I Just Watched The Show "hoarders"...ho-Ly C**p!

Lounge By Shelle_75 Updated 19 Apr 2010 , 2:24am by nannie

Shelle_75 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 3:17am
post #1 of 116

Has anyone else here seen the show "Hoarders" on A&E? I could not turn away, it was like watching a car wreck.

Those poor people cannot even admit they have a problem. They have foot-wide pathways throughout their house, they can't sit on a chair or a couch because everything is covered with their "treasures". The state or their landlords are ready to throw them out because their homes are literally uninhabitable. I had no idea there were so many people with this problem. You feel sorry for and want to smack some sense into them all at the same time.

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. That show totally blew me away. I will never complain about my "clutter" again. I will throw it out!!!

115 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 3:23am
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We don't have cable anymore, so I haven't seen it, but it sounds interesting.

I have a big problem with clutter, which I blame on having 4 people crammed into 900 square feet. My bedroom has a path around the bed and then all the walls are lined with stacks of stuff...pillows, winter blankets, towels, books, folded clothes, tubs of cake tools, etc...because there's nowhere else to put them but I'm afraid if I get rid of it all I won't be able to afford it again if I need it later.

But I guess as long as all the clutter hides in my bedroom, maybe I don't need to be on that show (yet).

Shelle_75 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 11:36am
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LOL Texas...that's exactly what our bedroom looks like, too, because we have five people in a very small house, with no basement or garage, so everything that needs stored goes in our room.

The people on this show, though, the WHOLE house, and in one woman's case, the backyard, were filled with junk. And sometimes filth. It was disgusting and sad at the same time. We're talking WAY beyond what most of us would consider a little normal "clutter".

indydebi Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 1:52pm
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Oh man I MISSED that show and I so wanted to see it! Various shows (Clean House, to name one) are interesting and I find the psychological side of it more interesting than the clean up.

Anyone see the folks that Oprah brought on where they filled 2 warehouse rooms with all the stuff in their house?

I'm trying to declutter our life. We have 4-bedroom house and I converted one room to a storage room. It worked out fine .... for a couple of years. I now wish I could actually get INTO the room, though! But at least I have it down to just one room! icon_redface.gif

cakes22 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 1:56pm
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I watched it last night and it was insane. I felt really bad for the daughter of "Betty". I would hate it if my mom chose "crap" over me & my family. But Betty is a product of her environment. Her dad was a garbage man and she grew up in the same type of home. I found it interesting that she had put "sentimental" value on things that she had picked up in the trash or at a garage sale.

I'm going to clean my house now............ icon_biggrin.gif

Shelle_75 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 2:43pm
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Betty was fascinating. It was like she was blaming her kids for the mess, like how dare they grow up and move away. She kept saying, "You're not always around, but my stuff is always here." She was also in complete, utter denial. I cried when her daughter Michelle told her she wasn't going to deal with it any more, that she was choosing to give her attention to her children instead of her mother's insanity.

I am totally hooked, and will be watching again next week. (And praying for these people and anyone else with this problem.)

Shelle_75 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 2:44pm
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PS I too am trying to declutter our house. It's very, very difficult for me to let go of some of my kids things. I'm trying to remember to hang on to the happy memories, not the stuff!

mbelgard Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 4:17pm
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I haven't watched the show but I find those shows very interesting. It's almost like watching my grandma.

She keeps her house clean but she collects dolls, teapots, glassware and she doesn't like to get rid of anything. Some of the stuff that she won't get rid of are cheap novels with water damage. The gross stuff is stored in sheds, garages, etc.


She did surprise everyone lately when she announced that she is going to be getting rid of stuff and actually started doing it.


My mom is a little better but she saved almost every dress I ever wore until I was like 10. Since she kept me in dresses almost all the time there were boxes of them.


Because of them I am hyper about getting rid of stuff and I sneak out some of my husband's junky "treasures." I have one small box of clothes from when my boys were little and there are a few toys I won't be getting rid of but everything else goes to my nieces and nephews as soon as it's outgrown.

indydebi Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 4:30pm
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when it's older people, I tend to think of it as "depression children". In the days of the depression era, you didn't throw ANYTHING away! You hoarded food, money, clothes, etc.

