I'm Watching "Hoarders"

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Mikie, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I finally got my appetite back after changing ABX and did some cooking. Now, I'm too tired to clean up the kitchen. Soooo, I'm watching "Hoarders" so I don't feel so bad about my little mess.

    Actually, I got my lazy bum off the sofa, showered, put on makeup and went to the salon and got a haircut. I haven't had the energy to go and my hair is naturally curly. I just let it curl up in this humidity but I really like it better short. Sporting my sassy new do, I went to the grocery to stock up. After I put the groceries away, I was just too pooped to do anything else. The good thing about a mess is that I can clean it up tomorrow.

    If the crew from "Hoarders" shows up at my door, at least, I'll look good :)

    Love, Mikie
  2. wildflowers23

    wildflowers23 Member

    Yes, I watch that show too. And say- well, I am NOT THAT bad !!!!

    I can't imagine living like that.

    LEFTYGG Member

    i love hoarders! it makes me feel so good about my place. my dh wont watch it. it makes him sick. glad youre getting better. love gail
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I do understand what a tragic condition it is. The most tragic thing is that it often comes between the hoarder and his or her family. Some of them lose their children because living conditions become unsafe. I have seen how agitated some of them get over giving up what most of us would consider trash. It's just too traumatic for them and it is heartbreaking. I can't stand to watch too much of it. The show has changed and they focus more now on the mess and family members and less on the psychological aspects which lead to hoarding. I think that, even if the mess is eventually cleaned up, without a LOT of therapy, the hoarder will go back to the comfort that hoarding provides. How sad.

    I once told Shirl that I hadn't cleaned in so long that I was just sitting here in my own filth. Well, she almost peed herself laughing. So, when guilt could cause me anxiety, I use humor to get by until I have the energy to clean.

    Love, Mikie
  5. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    I also watch the show Hoarders with interest..it definitely is an illness with a psychological trauma attached to it in some way.

    I personally am the direct opposite of a hoarder, and that may have some psychological element attached to it as well. While I do own many sentimental objects, they have to either be put away or displayed carefully. One too many chotchkies (sp?) lying around, I have to start eliminating them; kitchen has to be streamlined at all times, bed made every morning, dishwasher emptied promptly, and too many newspapers and magazines lying around make me nervous. Every few months, I have a charity pickup for extraneous stuff, and there have been times where I have felt incumbered by owning too much 'stuff' and wished all my wordly possessions could fit into one backpack so I could take off whenever I wanted to. I think this may stem from the fact that while I was growing up, my mom was a bit sloppy and a bit controlling. I think maybe this was my way of taking control of my own life. Who knows, but the Hoarder show did make me take pause and think about why I am the way I am!!

    [This Message was Edited on 08/16/2011]
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I would love fewer possessions and a shiny clean home at all times but, unfortunately, my overwhelming fatigue recently has put me in "survival mode." I want to clean out my closet and give tons away but feel guilty tackling that big project when the condo needs cleaning. Here in FL, we mostly use louvered doors on our closets to allow airflow. I think now that everyone down here uses A/C, this is less of an issue. Most also use the white rubber-coated wire shelves, again to allow airflow. As the years go by and we load a lot of stuff on these shelves, the anchors which hold them up start to pull out of the walls. I need to go in and add some new anchors in between the old ones. I've done this in the other closets. I also need to paint the closet and shampoo the carpet. It just smells musty and needs a new lease on life.

    The trend is now toward less and less ownership of things. We get our movies from Netflix or On Demand. We only download the songs we want. Now, there are websites where you can rent games and even toys for the kids. You can rent high-end handbags. I don't know why we ever thought we had to have all this stuff. I think as we get older, we get tired of taking care of it all. I know I am. I have been working toward simplifying for years but it's a slow process. My life had changed a LOT and than has certainly been a factor. The beauty of simplification is that it's cheaper. In this economy, I think that has great appeal.

    Maybe these kinds of shows are more than just puff or voyeurism. Maybe they make us take stock of what is "normal" and what may have influenced us in our own decisions. Having this wonderful space to share out insights is soooo helpful. Thank you all for chiming in.

    Love, Mikie
  7. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    I can never, ever own enough shoes! There's my personal hoarding weakness I guess. And there definitely is something to it. When I feel stressed or down, buying a new pair of shoes always lifts my spirits. And if it's a really expensive pair that I snag at a discount for a song..total jubilation!

  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Shoes are in a category all by themselves :) I think we all have our little extravagances. I've always loved shoes but now that I live in the jungle, I mostly wear thongs (the shoes, not the underwear :) I love it when I find them on sale in colors to match my clothes, even if those clothes are just shorts and tees.

    I refuse to pay a lot for paper products and will buy them on sale and hoard them until I need them. My friends think I'm nuts but it's me smiling when I'm not spending a fortune for things I just throw away.

    Enjoy your shoes without guilt.

