Does this make me a hoarder?

fiddlefye

Senior Member
A pianist I've been friends with for decades has suffered from multiple issues over his life - huge weight issues, alcoholism (resolved long ago at this point) and another I wasn't that aware of until recently - he's been a serious hoarder. His landlord got on his case because his little one bedroom apartment had become a serious fire hazard and gave him a choice - clear out the accumulation or be evicted.

I'd not been in his place when it was at its worst, but the state it must have been in staggers me. In this tiny place he at one point had a Steinway Model A grand piano (buried under a pile), a big upright (I took it on awhile ago) a dozen fine gramophones (with a couple of thousand 78s to go with them) and a thousand or more LPs. In between was just junk and detritus as there was no way he could have cleaned even if he had wanted to.

So, to cut to the chase - my friend is quite insistent that these are now my records in entirety. He is letting go of his past and making a better new future (we hope!) less burdened by his past. He has also informed me that I will be the recipient in his will of his lovely Model A Steinway grand should I outlive him, this basically as insurance that the piano gets proper treatment should the situation arise. I am five years his senior, but who knows...

As to the LPs - I wish they'd been packed in LCBO boxes as I've always done as they are then reasonably manageable. Square moving boxes end up just a bit heavy, I moved a lot of them yesterday and have a few left in the car overnight out of respect for my back and giving it a little rest and recovery time. They'll all be in by end of day.

So what's in the boxes and what am I going to do about their having arrived? I've had a look through three boxes so far and while there is clearly some donation fodder there are also an incredible collection of very fine Classical vinyl, some of it fairly rare and valuable. Being the sort of person he is, if my friend bought a recording of a specific work he bought six different performances for comparison. Who has three complete box sets of the Bach Cantatas? Seven (so far) of the Khachaturian violin concerto?

I can take on perhaps a few hundred more LPs, especially if I do a bit of winnowing of what I already own, but still will need to re-home quite a few albums. Wish me luck...

One interesting LP that jumped out at me. Sounds like it has dandy party potential. ;)
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fiddlefye

Senior Member
Sounds like you need to go Kallax shopping at IKEA. :)
I've already done that and also have 12' of built-in shelving in the attic loft. I either need to build an addition or decide exactly how many LPs I can accommodate and winnow down to it. We've a pretty good sized house, but really no more room for LPs to be housed. If I lived alone it might be different, but...
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I have a strong feeling I might do some sharing on forum if anyone is interested. Way too much sorting to do between now and then, but it might also push me to get my own House of Records in shape as well.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
The more boxes I look through the more I realize that not only have I been given a big job and responsibility I've also been given an incredible gift. What is a amazing is that out of five boxes I've done a basic sorting on so far there are only two records in common with my own library. Definitely a few things I can see will be getting sold - do I want three identical box sets of Aida? ;)
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
A pianist I've been friends with for decades has suffered from multiple issues over his life - huge weight issues, alcoholism (resolved long ago at this point) and another I wasn't that aware of until recently - he's been a serious hoarder. His landlord got on his case because his little one bedroom apartment had become a serious fire hazard and gave him a choice - clear out the accumulation or be evicted.

I'd not been in his place when it was at its worst, but the state it must have been in staggers me. In this tiny place he at one point had a Steinway Model A grand piano (buried under a pile), a big upright (I took it on awhile ago) a dozen fine gramophones (with a couple of thousand 78s to go with them) and a thousand or more LPs. In between was just junk and detritus as there was no way he could have cleaned even if he had wanted to.

So, to cut to the chase - my friend is quite insistent that these are now my records in entirety. He is letting go of his past and making a better new future (we hope!) less burdened by his past. He has also informed me that I will be the recipient in his will of his lovely Model A Steinway grand should I outlive him, this basically as insurance that the piano gets proper treatment should the situation arise. I am five years his senior, but who knows...

As to the LPs - I wish they'd been packed in LCBO boxes as I've always done as they are then reasonably manageable. Square moving boxes end up just a bit heavy, I moved a lot of them yesterday and have a few left in the car overnight out of respect for my back and giving it a little rest and recovery time. They'll all be in by end of day.

So what's in the boxes and what am I going to do about their having arrived? I've had a look through three boxes so far and while there is clearly some donation fodder there are also an incredible collection of very fine Classical vinyl, some of it fairly rare and valuable. Being the sort of person he is, if my friend bought a recording of a specific work he bought six different performances for comparison. Who has three complete box sets of the Bach Cantatas? Seven (so far) of the Khachaturian violin concerto?

I can take on perhaps a few hundred more LPs, especially if I do a bit of winnowing of what I already own, but still will need to re-home quite a few albums. Wish me luck...

One interesting LP that jumped out at me. Sounds like it has dandy party potential. ;)
View attachment 36370
That looks like an album I'd buy!

Congrats on the nice addition to the collection.

''Even more, I hope this is a blessing for your friend too.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
That looks like an album I'd buy!

Congrats on the nice addition to the collection.

''Even more, I hope this is a blessing for your friend too.
This project is first and foremost for my friend. If they'd been boxes of Ray Coniff LPs I'd still have taken them and dealt with them as he was not only at wit's end, but also suffering from carpal tunnel issues in his right hand and can't lift anything.