I've noticed non-depression era folks follow the "posta" philosophy: You're POSTA keep everything "just in case" or some keep things "for good" (i.e. don't use those new towels! we're saving those for good ... meaning for a special occasion that never seems to materialize). They learned from their parents to save stuff but they don't know why ... they just know they're "posta" save them.

I've never been one to save all of my kids stuff. My "mementos" fit in one shoebox in my closet.

How that explains all the other crap in my house, I've no idea! dunce.gificon_lol.gif

But what motivated me to start clearing the clutter is when my sister died. It took 4 of us all day to clear out all of the stuff that she had accumulated in one nursing home room. ONE ROOM!!! I remember thinking "OMG .... I have a 2300 sq ft house that MY kids will have to clean out! I can't do this to them!" icon_surprised.gif

My internal conflict is I put a lot of value on "family history". I have 2 necklaces that belonged to my grandmother. My husband has the set of dishes that belonged to his grandmother. This is history that is being passed to the next generation. I wish I had more family history items, so I'm thinking I have to "save" stuff to pass along.

I need to differentiate between "family history heirlooms" and "junk that mom is saving for whatever reason!" icon_rolleyes.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 5:02pm
post #10 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


I need to differentiate between "family history heirlooms" and "junk that mom is saving for whatever reason!" icon_rolleyes.gif




I wish my husband could do that with his grandma's treadle sewing machine...figure out that her other belongings we've saved, for example her sewing fabrics and trims that I made into display doll clothes and a small quilt for our kids, her second-best silverware set (FIL sold the best ones at the flea market already) and her many pairs of white kid gloves, were enough family history to keep. Instead we've lugged the sewing machine through 5 apartments and no one, not even my grandmother, can figure out how to thread it. I've offered to refinish it but he doesn't want it changed.

My mom goes to the other extreme though...she recently decided to look through the photos of her grandparents that she got when they passed, and she had stored them in the garage, where the heat had faded them totally.

sweetcravings Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:09pm
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Yeah, i've been watching this show too. Very shocking, and i agree i can't stop watching it too. I dunno why, maybe it's just surprizing how some people live. There was one episode that had a woman who hoarded food..OMG..the most disgusting thing i've ever seen. I was gagging when i watched that show. I'm glad these people are getting help, but i wonder after the show if things just go back to the way they were before. I'm not convinced these people wanted to change in the first place. It was just desperation that got them on the show..eg..gotta clean up by such and such date or you get kicked out. They had no other options.

sweetcravings Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:10pm
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Yeah, i've been watching this show too. Very shocking, and i agree i can't stop watching it too. I dunno why, maybe it's just surprizing how some people live. There was one episode that had a woman who hoarded food..OMG..the most disgusting thing i've ever seen. I was gagging when i watched that show. I'm glad these people are getting help, but i wonder after the show if things just go back to the way they were before. I'm not convinced these people wanted to change in the first place. It was just desperation that got them on the show..eg..gotta clean up by such and such date or you get kicked out. They had no other options.

Shelle_75 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 8:14pm
post #13 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I've noticed non-depression era folks follow the "posta" philosophy: You're POSTA keep everything "just in case" or some keep things "for good" (i.e. don't use those new towels! we're saving those for good ... meaning for a special occasion that never seems to materialize). They learned from their parents to save stuff but they don't know why ... they just know they're "posta" save them.




My husband's grandmother died not too long ago, and he's been helping his uncle clean out her house. He said they found a beautiful set of dishes that he'd never even seen once in the whole time he's known her. What's the good of having beautiful things if you never enjoy them?

melodyscakes Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 8:45pm
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If you thought that was something, you should've seen last weeks show!
the lady has a problem hording food! not entirely non perishibles either!!
fresh produce set in her kitchen rotting. and a pumpkin rotting to the point of turning into liquid goo in her front room. then she wouldn't through food away, you should have seen the fridg. I almost got sick watching it. then she had some sour cream that was very much out of date, she she said "what is it going to do? turn sour?
and she planned on eating it.
man, I was suprised she didn't have food poisoning already.
it was gross. and fascinating in a weird way.

indydebi Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 9:19pm
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melodyscakes,I saw one lady on Dr. Phil like that. She had 7 freezers and most of them, you couldn't even get to them!! SHe'd come home from the grocery and with no room in the freezers/frig, she'd just leave the food in the car! They were filming in winter, so that MIGHT have worked in her favor, but what did she do in summer!?