    Love, Mikie
  9. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    I am the same way with paper products!! I will only buy paper towels on sale and then stock up..I am so cheap with that. Detergent too!! And my weird idiosyncrasy with paper towels is that they have to be solid white; no prints. The more I think about this, the odder I realize I can be...lol!! That should be another post...Idiosyncrasies!!! But I would check the spelling first...lol!!!

  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Yes, my towels have to be solid white too. Back when I was Suzie Homemaker, decades ago, I loved the cutsie prints to match my kitchen. Back then, I had the standard plastic under-the-cabinet dispenser. Now, I have the standard stainless upright towel holder on the countertop. I remember when they started making printed toilet paper until they found out the dyes in the paper caused bladder infections. Up to that point, it was all the rage. Heck, I even remember when printed sheets came out. Now, we're back to solids but in colors we never imagined back then.

    The biggest expense for me is tissue. I have allergies and go through a lot of them. I have to use the ones with lotion or I'll end up with a sore, red nose. I refuse to spend more than $1 on a cube of them and usually get them for less. I usually have 40-50 boxes on hand.

    At least, this kind of hoarding has it's purpose and I keep all the products neatly stowed away until I need them.

    Love, Mikie
  11. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Many years ago, I lived across the street and a woman would actually climb in the dumpsters and collect so much from there and take it to her apartment in the development where I lived She would be out at 5:00 in the morning even going through the dumpsters. The manager was constantly at her because she would have so many old newspapers collected on her little patio and it created a fire hazard that she would haver to get rid of all the time.

    When I moved out of state, I was told she had died in the apartment and someone noticed her not around and called for help to check on her. The manager went in her place to find she had been a hoarder and items were stacked from floor to ceiling with a tiny little space to walk. All water sources were clogged with standing dirty water. I didn't want to hear about the toilet.

    I was told it was horrendous to get rescue teams in to examine her body, the medical examiner had to go in to pronounce her dead and get an idea of what might have caused her death and then had to remove her from her apartment and that was so difficult because of how bad the place was packed without any room to move around.

    I understand the lady had a daughter that had to travel across country and see the mess of her Mom's place, bury her and then help in getting it cleaned out.

    After that the manager and (I returned to this area years later) the place where I now live across the street, began yearly inspections of all places. They realized that there were many seniors and people with health problems and it was just too easy to hoard or let places degrade into fire and health hazards. One fire could take out a whole row of places and many lives in the process and it was no longer an option to let people go without a yearly home inspection.

    I knew who the woman was that died and had spoken to her many times. She was a little strange in that I had been very sick with a horrible stomach virus and was in bed many times vomiting into a plastic trash bags that were in my bedroom trash can. My son ran the sealed bag of vomit to the dumpster and the woman was there and my son was telling her "no, don't open that as my mom was sick" but the woman was tearing into it with her hands to see for herself what was inside the bag. YUCK.

  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Has been more and more extreme, probably for ratings. Now, they have people living in homes full of dead cats, feces, rats, etc. They are not fit to live in. Those people are really sick and in need of professional help. The problem I have with the shows is that they come in and try to get rid of things in two days. Of course the poor people lose it. It took years for them to get to that point. Often, it's their kids or the health dept. which makes them clean things up. Some have lost custody of their kids because the homes aren't fit to live in. I don't think I can continue to watch that kind of human misery.

    I had started cleaning out my closet but got sidelined by a Sjogren's flare and the onset of what appears to be interstitial cystitis. I'm doing better but the fatigue lingers on. I like my condo clean with everything put away but I was sick for at least a month and just can't stay on top of things. I do a little here and a little there but that closet is a big project to take on. Oy!

    Love, Mikie
  13. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    It really would be impossible to change the really extreme hoarders in one or two days or even expect them to go through all their stuff in two days as it would probably mentally crash them as all their stuff has probably been there for many years. Look at all of us with PTSD, with panic attacks and more and how hard it is at times to just get through--imagine being an extreme hoarder and the extreme fear of losing "your stuff" that means the world to you.

    It is a mental health illness apparently started by a traumatic event or occurrence that is so overwhelming for that person and it seems that a sort of OCD takes hold in that they fill the void left by the person or caused by an event with stuff and/or animals. The woman that I knew that died, I wish I knew what traumatic event or occurrence happened that started her hoarding of everything--she was so private about her personal life.

    I wonder if PTSD and hoarding may have any relationship because they both involve traumatic events that act on the mind and change the person dramatically. I don't know that enough is known about hoarding for professionals to even answer that.

    UPDATE: Found a Hoarding Newletter that towards the end states that in a percentage of hoarders, PTSD is involved. If you want to view an excellent hoarding newsletter, you can view it at:

    [This Message was Edited on 08/31/2011]
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    On the show have stated that their hoarding followed some kind of traumatic event in their lives. Somehow all that stuff they hoard comforts them.

    I think the shows have it backward. They come in and further traumatize the people and then offer followup therapy after the shows are done. The therapy should come first to help them get ready to let go of their stuff but that doesn't help ratings as much as seeing someone have a complete mental breakdown on TV.

