in all the comments. I hoard everything which is free. After reading this article and the comments I start to understand why I do it.

  • 13 Heat Moon // Feb 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Reading this makes me want to hoard.

  • 14 Peter // May 5, 2009 at 8:35 pm


  • 15 ming // May 9, 2009 at 10:49 am

    The “oppressive regime” theory shouldn’t make any sense for third and fourth generation Asian Americans – but it’s amazing how that need to hoard has become so intertwined with our culture, even third and fourth gen’s can be found taking more than their fair share of napkins, condiments, and toilet paper.
    Still, I rather write it off to “we can be cheap,” and we believe “we’ll use it again someday” versus “oppressive regime”-theory.
    It’s just simpler, yeah?

  • 16 June // Jun 7, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    If my husband reads this, he’ll feel justified in taking those damn mints, napkins, straws, ketchup packets, plastic utensils, newspapers…you name it and he’ll take it. I’m glad I could finally laugh about it, but I still don’t agree with collecting pens, tofu containers, old sponges, rubber bands, string, wrapping paper…the list goes on.

  • 17 #121 Having Nice Things and Not Using Them « Stuff Asian People Like - Asian Central // Jul 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    [...] relative weddings barely qualify).  Well, the vintage shops would if it weren’t for the #28 Hoarding. As for tea, Asians have been known to forego expensive loose leaf imported stuff for prepackaged [...]

  • 18 Chunk // Jan 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Re: Ming’s response -

    I’m with you there, that I prefer to see the hoarding as the result of cheapness. My sister’s bathroom sink is completely filled with unused shampoo and conditioner bottles that she stole from various hotels. And when I stay at her place, she will only allow me to use one of the “hotel souvenirs” after deciding which one she would rather do away with – and usually, it’s the oldest one and dustiest one she has.

    But I shouldn’t talk because I like going to Disneyland, and I like to collect those theme park maps and schedules. I like to have one to use at the park, and the other kept in perfect shape for memorabilia’s sake.

  • 19 DailyBento » Blog Archive » Stuff Asian People Like #28 – Hoarding // Mar 3, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    [...] Source: Asian Central [...]

  • 20 CA // Nov 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    I’m Chinese, and I wonder if Chinese asians hoard more than other Asians? What do you think?

  • 21 Canuck // Nov 12, 2010 at 7:13 am

    I actually collect stories like this!

  • 22 Timster // Dec 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    My wife is ethnic Chinese from south Viet Nam, and she came here after the fall of Saigon (as opposed to the winter of Saigon…), and her psycho-hoarding thing is…. NEWSPAPERS! Our house, garage, and any available space is stuffed with papers going back years. If I try to throw anything away, she threatens to throw my Garden Scale electric trains and radio controlled toys in the trash, as if they had the same value. She flies into violent tirades at even the suggestion of throwing them away. It took a threat from Code Enforcement, with potential fines of $1000/day if the front yard didn’t get cleaned up. Un $%^&@# believable.

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  • 25 Jackson // Apr 7, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    lol. fuckin true

  • 26 dfunkt // Jun 13, 2011 at 8:21 am

    aha, now i can start to understand my wife…although that shit is really annoying! just throw that junk away already dammit.

  • 27 Michael // Jun 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I wouldn’t call the trash bag thing hoarding. It’s being smart. When you buy groceries, why throw away the bags when you can reuse them? It saves money and is better for the environment.

  • 28 Lenin // Jul 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Well I’m Asian and I don’t think we are raised as hoarders. Lol.

    Oh by the way, I haven’t seen any Asians featured on Hoarders (@A&E) yet. ;)

  • 29 Ruffty // Oct 19, 2011 at 10:31 am

    This post has so much ignorant and racial content, I dont even know where to begin to describe your fail.

  • 30 Gladys // Apr 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Love this post!
    It’s true, I have an affinity for brand new journals. I’d buy 5-10 journals at the beginning of school years, but I DREAD using them. I just want to see their perfect blank pages..

  • 31 ilovehorseyrides // Jun 9, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Stuff my family hoards:

    1) condiments from fast food places
    2) napkins from restaurants
    3) straws from restaurants
    4) Chinese newspapers
    5) hotel toiletries
    6) old receipts
    7) coupons

  • 32 ilovehorseyrides // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Yesterday my family and I ate at the Cravings buffet at the Mirage and my mom and aunt took like 10 packs of green tea and sneaked it into their bags!!! We did not get caught :)

  • 33 ilovehorseyrides // Aug 14, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    I keep taking free stuff whenever I can, because my cousins and sister always gets stuff from relatives and not me, so I do it to make up for the stuff I never got over the years

  • 34 Langford Detailing // May 12, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    I think calling it reusing and recycling is more accurate than hoarding. I actually respect how many Asians reuse stuff and make it last instead of buying new useless stuff everyday like in the USA, and this is coming from an Asian-Canadian!

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