Texas_Rose Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 9:28pm
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I've known a few people like that. One of them has almost no dishes or pans, her kitchen cupboards are totally filled with food. She will give food away when she hears about a neighbor in need, but otherwise she goes shopping all the time and buys things she doesn't need because they're cheap, then never cooks them. She also buys the boxes from angelfood ministries but then the food's not a quality that she wants to use, so she just stores it.

The other one who I know is worse about food. She gets food from food banks and churches and then she doesn't use it. She used to show up on my doorstep with food that had expired 5 years ago to see if I could use it (as an excuse to talk to me to ask me to babysit). We helped her move and she had boxes and boxes full of food...but she feeds her kid so little that the first month he went to school (and had free lunch and breakfast) he grew 3 inches. She likes to eat...used to show up at my place at mealtimes all the time...but just doesn't cook.

Shelle_75 Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 12:06am
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Are we really so sensitive around here that the word crap had to be censored in my subject line? I am truly sorry if that actually offended someone, or if there is a rule against that word.

icon_rolleyes.gif



Edited for spelling!

BeeBoos-8599_ Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 12:42am
post #18 of 116

I know so many people like this. The "woman" my dad married is such a clutter lover that when I lived in the basement apartment I would sometimes go up to clean the kitchen and she would literaly go behing me putting crap back on the counter. Old adds that were out of date, wet paper towels that were balled up, it did not matter she had to have a mess. And she would spend ALL of her time in there. God help my dad if he ever has to try and find a inportant document when she dies.

My MIL saves EVERYTHING from her past. She has every toy that my hubby and his sister played with, she has saved any clothes she ever made. When she gave me hubby's baby book it was in a huge box becasue she had saved EVERY card or note ever given to him and even his baby hair brush was actually pressed in the book.

I have a friend who has a real problem with clutter. She and I spent most of the summer going through the house and getting rid of stuff so she could get it ready to sell. It did not last. The place is a sty again. The kids just throw whatever they want around. There is food all over the counters and furniture. It makes me sad for her and her kids becasue I know she is passing the trait on to her kids.

I don't save things. I have about 3 outfits from both of my girls from when they were infants. I take pictures of them in special clothes so I can remember them that way.

For those who have problems getting rid of thier kids stuff I would suggest the following.
Clothes-take pictures of them in the clothes, cut off some of the fabric that you can keep with a note about the item, make a pillow or even a quilt out of the bits of clothes that were special for them. Think about a child who had no clothes and give them to those kids.
Toys- Keep a few in a small box and when the box gets full you have to get rid of 1 for every new toy you add. Remember that the child probably will never remember playing with the toy. It is only a memory to you in most cases.

Just stop and think about it before you keep it. Will it impact your life if you keep it? Will it inpact your life if you get rid of it?

costumeczar Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 2:08am
post #19 of 116

I used to be a real clutter-keeper, but I know that it was because I grew up in a military family and we moved every two years. If you can't take your friends with you, you can still keep your stuff...It makes things feel familiar and comfortable. My mother was also a big clutterbug, but she got better right before she died (thank God, or I'd have had more work to do cleaning out her house!) I still have to fight the "but I could use that" syndrome, but I'm much better than I was.

Now my inlaws...they're the depression children who grew up in total poverty, so never threw ANYTHING out. Plus, they inherited everything from their relatives, who also never threw anything out. We moved them into a retirement home recently, and we had to clean their house out. They had lived there since the 50's, and I swear to you, there were property tax receipts from 1908 in the closet in their upstairs bedroom. I had to hire the Got Junk people to come out TWICE before there was enough of a dent to be able to move around in there, plus so many trips to the recycling place...I also felt like I had asthma after spending any amount of time in there because there was so much dust! I don't know how they were able to live there without being totally allergied-up all the time.

My sister-in-law said that she was talking to my MIL about the amount of clutter in there, and my MIL was getting all defensive about it. She kept saying (her mantra) that it was because she hadn't been able to go upstairs for the last three years, due to a back injury. My SIL had finally had enough of listening to the excuses, and she said "Mama, that doesn't explain all of the bank statements from 1947!" icon_lol.gif

Just an aside, if anyone is ever in that situation, it's totally worth it to hire someone who handles estate sales to do the work for you! I found a woman who did the sorting, throwing out, selling, and left the house clean and in move-in condition icon_surprised.gif (Sound of angels singing here!) She charged us from the proceeds from the sale, so we essentially didn't pay her anything out of pocket, it all came from the sale. It was totally worth it.

