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Question about those hoarding shows

Posted by quasifish (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 11, 13 at 11:58

Just wondering what you all make of this...

I like watching those hoarder shows, they help me remember that most of the stuff in my house is just mass produced junk as well.

One thing I've noticed while watching these shows is that when the house is finally cleaned up at the end, the place quite often looks beyond minimalist. It would make sense that the upholstered furniture is gone, and maybe they have not had the opportunity to replace it, but the thing that always surprises me is that the kitchen appears so bare. Generally, there is nothing on the counter. Even if I were to take my kitchen down to bare bones, there would still be the toaster and salt/pepper shakers- but, at least in the shows I saw this weekend, there was not even that much, just bare counters.

Any idea why that is? Is it because after the clean out, they truly have that little usable stuff left? Is there a push to have them keep everything in drawers or cabinets as a new way of thinking? The spaces, kitchens in particular, often look so cold and clinical, it just seems so much the other extreme when they are done.

Any thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

Some people like cleared counter tops.
I am one of them.

I would not think to leave a toaster out.
Salt and pepper shakers are in the spice cabinet.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

What I would like to have (not necessarily at end state yet):
Appliances:
If it's used more than once a week, have it out on counter.
If it's used less than once a week, have a place to stow it.
Spices, coffee, sugar, etc.
I do have them stored in cabinets
Snacks:
My husband loves his nuts, so I got pretty canisters to keep them in, and they are on the counter (the more than once a week rule applies here).
I have started trying to use my pretty depression glass for fruit. Still have the ugly banana tree but may decommission it - I like the glass bowl better.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

What I would like to have (not necessarily at end state yet):
Appliances:
If it's used more than once a week, have it out on counter.
If it's used less than once a week, have a place to stow it.
Spices, coffee, sugar, etc.
I do have them stored in cabinets
Snacks:
My husband loves his nuts, so I got pretty canisters to keep them in, and they are on the counter (the more than once a week rule applies here).
I have started trying to use my pretty depression glass for fruit. Still have the ugly banana tree but may decommission it - I like the glass bowl better.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

It may fall in that category of they haven't used it in x amount of time so out it goes. From some of the houses I've seen, i don't think they could probably even get to the kitchen.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

The completely bare counters might be a teaching device. If someone has a hard time coping with "stuff," they might not be able to tell what is a reasonable amount of stuff on a counter and what is not. So a completely bare counter is something concrete that they can work toward every day.

Most people, I think, wouldn't blink twice at seeing, say, a coffee maker and toaster and crock full of cooking utensils out on the counter. But someone with hoarding/cleaning issues might not be able to tell the difference between "things that are used daily and have earned the right to be on the counter full-time" and "things that are used occasionally and should be put away after every use."

It could also be the "broken windows" syndrome. The broken windows syndrome is a theory that as long as the windows in a vacent house are whole, no one will think to break a window. But once a window is broken, the invitation is there for anyone to break a window, and enter the house to do more vandalism and to start vandalizing other properties in the neighborhood.

In your house, this translates into a clean counter staying clean, but a counter with one tiny thing on it leads to everyone putting other things on the counter, until you can't see the countertop anymore.

So a completely clear counter doesn't have the trigger of stuff that might lead a hoarder to start loading up the junk again.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

Camlan, thanks for those thoughts. I was wondering if it might be something along those lines, but it's never addressed on the shows. It makes sense from how you explain that.

I didn't mean to insinuate that there was something wrong with having bare counters, just that always seems to be the outcome in these shows, and I didn't know why. It would make some sense that someone who has had that bad of a hoarding problem would need to take on new and much different tactics from what they have had in the past.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I love cleared off counters, Makes it much easier with the kids as far as picking up after themselves. They know counters and sink are clear and clean. Only thing left on my counters is the coffee maker and that is tucked in a corner. Toaster is used everyday but it goes directly below where it is used in the lazy susan. The kids are actually really good at putting what they used away.

I would think that it would help the hoarders to get into the habit of everything being put away, in its place. If you allow a few things out, that can become a slippery slide for someone like a hoarder, I would think. Two items, then three, then a few more and before they know it, the counters are filled with stuff.

Whenever I watch that show I feel inspired to deep clean and sort through some papers, like school papers which are never ending. I think my 5th graders paper probably equals a small forest at this point.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

Perhaps, like recovering alcoholics, they have to strictly abstain or they fall off the wagon.