    Love, Mikie
  15. Sacajawea2

    Sacajawea2 Member

    I can't type much right now but wanted to tell you that the show is actually much more than what you see...recently they aired an episode of someone I know...man was that a shock to see it on tv, but we'd heard they'd come to help him months ago. His house was one that they had to pull out because the house was structurally unsafe...so it was initially condemned. But what really helped was the show, he was facing jail time, a really nice man in a crisis situation...the hoarding kept him from his family, he never got to know his daughter, etc...the show has changed all of that. With the after care, he's been able to make great strides and the house and his relationships are getting repaired. I hadn't watched it more than a few times last year when it came out on Netflix...I couldn't bear to watch the episodes where the hoarders chose their stuff over their children or family members...just too painful. But then after we heard Roi would be on, I discovered it shows on the A&E network website and started watching the shows about a month ago, and watched most on
    Just this week they did a return to certain houses and for those who have been able to let go, amazing differences. Vula, the lady who had sick and dead cats and living in utter filth, thanks to the show and her son, has been helped, as have a few more. They state they go to homes that are very extreme, in crisis and that they don't expect to have it done, but the aftercare is ongoing and wonderful.
    I couldn't watch it after watching a woman fill up her house w/ her shopping addiction and not show any concern for her kids, only for her hoard, even after they'd been removed (she never got them back or cleaned up her hoard so far but I hope she can beat it)...but now I can watch it despite the painful ones like those. And also, I don't think I'll ever go to another goodwill after seeing what state a lot of the stuff is in.
    I'm going to pay for writing this, but I hope this sheds some light...Roi and his grown daughter now have a relationship, he's not continued the hoard and is SLOWLY working to get back his home and life...home is still not able to be lived in but getting there...and it won't be demolished. I don't know if any of you saw that particular episode, he was a black man whose house was filled w/ so much stuff it had cracked the beams and his basement was knee deep in water and he had a gas leak that couldn't be fixed cuz of the hoard. No one has judged him locally, but he's gotten a lot of support from those he'd kind of separated himself from...and the team of the Hoarders show was AWESOME to everyone involved...they really do care. And they were there for longer than two days, it's more the editing and amount of air time...I wish i could expres how much this has changed his life, and it has done so for others as well.


    [This Message was Edited on 09/01/2011]
  16. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    In our area, they were doing Hoarding TV show commercial that included Roi. The commercial focused on Roi's structural damage to the home that made it unsafe due to the large amount of hoarded materials that broke heavy wooden boards (that looked like floor boards and perhaps support boards). Wow, that had to be a lot of very heavy stuff. I didn't see the episode itself.

    I did get a chance to see the episode on Vula and it was very shocking. Vula was truly a very extreme hoarder that seemed to have intense hoarding problems. Her home included 34 cats of which 12 were dead, the live cats were all sick, and the home was loaded with feces all over. The home was deemed to be biohazard, the men had to "suit up" in full biohhazard suits and EVERYTHING in the home had to be shoveled up and put into biohazard bags. Vula even fought them that stuff in biohazard bags was still good and could be used. Sadly Vula blamed the cats for dying and that showed how far she was into mental illness.

    When they returned, they found her adult son there who had been rebuilding her home and was there quite often. Vula was there and had been attending group therapy but since that ended she declined individual therapy and sadly she wants animals again and both her son and the psychologist or whatever there was trying at that return visit to discourage her from having animals again. The true test will be when her son finally finishes her home and leaves for for long lengths of time and Vula is alone. Then her hoarding patterns may creep back, especially since she wants animals already. With her past extreme hoarding patterns and once believing it was the cats' fault that they died, and that she did not partake of continuing individual therapy to get the best chance to beat her extreme problems, I personally think she may relapse.
  17. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Are in total denial of having a problem or living in unsafe conditions. I'm sure that it sometimes takes having their homes condemned or a family intervention to jar them out of their delusions. I just think they are exploited by the show. On the other hand, it does portray just how serious this condition can be and we might never know about this disorder and just how serious it is if we didn't see it on the show.

    There are some organized hoarders. My ex had one living across the street. He had every newspaper for years and they were all neatly stacked and labeled to the ceiling. There was only a narrow path between the stacks. If there were a fire, or he needed emergency medical care. no one would have been able to get to him. In a fire, those newspapers would combust too fast to save him or allow his exit.

    I love the show, "American Pickers" but those people with barns full of stuff are often hoarders too. I'm surprised that many of them are willing to part with their antiques.

    Oh, Lordy, I need to get up and clean up some clutter. Of course, I'm nowhere near being a hoarder. I'm just too exhausted to clean right now. What I have can be cleaned up in less than a day so it can't be that bad.

    Love, Mikie
  18. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Said she had to go to Goodwill to replace what had been cleaned out. They showed her shopping at Goodwill.

    I take my things to Goodwill or a church thrift store. If I have furniture, I call the Veterans becausse they will take furniture and pick it up in their truck at my door. I feel guilty for having things that I never use. I hope someone else can use them.

    Love, Mikie