I feel like I'm now going to have a party themed around that Nelson Riddle album. Have a few drinks, play a few LPs with Riddle's arrangements and then everyone have a go!
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
Dealing with this huge infestation of vinyl is taking it out of me a bit, but we soldier on. I've had LPs come in by the box load a few times over the years, but never anything like this to deal with. The front hall and living room look like a war zone.

I haven't worked out any way of handling this in one shot. I'm organizing by big general categories to begin (Opera, Piano, Solo String etc.) and making a hand-written list as I go along (Title, Artist(s), Label and number). Of course with Classical there are many LPs that don't want to fit into one slot, but... oh well.

Any suggestions as to a way of dealing with this lot without slipping into madness would be appreciated.

BTW - my friend figured there might be 1,000 LPs. My initial guess was around 1,200, but I've had to revise that to "somewhere the far side of 1,500". I really can't monopolize so much of the common spaces of the house for too long, though my long-suffering spouse is being patient and understanding.
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
The answer for me? Don't do it all at once. I took about 400 LPs from a friend of mine that vary from valuable to Mantovani a couple years ago. If I am being honest I still haven't looked through them all. I always appreciate things like this, but the sense of having too much stuff rolls in fast after the excitement wears off. So while you have a lot more to deal with I understand where you're coming from.
 

kirk57

Junior Member
This project is first and foremost for my friend. If they'd been boxes of Ray Coniff LPs I'd still have taken them and dealt with them as he was not only at wit's end, but also suffering from carpal tunnel issues in his right hand and can't lift anything.

I feel like I'm now going to have a party themed around that Nelson Riddle album. Have a few drinks, play a few LPs with Riddle's arrangements and then everyone have a go!
And nobody leaves the party without taking at least 20 LPs...
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
The answer for me? Don't do it all at once. I took about 400 LPs from a friend of mine that vary from valuable to Mantovani a couple years ago. If I am being honest I still haven't looked through them all. I always appreciate things like this, but the sense of having too much stuff rolls in fast after the excitement wears off. So while you have a lot more to deal with I understand where you're coming from.
The biggest problem is how to deal with this many rather large boxes in the front hall and living room. If they were smaller boxes I'd be up for moving them and dealing with a few at a time, but these things weight in at 60 lbs apiece easily. Some of them are of the Montovani class, most are of a nature as to be desirable to someone who collects Classical albums and some are rare and valuable. I really can't keep all of them, but would like to integrate some into my library. The rest will be donation, giveaway or sold. Which ones?
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
The biggest problem is how to deal with this many rather large boxes in the front hall and living room. If they were smaller boxes I'd be up for moving them and dealing with a few at a time, but these things weight in at 60 lbs apiece easily. Some of them are of the Montovani class, most are of a nature as to be desirable to someone who collects Classical albums and some are rare and valuable. I really can't keep all of them, but would like to integrate some into my library. The rest will be donation, giveaway or sold. Which ones?

I understand totally. I put mine in bankers boxes so they were easier to deal with and move around.

Do you know what you actually want to keep? Perhaps not organizing, but maybe moving them into 4 categories..

1 - Keep
2 - Seems Interesting, might want to keep.
3 - Someone else may want this
4 - They have 17 copies for free on the shelf at goodwill and nobody wants those.

I'd think the low hanging fruit would be the albums that you know don't have value (Mantovani) or you have no desire to own.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I understand totally. I put mine in bankers boxes so they were easier to deal with and move around.

Do you know what you actually want to keep? Perhaps not organizing, but maybe moving them into 4 categories..

1 - Keep
2 - Seems Interesting, might want to keep.
3 - Someone else may want this
4 - They have 17 copies for free on the shelf at goodwill and nobody wants those.

I'd think the low hanging fruit would be the albums that you know don't have value (Mantovani) or you have no desire to own.
I'm going with an intermediate step of actually sorting and cataloguing anything that isn't in the "definitely donating" category. I reactivated my Discogs account and entered two pages of Opera recordings this afternoon. That box can be closed up again and put aside. Basically I'm going through all of the boxes pulling out three categories for starters - Opera, Piano and Baroque. Once those are done then I'll start pulling String (violin, viola, cello, bass), Chamber Music and Choral. Then on to figuring out what the last categories will be. There is also quite a chunk of Ragtime and such, though most of his collection in those directions was in the 78s he is hanging onto - something like 2k of them. His little apartment at its worst must have been terrifying!

Also - a Dual 1237 turntable that seems pretty thoroughly frozen up. I'm trying to decide whether it is worth dropping off to my tech to get it back to operation. It would probably make someone a decent first turntable.
 

Olson_jr

Active Member
The biggest problem is how to deal with this many rather large boxes in the front hall and living room. If they were smaller boxes I'd be up for moving them and dealing with a few at a time, but these things weight in at 60 lbs apiece easily. Some of them are of the Montovani class, most are of a nature as to be desirable to someone who collects Classical albums and some are rare and valuable. I really can't keep all of them, but would like to integrate some into my library. The rest will be donation, giveaway or sold. Which ones?
I am somewhat surprised that @Andyman has not yet posted that you need to move those records into his famous Costco Vodka boxes to make them more portable.
 
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