Part of the reason for some hoarding is that the process of deciding what is important and what is not is ineffective (brain wired differently) or extremely stressful.

So the best way around it is to have a simple rule: zero clutter.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I have nothing on my counter tops except some decorating pieces. All serviceable stuff is in the cabinets.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

That's a really interesting question. I think what we are seeing at the end of those hoarding shows is what the organizers have done, and they probably are decluttering as much as possible for the purposes of the show.
I really can relate to that broken window theory though. I see that happening sometimes in my own house. One person leaves something on the counter and the next thing we know there is a little collection there.
My question about the hoarding shows is , how do the mattresses and all the upholstered furniture end up with huge holes in them? I get the hoarding thing, but how does that make the furniture fall apart? Is it the weight of the stuff piled on it? Or possibly animals allowed to do their business there?


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I have a tiny kitchen. My counters look really cluttered with the coffee maker, toasted oven and scrubbers on the counter it looks cluttered. I would love to keep 0 there but can never quite get there. My cabinet shelves are built - in and cant be moved. Anything too tall to fit has to sit on the counter.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

Not much on my counters either. Coffee makers,coffee canister, phone and paper owl holder. I want a toaster oven but I don't want it on the counter and putting it away would be a pita so I never bought one


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

" I want a toaster oven but I don't want it on the counter and putting it away would be a pita so I never bought one"

We have a toaster oven... and it really doesn't take much effort to open a cabinet door to stow it away!


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I had no idea that anyone stowed toaster ovens away, but then I have nowhere to stow mine; plus I use it every day. I also have my foodsaver on the counter (the upright version, which takes up less space), to encourage me to use it often. If I stored it (which I could), it would not get used. I do have about three other appliances out at all times, but I would store them if I had cabinet space.

A real estate agent told me that it is okay to have three appliances./items out on the counters when showing a kitchen, especially if they are frequently used. One of those was a coffee maker, which I would never leave out, but then I do not drink coffee. The other items I cannot store include a Kitchenaid mixer (with cheese grater attachment that gets used almost every day), a Cool-Daddy deep fryer (which I should put away, and an electric meat slicer, which is on a butcher block table, and gets used every day when I make my lunch.

I like seeing bare counters (especially if they are someone else's), but they are not practical in my world.

I like the analogy of an alcoholic who cannot stop at one drink - I know when to stop with regard to having appliances on my counters. Now I just want a bigger kitchen.

Lars


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

Interesting points here. I'm going to clear my counters this weekend.

I always thought the houses were bare because all of the items were unusable, especially in the kitchen, and the homeowners didn't have the means to replace it all at once. I certainly wouldn't be able to!

Tripletmom83, on the shows that I've seen, there were rodents and more than one pet, typically cats, that had their way with the mattresses and the upholstered furniture.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

One way to create kitchen counter space is with "hanging" appliances that mount under your top cabinets. I have a hanging microwave, hanging can opener and hanging coffee maker. Only a toaster and toaster oven on my counters. Yeah I know the toaster oven could do toast but I love love love the way my toaster makes toast right now. It stays.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I never use my toaster oven. Ever! Like perhaps not for 10 years. Yet I have such a problem letting it go. I think this thread is encouraging me. I think if I turned it on, it may catch fire it's sat unused so long.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I didn't think I would use/like a toaster oven, I bought one at a thrift store for $10 to test it for a month. I loved it and bought the top of the line model (DH didn't understand what was wrong with the $10 one). I already have a triple oven (oven/microwave/warming drawer) and another large oven but I use the TO twice as much as the other ovens. It's worth the counter space to me.

