American Pickers Star Mike Wolfe Considers Antique Collectors To Be Recyclers (As Opposed To Hoarders)

Mike Wolfe of "American Pickers" fame has been to a lot of properties over the years. With over 20 seasons of the History series under his belt, he's seen practically everything this country has to offer. Some people have vintage vehicles gathering dust in far-off sheds, while others have shelves upon shelves of antique toys within a collection. It can be impressive, but one has to wonder when a line gets crossed between collecting something and hoarding it. 

To be fair, the distinction gets made pretty clear depending on the individual. It tends to be obvious when someone has an appreciation for the stuff they own and when they just throw a bunch of stuff into a pile. Wolfe has seen plenty of sheds and garages from the orderly to the nearly destructive. But he has a sincere appreciation for anyone who values classic Americana as much as he does, to the point where he doesn't view anyone as a hoarder but as a recycler.

Mike Wolfe values the antiques when no one else does

A lot of people featured on "American Pickers" appear to simply be collectors. But every so often, you get someone who takes it to the next level, like the infamous Mole Man. Either way, Mike Wolfe doesn't mind in the slightest. The people are typically friendly, and he's always there to lend a sympathetic ear. In an interview with Road Dirt TV, Wolfe talked about how he just understands the people who have adopted this lifestyle: "Man, I was out there, you know, where nobody could hear you scream, with no backup. It's scary and sketchy, but most of the time these guys are just happy to meet someone who gets it, who appreciates collecting as much as they do."

Wolfe knows how lonely it can be to take up collecting anything, and he went on to explain how sometimes he might be the only person a collector has ever met who values what they've accomplished. He continued, "Most of the time, they don't have anybody in their lives who thinks this is cool. And then I come along, and I love it." Wolfe may not snatch everything up on a particular pick, but he knows when something has value and has no problem making an offer on it. 

Wolfe concluded, "We're recyclers, really, some of the things we see and some of the things we buy are almost an art form. We are not antique experts, but I can tell you why it's important and if there's a market for it." Wolfe has helped many items get restored and find new homes over the years, and it's all thanks to the tireless efforts of all the recyclers out there holding onto antiques.