I think my neighbor is a hoarder. It’s the 9th of January, and their dangling-by-a-thread Christmas decorations are still up (and illuminated every night). You might say that there are others who haven’t gotten around to packing up all of their holiday decorations just yet – but that doesn’t explain the trio of pumpkins that are also still on their stoop. From 1994. No, that’s not true, they’re from 2012. But clearly these people have trouble letting go of things.

They live in a townhouse with a 4x5 cement slab in front of their entry way. In addition to decorations from two holidays, this spot is also home to some hanging plants, a money tree (a literal tree with Monopoly money hanging from its branches), and a broken bird house that resembles a craft project never finished. And oh yes, there’s also a security system sign – as if burglars needed further deterrent to entering this home.

Compulsive hoarding (or pathological collecting) is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by the excessive acquisition of and inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment. When I Googled the problem, I was shocked to find an entire article on “celebrity hoarders” (i.e., those who will talk about absolutely anything to get their name in the press) like Kristin Chenoweth, Mackenzie Phillips (who I believe was also on Celebrity Ghost Stories, her street cred keeps falling), Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt, Lisa Kudrow, Mariah Carey and Courtney Love. How’s that for good company?

I make light of it here, but the reality is that hoarding is far from a joke. It’s a serious condition that impacts lives in a big way. I know holidays are sentimental occasions, but it’s time to put Christmas behind us, people. Take your lights and wreaths down so that they’ll be ready for next year. Look ahead to the next major celebration. And please – for me – get rid of your pumpkins.