I put it on the counter between the refrigerator and the triple oven.

 photo DSCF1541-1.jpg


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I wish I had the double oven. It's on my dream list. That's why I keep it around - for instances when I need to have two things going at the same time. But it hasn't happened in a very long time. BEAUTIFUL KITCHEN!!!! LOVE IT! I'm actually switching slowly to black appliances now myself. I have maple cabinets and it looks great.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

Ooooh Mustangs, I love your kitchen! I too covet the double oven.
Spent the last couple of days with my elderly parents who were having some health issues. Cooking in my Mom's kitchen made me really appreciate my uncluttered counters. They have lots of counter space, but way too much stuff out. My Dad would happily declutter but Mom is resistant. Even fixing a simple dinner was challenging with not much space to spread out. Half the battle is that my siblings never know what gifts to buy, so they end up getting them something that needs to go on the counter. The cupboards are way too full to put them in there, and Mom won't let go of stuff,even though she doesn't need it.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

One thing I have noticed about the hoarding shows is after things are all cleaned up, I really notice how dirty the walls, trim and or floors etc are... You would think they would have someone come in and paint or put up some new sheetrock or fill holes and paint what is there. I think that would help inspire them to want to keep it looking nice and clean.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I suspect for most it's a combination of the psychological tools above and unusable condition due to breakage/nonfunctioning, heavy soiling, or sanitary concerns.

I get so motivated to just toss stuff after watching a few episodes of hoarders! What really messes with my head is when DH then switches over to Antiques Roadshow. Talk about conflicting messages!


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

"how do the mattresses and all the upholstered furniture end up with huge holes in them?"

I get the feeling some of those mattresses and sofas etc may be decades old, and have probably become damp and moldy at times and have just degraded. The houses are often so neglected, roof leaks, plumbing problems etc, I'd bet a lot of the stuff has just started breaking down and falling apart, especially if it's been lying around with no real airflow for years and getting damp, bugs chewing on things, rodents nesting in them, pets etc. Most people would throw out worn out soft furniture and replace it but these people just keep it forever even if it's falling apart and I'd bet a lot of these hoarder houses would be full of bug nests and rats nests too in amongst it all.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

Just for fun...


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I'd never heard of putting a toaster in a cabinet after use, either :).

I have a two-slice toaster and a toaster oven. I don't keep them both out. I keep one on the counter and one in long-term storage (a high cabinet). I swap them maybe every 5 years, when my cooking habits change.

Right now it's the toaster oven, and I use it almost every day. It's great for baking small quantities of anything, and reheating things that would get mushy in the microwave. And it makes passable toast, too :).

On the other counter, though, I do have a clutter problem. Too many things do not have official homes. Y'all inspire me to work on this :).


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

Love that photo, Leafy!

I wish they would revisit the cleaned up hoarders a year later. I would especially like to see the house of the lady who was featured on the Oprah show.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I have stuff left out on my counters, but it's all against the wall and neat and frequently used items...cannisters, coffee maker, can opener, wood boards, paper towels....certainly not hoarders style. Bare counters to me feel, well bare. And I'm a form follows function sort so it seems more effort than it's worth to keep pulling the coffee maker out and putting it back....of course if I was staging for resale that'd be different, but I'm not staging it for anything...I'm living here.

Frankly the stuff that is tossed in so many of those hoarders programs is so full of rodent pooh and cockroach droppings and nits that I think most of it would be uncleanable and totally unsanitary to put back on a counter....let alone if the power cords are chewed through or broken....yuck!


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I heard those Hoarding shows are faked- the producers pile things up to make them look extra trashy in the "before" state. One thing I noticed is that Hoarders shows don't really address structural house problems. If the roof leaks and there's a stain on the ceiling, it really needs a costly roof repair. They may straighten out the clutter, expose walls and floors, but they don't seem to do much actual "construction".


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I don't do reality shows with the exception of Hoarders shows; it's perverse I know. I was curious at the onset as to the validity of these shows. Here is the consensus from several years of questioning the reality:

Finding people with crapped up houses is cheap, crapping up houses is not. I’m sure this could all be done with special effects or they could fill (and usually destroy) houses all over the country in an attempt to make the viewers look like dorks, but what’s the point? It would cost far more than the show brings in and that isn’t how reality TV operates. If there’s no profit, there’s no show.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I think there's *some* staging with some of the hoarder shows. But what they do is they bring things that are already in the house into another room, to make that room look worse. I know they do that on "Clean House" which isn't really a hoarder show.

They don't tend to show the entire house, just certain rooms. So they make those rooms look as bad as possible.

Not all the hoarder shows do this. I read an interesting piece on-line by someone who had one of the shows come and clean her house and she admitted the mess was all hers.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

The hoarders thing is true....if you look on line, there's a backstory piece written by a reporter who covered one episode and then wrote an article about it.

This is not a case of normal people who have just been neglectful or lazy...these are people with serious mental disorders and so far treatment has been difficult. FMRIs have shown that their brains actually behave differently than a normal persons....

