... is it possible that friend is also a hoarder?
What kind of situation did friend grow up in? Hoarder? Boarder-line hoarder? Supper-cluttered?
What does friend's house/apartment look like today?
Is it possible that friend doesn't see a problem with the beach house because that is what "normal" looks like to her?
That's my suspicion. Whether it is nature or nurture, pack-ratness does seem to run in families -- it certainly runs in mine. The results vary from cluttered to full-scale hoarder.
In also wondered about this. My aunt and uncle, while not hoarders in the true sense of the word, fell into "pack rat" territory. And my cousin, their daughter, is the same way. She also has other issues, including compulsive shopping. So she is constantly buying, and bringing more and more into her house. She has two cars, a two car garage, but can barely fit the smaller car in as the other half is almost filled to the ceiling with "stuff" and the rest of her house is the same way. WHile not blocking access to anywhere, she has closets full of things, and stuff in every cabinet, on every surface and so on.
What always makes me laugh is I live in a 1BR apt, and have decent sized walk-in closet in my bedroom. And a closet in my LR and a small linen closet. that's it. She has 4 BR house, and while her WIC in the master is smaller than mine, she has umpteen others, all filled with carp, and she constantly commetns about how MINE is so wonderful. Um right. and then forgets that while its nice, its ALL i have.