ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Home»
  • Cleaning»
  • Organizing & Decluttering

Compulsive Hoarding: Many Families Lose Loved Ones to House Trash

Updated on April 7, 2015

Someone I Know...

This is in the basement. All of this stuff was destroyed by a pipe burst and now there is unhealthy levels of mold and mildew growing. The inside of the house is much worse!
This is in the basement. All of this stuff was destroyed by a pipe burst and now there is unhealthy levels of mold and mildew growing. The inside of the house is much worse! | Source

Sad But True

I was recently asked by one of my friends to help him clean out his mother's entire house. She has been Hoarding for over 30 years. After the death of her husband (1984?) she stopped throwing things out and constantly bought everything that was on sale.

The picture above was taken after I cleared enough room to get the basement cellar door open.

To make matters worse, there has been a steady leak of water in the basement so everything is moldy. Needless to say, I have to wear a respirator just to go down there.

Hoarding

Are You A Hoarder?

See results

The Hoarding Epidemic

Hoarding in America is becoming an increasingly dangerous trend. Many people are forced out of their homes because they are deemed unsuitable for human living conditions.

Compulsive Hoarding is also called Pathological Hoarding and results when someone has a psychological need to acquire and store things, even if it's unhealthy or unsafe. There are different kinds of hoarding, but basically, people are considered hoarders when they have so much stuff in their home that it is nearly impossible to get around.

Many Hoarders are aware of their situation but are reluctant to change it. Often times a psychological breakdown occurs when people aiding the effort begin to throw the hoarder's stuff out.

Although Compulsive Hoarding is not new, it has gained recent exposure nationally due to television shows that present the condition in real life on their shows. Some of these shows include A&E's Hoarders and TLC 's Hoarding: Buried Alive.

There are a lot of people suffering from this disorder. There is no way to count the actual amount of cases of Compulsive Hoarding there are because most hoarders keep to themselves. They become very lonely and often are widows and mothers who have seen their children grow up and move away. There is a psychological element to it where there is a deep desire to be private but not alone. They accumulate things to try to fill an empty void that they feel.

In some cases, intense psychotherapy can help a person with this behavior problem. The key factor in changing the behavior is the attitude and desire towards changing that behavior and accepting therapy and change. Some people will never overcome this disease. We read in the headlines about dead animals found in the house and unfortunately, many of these people succumb to their own mess. If that's not bad enough, when the person dies the family is usually help responsible for cleaning up or else the house could become condemned and property taxes accrue while the house just decays.

The point is, there are a lot of Hoarders out there and family members need to step up and try to get them help. It may not always work, but it is worth trying.

Source

Is Someone In Your Family A Hoarder?

See results

How to Help a Hoarder

Ultimately, it is the person afflicted with this diseases' grasp that has to make the decision to clean up the mess. This is not an easy task and the person will need positive support from family and friends during this time of transition.

Often times family members of compulsive hoarders get a negative attitude towards the hoarder and this only adds to the psychological part of the disease. To be an effective supporter, one must understand that there is a lot more to this behavior than simply being lazy or careless. There is a desire to hoard that stems from the brain and the person can not help themselves.

The best thing a family can do when planning a major cleanup is to prepare themselves for the entire process. There is more involved than just going into the house and start throwing everything out. Remember, the hoarder has a personal attachment to every single item that they hoard. Be prepared for emotional breakdowns and a lack of desire to follow through with the project by the hoarder. After a few hours they may get very distressed and withdrawn.

It is highly recommended that the person who suffers from compulsive hoarding disorder seek psychological counseling while dealing with this issue. Often times the reason for hoarding is something deep within themselves and this needs to be recognized and dealt with by a professional.

Always use Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to protect yourself from danger!
Always use Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to protect yourself from danger! | Source

Starting the Big Cleanup Project: Things to Consider

Here are some things you should consider while approaching the hoarder and the cleaning process:

  • Be kind, patient and understanding. A supportive attitude towards the person will go a lot father than a poor attitude.
  • Have a meeting with all those involved and whenever possible, have the counselor on site at the beginning of the clean up.
  • Be prepared for set backs and let downs. This is a normal part of the problem and constant encouragement will help motivate the hoarder.
  • Use caution when cleaning. Many of these hoarding sites contain unsafe conditions including animal feces and carcasses, mold and mildew, rats and mice which carry diseases and a variety of environmental toxins.
  • Use gloves and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as eye protection, breathing respirators and any other equipment as needed.
  • Never work in an environment that you don't feel safe in! If floorboards or stairs are rotted or in disrepair, consult a carpenter or engineer to see what can be done to improve the safety of the site.
  • Rent a large dumpster. Multiple dumpsters may be needed for large projects.
  • Take pictures and video of before, during and after. These photos will document the progress and can be used to reassure the hoarder in their times of regret.