One show, one of the trasher guys decided to try to spend a night in the house before clean up and he couldn't do it....as bad as it was, he said he got totally creeped out when he turned the lights off and the roaches and rodents started moving about...he said it sounded like the whole place was alive.

People do live in these conditions, and that's a symptom of how serious their disorder is.

On a couple of episodes, they showed that they can't begin to fix the structural problems in the house until they can get to them which they can't when the stuff is stacked to the ceiling. Also, a lot of these folks have no money to spend (having spent it on all that stuff) so the cost of repairs is beyond the program and very often beyond the family members. The program I watch, they do offer the hoarders some money for psych after care, but even at that, not all of the hoarders take it.

Below is a link to a SA article about hoarding and treatment.

Here is a link that might be useful: Real world hoarding


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

"as bad as it was, he said he got totally creeped out when he turned the lights off and the roaches and rodents started moving about.."

I've always wondered why you don't see rats etc running around in these houses during the show since these houses would be a haven for them, but then recently I saw one where the son of the hoarder said when he went to bed at night he could hear them scurrying about. With all that stuff you just wouldn't know where they were lurking about or nesting. Super creepy to think about


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

Some of these are incredible. There was one where mom was moved to a new apartment and she kept the apartment pretty neat. But the house where she was, her daughter was considering cleaning and fixing it up and taking it over....but her husband? fiance? can't remember, was against it esp as they got into it as it would require complete extermination, and even with that, there could be dead rats and such in the walls, so to be safest, they'd have to rip out all the sheet rock to clean out all the rodent bodies. Yuck.

What was really stunning was he let it leak on air that Mom had 3 other storage units someplace else that were stuffed with stuff and she refused to reveal their location to anyone. And she was really angry that he told.

These people really have serious issues.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

"there could be dead rats and such in the walls, so to be safest, they'd have to rip out all the sheet rock to clean out all the rodent bodies. Yuck. "

I know, it must be so hard when they clear out a house and are then just left with a dirty and damaged building underneath. It must be pretty depressing.

The ones I feel the most sorry for are the shopaholics who have wasted so much money on things they don't need, especially the ones who have run out of money because of it or used up their savings. At least the hoarders who collect things from roadsides or goodwill etc can still justify tossing everything, but getting rid of things that you never used and spent thousands and thousands of dollars on would be even harder for these people.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

It's also stunning to me to see how these hoarders can't see that so much of their "precious things" are already ruined from being walked upon, stuff piled up on it, from rat droppings and mold. It's especially shocking to see it with food....stuff that is not refrigerated, covered with mold and they say, Oh that's still ok....I can still eat it....

Yikes!


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I consider myself an 'expert' in hoarding mental illness. My ex husband is a true hoarder. Not the 'my husband is messy" or "my husband is a pack rat" type but truly I'll, Hoarders show illness. Here are my insights from someone who lived with that level of hoarding:
1. It starts small and then pretty quickly gets out of control. He was a messy single guy. The first 5 years or so we were married he drove me nuts, but I was able to contain his hoarding to the basement only. We lived in a townhouse w a 500 sq ft basement. When we moved into a house, the entire basement was full from floor to the bottom of the floor joists but the living spaces of the townhouse were still presentable.
2. True, mentally ill hoarders can't tell the difference between trash and treasurer. Toward te end my ex would have a freak out if I threw away a candy bar. More on this in a minute when I discuss the big Clean Out.
3. Hoarders can't even see their surroundings. They can't see the piles of junk, the dust, the leaking roof, etc. it is literally impossible to clean. I would move piles of junk to clean but never really got room clean.
4. The Big Cleanout. I took 2 weeks off work when Ex moved out. I spent 16 to 18 hours a day for 14 days boxing junk and moving it to a storage unit. I rented a 1000 sq ft unit with a roof about 12' high. I filled it completely, all the way to the roof.
5. Ex rented a townhouse (down the street from our first townhouse). He moved all the stuff outbid the unit, plus more thing he wanted from the house and garage. I have him anything he wanted because its all just junk to me. His townhouse is as ba as anything you see on TV because he doesn't have anyone to try to contain it.