OfficerMorgan Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 3:10am
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The worst I ever saw was on Oprah. That chick has a shower full of dog feces, a uncleaned crock pot full of maggots, rotten, molding fruit on tables, it was disgusting. It was really, really horrible. And these people can seriously not see that they live as bad as they do. They see their trash as not that bad, normal even, and sometimes as treasure.

Rebealuvsweets Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 3:28am
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Oh darn, I saw it last week and I wanted to see it this week. I wonder if they would replay the show anytime soon. Guess I will check my guide. Yes, it was so gross when that lady had food that was expired but I mean way beyond expired. She still thought that she could eat it. I mean if it is a few days after the expiration date, I would probably eat it. But that lady would eat most anything.

Shelle_75 Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 11:34am
post #22 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by OfficerMorgan

The worst I ever saw was on Oprah. That chick has a shower full of dog feces, a uncleaned crock pot full of maggots, rotten, molding fruit on tables, it was disgusting. It was really, really horrible. And these people can seriously not see that they live as bad as they do. They see their trash as not that bad, normal even, and sometimes as treasure.




I believe I saw that episode. Or at least, I saw one where the woman had several little dogs and she let them poop EVERYWHERE. And you're right, they really do not see reality.

I just wonder how many people there are out there who live like this. (shudder)

mbelgard Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 12:27pm
post #23 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I used to be a real clutter-keeper, but I know that it was because I grew up in a military family and we moved every two years. If you can't take your friends with you, you can still keep your stuff...It makes things feel familiar and comfortable. My mother was also a big clutterbug, but she got better right before she died (thank God, or I'd have had more work to do cleaning out her house!) I still have to fight the "but I could use that" syndrome, but I'm much better than I was.





That's part of my grandma's problem and I think all of my mom's. My grandma was also a child during the depression.

My grandpa was in the Navy and felt that if they couldn't fit it in the car with all the kids it wasn't worth taking. My mom still talks about things that got left behind and I'm sure there were things that my grandma liked that had to get left, they ended up with 6 children so there wouldn't have been much space for more than clothes.


My dad was Army and my mother did what she could to not have our stuff left behind. Other than our dresses my mother's other big thing to save is all our old toys and I think it's her childhood that does it to her.

Because our mom taught us that security revolved around our toys I know a couple of my siblings won't make their kids get rid of anything even if they don't play with it. My brother was complaining about lack of space with two kids but his 4.5 year old still had all his old rattles because he liked them. icon_confused.gif

michellenj Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 4:24pm
post #24 of 116

The woman who hoarded food was horrible. That rotted romaine in her living room that was liqiufied was sickening. And she swore all the expired food was still edible! Yogurt that was 6 mos. past date, even! If I was her landlord I would be pissed. It's amazing the house wasn't infested with roaches and mice. Maybe it was.

My grandmother is a packrat. My mother's room and all of her sibling's bedrooms are full of their old clothes, newspapers, all sorts of things. Nothing perishable, though! My mom's makeup from the 60's is still in her makeup table, and there is a box of maxi pads that you attach to a belt in her bathroom. How long ago did they stop making pads w/ the belts? LOL I honestly believe she uses those things to remember happy memories. She will go back and look at the clothes and talk about wherewhen they were worn, and go back to the articles and read them again.

OfficerMorgan Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 5:08pm
post #25 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelle_75

Quote:
Originally Posted by OfficerMorgan

The worst I ever saw was on Oprah. That chick has a shower full of dog feces, a uncleaned crock pot full of maggots, rotten, molding fruit on tables, it was disgusting. It was really, really horrible. And these people can seriously not see that they live as bad as they do. They see their trash as not that bad, normal even, and sometimes as treasure.



I believe I saw that episode. Or at least, I saw one where the woman had several little dogs and she let them poop EVERYWHERE. And you're right, they really do not see reality.

I just wonder how many people there are out there who live like this. (shudder)




Yeah, that's the one. It was just so horribly sad. Apparently that woman was normal until a man broke into her work (she worked alone in a model home) assaulted her and permanently damaged her hand. The thing was so traumatic that she kind of just lost it.