I have a feeling those shows don't leave anything out is #1. It starts small and grows slowly. If they leave a cookie jar on the counter then a hoarder takes it as an invitation to leave more things out. Soon the snowball effect takes over!


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

mommabird, that is so sad. The rental on the unit long term will probably cost more than the stuff is worth. Was the hoarding the reason for the split with your ex? Does he know he has a problem or doesn't it bother him to live that way?

I had my own experience with hoarding, it wasn't as bad as those shows but I had a hard time getting rid of anything and once all the cupboards and storage were full, I just started stacking up stuff and boxes of things so you couldn't even get to the cupboards anymore, there were boxes stacked up in every room of my small house. The house was becoming claustraphobic, this stuff was just eating into the space and making me miserable. For me it was all about control, I was going through a lot of personal stuff that I think felt like I had no control in my life so being in charge of all this clutter gave me some sense of control. Actually one of the turning points for me was realizing that I didn't have a right to inflict it on my husband, or to dictate to him what he could and couldn't throw away and I had to give up being a control freak because it was like a false sense of security and perhaps a distraction to the other things going on in my life.

These days I would much rather have fewer possessions that I really love or serve a purpose than a bunch of stuff that I don't even need.


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"It's also stunning to me to see how these hoarders can't see that so much of their "precious things" are already ruined from being walked upon, stuff piled up on it, from rat droppings and mold. It's especially shocking to see it with food....stuff that is not refrigerated, covered with mold and they say, Oh that's still ok....I can still eat it.... "

I know what you mean, some of them even sit in their "spot" to eat, and just toss their food containers and rubbish on the floor like it's a big trash can. You have to think that some of these people have just given up on trying or even caring how they live anymore.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

mommabird, I'm so sorry about your ex and so sorry you had to go through that.

The only good news is that, at least according to the SA magazine article I linked above, there seems to be some benefit coming from cognitive behavioral therapy with hoarders.

At least according to the shows I've seen, there often is a trigger that includes grief or a severe loss and very often these folks turn to hoarding as a way to avoid grief or to literally wall themselves off from the world. So sad.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I did not teach my kids how to clean, I taught them to pick up after themselves. You wouldn't believe how much it helped me. I do not like clutter except temp stuff that will be picked when we go to bed at night. I have a magazine box by my chair on the far side so it is out of site. It has a box of tissues in it and a very small trash container. I put about 9 inches worth of National Geographic Magazines that I planned to read some day, but instead I use it as a place to lay the remotes. I have a lamp table with 2 drawers where I put things I use when I am sitting there, nail files, hand lotion, etc..


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

Several of you asked if XDH knows he has a problem. Part of hoarding mental illness is that these people will not admit there is a problem. Cognitive behavioral therapy will only work I'd they admit there's a problem. He promised to go to counseling. He went once. He said it was a waste of time because he doesn't have a problem.

Meanwhile he can't open his front door because stuff is piles 3' deep in front of it. He can barely get the back door open. He has a path about a foot wide through the kitchen, living room and up the stairs. Every step is piled up.

He can't even have his mother over because she uses a walker. She can't risk falling in his apartment.

And even sadder - he is renting from a friend. His junk will probably end up doing structural damage to the building. The friend owns several buildings. I don't know if he ever goes in and checks on each unit. If so, the friendship will probably be over, too.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

mommabird,

Im so proud of you!

Barbara


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Wow that is so sad.

Like so many on the show, though, they won't face they have a problem until they are forced to via eviction. Clearly his living conditions are not safe. If the city finds out or the building owner, chances are he will be forced to change or leave...for his own sake and the sake of any others who might be affected...neighbors or residents if it's a multi-family building...


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

Hoarding is a terrible affliction. I speak from first hand knowledge. My late husband's mother wouldn't throw anything out. No matter how we cajoled and begged her to try to tidy up she refused. She truly thought there was nothing wrong with it.

Last spring we decided to take action. We told her we were going to help her clean up a bit. I bought one of those contractor dumpster bags from Lowe's and we had it filled to brimming in about two hours. She had spices in her cupboards that you could see insect eggs in and trails through the spices where they ate away. She had an exploded can of toamatoes that were black and left disqusting stains.

We worked for two solid weekends and only got a bit more than half cleared out of her tiny kitcen. She truly made our lives miserable the whole time we were doing this. Then we had to take a break for several weeks due to conflicting schedules. When we went back she had things totally trashed again. At that point I threw up my hands and decided I wasn't going to deal with her filth if she was just going to junk up again.