I too wonder how many live like this. Yesterday I drove by a house that was very overgrown, blinds yanked up and weird angles, twisted and broken. When I say overgrown, I mean to the windows. It was still inhabited. I kind of wondered about the people who lived inside...

sarahpierce Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 5:30pm
post #26 of 116

You can watch the shows on A&E's website. It makes me feel better about my clutter, or what I thought was clutter icon_rolleyes.gif .

indydebi Posted 26 Nov 2009 , 12:01am
post #27 of 116

I saw a mini-marathon of this show last night. I was in jaw-drop shock as I watched these shows. One was Betty, who was mentioned in an earlier post, here, who said "My kids are gone but my stuff is still here." This is the same lady who emptied a 5-gal bucket, which was just one big 5-gal ice cube because it was outside, in the winter, filled with water and frozen solid .... and then she was banging the big ice cube on the concrete so she could get the cooking pan out of the block of ice so she could see if it was still good, so she could decide whether to keep or not! icon_surprised.gif

Another lady (Tara? Calif?) said she grew up in places so small that all the kids slept in the same bed with her mom, and everything was always in a box. She said, "I dont' know what a house is suppose to look like .... all I know is to put stuff in a box!"

I noticed how they all kept calling it "stuff". It wasn't belongings, or mementos, or keepsakes, ..... it was "stuff" .... a non-descript word to describe things that you don't even know how to classify. Sad.

Hubby and I are decluttering right now. I've thrown out half of my cookbooks ... haven't opened most of them in years. We have an antique dresser in the TV room that the TV is on. I went thru those 3 big drawers, pulled out about a box full of things that I wanted to keep, and 3 BIG dresser drawers are now filled with "stuff" that needs to go right in the trash. There are 2 people in this house that drink coffee and we have about 30 coffee cups. Guess what's going out the door next?

We keep thinking about how our kids would have had to go thru all of this if we both got hit by a bus tomorrow. What a terrible legacy to leave your kids! icon_surprised.gif

My married daughter is studying to be a psychologist. I called her and told her she HAD to watch this show. What a great study in human psychology!!

If you haven't seen the show, you gotta try to catch it. It's really so sad to watch these people trying to deal with their demons. icon_sad.gif

costumeczar Posted 26 Nov 2009 , 1:40am
post #28 of 116

We just finished cleaning out my inlaws' hosue, which they'd lived in for 50+ years. They were both depression children, and had inherited a lot of furniture and "stuff" from other relatives ove the years. I don't think they'd thrown out one thing in all that time!

I went up and worked in there for about 8 or 9 days, and threw out a ton of things. Then we hired an estate sale person to do a sale, and she had a staff come in to prep the place before the sale...It took them 56 HOURS to get the place ready for the sale, and 25 to clean it up afterward (physically cleaning the house.) And this was a group that knew what they were doing.

I shudder to think how long it would have taken for me (and it would have been primarily me doing it) to do it by myself! It made me want to come home and throw things away!

indydebi Posted 26 Nov 2009 , 1:45am
post #29 of 116

omg, you poor thing! That's just the kind of thing I don't want to leave my children with (and hopefully they have another 30-35 years before they have to worry about it! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif )

I wasn't part of the crew when my grandparents moved from the farm they had lived on and worked for over 60 years, and then moved to a house in town. (Gramma was so excited .... for the first time, she had an indoor toilet!). I remember as a kid, seeing these PILES of coupons stuffed into a corner on her cabinet, 4 bedrooms upstairs that had things from years ago, plus a full basement loaded for a bear with things.

I've no idea how the family got them moved, but I have to wonder how long it REALLY took ! icon_eek.gif

costumeczar Posted 26 Nov 2009 , 2:08am
post #30 of 116

Ah, what is it with the coupons? I found a ton of those, too!

The example that I gave my husband of the state of his parents' house was the dresser that I opened drawer by drawer, only to find it full of boxes of brownie mix. Every drawer, full of brownie mix. My MIL claimed that it was because she would take brownies to church, but she hadn't been able to go to church in about 6 years.

Every time we start talking about how much junk there was in there, she'd say "Well, the house was cluttered because I couldn't go upstairs for the last 3 years, so I couldn't clean out up there." (She had a back injury so can't climb the stairs.) My SIL finally got tired of hearing that excuse, so when my MIL started in with it one day she said "Mama, that doesn't explain all the bank statements from 1940!" icon_lol.gif

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