My daughter (who is single) was talked into moving in with her. My daughter refused until the house was cleared out and totally gutted and redone. When they removed the carpets they found such severe termite damage that most of the woods floors had huge holes in them. My daughter rented a full size dumpster and it had to be emptied twice. All of this junk was stored in a tiny two bedroom, one bath home. It was truly the most disgusting thing I ever dealt with

The house is almost ready to be moved back into. I just wonder how long it will take until it looks as bad as it did before?


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

Sadly, it will be back in just a few months, unless the underlying mental issues are addressed.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

there is recent research to show hoarding is a form of obsessive compulsive disorder (mental disorder) and that it may have components due to distress or trauma, but in some cases, treatment with the same drugs used for other OCD behavior along with therapy can be very effective. Quite often OCD is diagnosed along with other mental disorders (you can have more than one disorder at a time). Sad as it is, there is more hope for these folks now than ever before. If you know a family member with this problem, or If one suddenly begins this behavior, try to get them to a doctor, it IS a medical condition. there is help available.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

My other is a hoarder, my grandmother and aunt are worse.
I'm okay, but only because my boyfriend helps alot.

Because of growing up in that environment, I can't see messes, dirt or piles. I can really only notice differences. In order to maintain my own house, I try and keep it as sterile as possible. When I have been good for a while, I'll put a few things on the counter that looks nice. Looking nice is my entire motivation for keeping it clean.

But if I have a towel on the floor, I can't tell the difference between one towel and six of them until I notice I ran out of towels or its brought to my attention. I notice one dish in the sink, but not all of the dishes in the sink. And I cant see dust until I put something down and it leaves a mark, because it accumulates so slowly. For me, it isn't about wanting to keep things, and I think that most of these people are similar. There are plenty of excuses to avoid drastic change, and some of them include sentimentality. If they give you a reason why they want it, and they give themselves a reason to keep it, than they feel less pressured and more justified in their pattern. Change is terrifying. It is unexpected and unsettling and very hard to emotionally handle, especially when your possessions give you a feeling of security. In order to maintain my home I have to avoid sentimentality as much as possible.

So I believe that they leave the place looking sterile in order for the hoarder in question to notice when there is one thing out of place, because once that one thing becomes two things, they can't see anything out of place. It is an incredibly hard concept to follow, but it is a real thing none the less.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

I think they have a mental disorder or just plain don't care. No normal person would live that way. I have a cousin who did that and she was an active out going person, but no one outside her immediate family had seen the inside of her home. She was ashamed for anyone to come in. She was simply lazy, not mentally ill. And of course her back yard was natural plants she trans planted from the hills. Of course we call them weeds here.


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EmmaR "I think they have a mental disorder or just plain don't care.

It has been clearly identified. The brain waves are different between people with a hoarding disorder and people without one.

It's a problem with identifying what is important, so they tend to keep everything.


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I'd call myself a semi-hoarder. Most "common" areas (shared with family, rooms visible if company visits) of my home are clean-kitchen,bath,dining room, family room. I keep garbage out of my home. I have a small waste/trash basket in every room and I use them and empty them nearly every day. I keep my cat litter box clean. But in my bedroom there's a large cardboard box full of stuff I don't have places for. Also one bedroom is completely piled up with junk. I watch those hoarder shows and find them fun/funny. The messes those people (mostly women) have is like mine, but mine is confined to those two bedrooms. I think I'm partly lazy and partly just have too many interests/hobbies. I really don't believe I'm mentally ill. I've had deaths in my family, normal "tragedies" for anyone. But I haven't suddenly developed a hoarding habit. I prefer to think it's just "Too Much Stuff". Reading these posts inspires me to jump in and do some sorting.


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RE: Question about those hoarding shows

All hoarded homes develop pretty severe bug infestsations (and a lot of rodents as well), so I believe they toss everything because it is no longer able to be sanitized, or it is broken or has stopped working.

I have NOTHING on my countertops but a small decorative lamp in the corner, and a toaster oven that I use several times a week. My cabinets go to the ceiling, so I keep all my seldom used small appliances on the top shelves and keep a 2-step ladder in the bottom of my pantry closet. All food items are in air-tight containers in the pantry closet.


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