Source

After the Cleanup: What Happens Next?

The cleaning of a Hoarder's property may take several days to several weeks to complete. Remember, this hoarding behavior has been in effect for years so don't plan on getting everything done in a few hours!

After the cleanup is finished, make sure that the person effected by hoarding continues to see a therapist. Studies have shown that people who do not continue in treatment tend to go back to their hoarding behaviors in very short period of time.

Many times after everything is cleaned up, the hoarder can feel lonely and depressed. You may want to invite them out of their environment several times a week. That way when they return home, they can experience what it is like to walk into a healthy clean environment that is their own.

Family members should make frequent visits to the site and continue support for the person affected. If the person starts showing signs of going back to old behaviors, show them pictures of the mess at the beginning and the clean results at the end. Sometimes they need to be reminded of how bad things really were before they cleaned everything up.

Never give up on the people you love! Celebrate this milestone and show them how much you really care for them. Remind them that you care so much for them and that is why you helped them to clean up!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Sinea Pies: This is very frighting! It happens to many people we know and sometimes we don't even realize it. When people lack mobility options, things stack up very quickly. Often times the elderly become victims of this behavior.

      I have an acquaintance that cleans out houses on the side and he has told me several stories of ridiculous packing and hoarding. It occurs more than we think.

      Many times when a person dies and leaves their packed house behind to their family members, the family has to spend a lot of money on the cleanup and it can be a very emotional time.

      Sometimes the houses are so bad that they are condemned as unsafe to live in. The only hope that people have if they are a hoarder is to seek professional help.

      Thanks for sharing your experience! I appreciate you stopping by!

      JSMatthew~

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

      This is frightening. I can imagine how elderly people, especially, can get into this kind of mess, though. My husband was a real estate broker and one of the homes he was asked to list was part of an estate. The elderly lady who had lived in the house never threw out a newspaper or magazine for decades! It was a nightmare and her family was heartsick when they discovered how bad it had become.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hello debbie roberts! There is a lot of this going around and it is very sad to see someone go through this. Some cases are just literally unbelievable. It is amazing that people can survive under these living conditions. Many times this behavior is caused or made worse after the loss of a loved one. The only way to help these people is to be supportive and consistent. Thank you for your insightful comment! I appreciate you stopping by!

      JSMatthew~

    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 5 years ago from Greece

      I watched a very sad television documentary recently about a man who hoarded to the point that he had to crawl across the rubbish in his house, it could be compared with a rabbit warren. He slept upright in a chair in a hole amongst the rubbish and barely ate. He knew he had a problem and needed help, but after his mother died he just got worse.

      In the documentary you saw his struggle and in the end with the help and persistence of fellow villagers he got most of his house and garden cleared. It wasn't easy for him or them.

      You are right when you say that we must try to help hoarders if we know of any, this man was the worst known hoarder in the UK and whilst he's not cured, he now has friends who try and keep his hoarding in check. A little patience and kindness can go along way and in the case of this chappie can make a big difference in the quality of life.

      An interesting hub.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I am honored with your responses! I am so glad that this article has gotten some of you to think and change your own situation. Thanks for all the comments and I wish you the best of luck decluttering!

      JSMatthew~

    • dilyana1976 profile image

      dilyana1976 5 years ago

      A very useful article! Recently I've been obsessed by the theme of decluttering my home and my life. Reading such materials, I feel more motivated and enterprising. I'm really grateful to you.

    • dilyana profile image

      dilyana 5 years ago

      Aren't we all hoarders in different aspects?

    • profile image

      Tim 5 years ago

      A great article. very useful.

    • profile image

      Valentina 5 years ago

      After watching shows about hoarders and reading such stories, personally I feel extremely motivated to declutter my home. I think it's healthily. Thank!!!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you all for the insightful comments! I realize now how many people are truly effected by this behavior. I appreciate you stopping by!

      JSMatthew~

    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 5 years ago from USA

      sorry to hear. Perhaps she needs counseling. Some people have a real fear of losing everything. So they hang on to everything.

    • Jlava73 profile image

      Jennifer Vasconcelos 5 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      Hi JS,

      My mother is a hoarder, I didn't realize it was a problem until she moved in with me after my Dad passed away. I could not believe the stuff she would keep and it drove me nuts. I think the "stuff" serves as a wall to keep people at a distance - at least in her case anyway. Sometimes upbringing plays a role as well.

      Great Hub!

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 5 years ago from all over the web

      hoarding is a mental health condition that must be dealt with. we had a hoarder family member that we constantly cleaned out her house and because she wouldn't follow through with her mental health therapy she simply continued to hoard. it's a catch 22 many times. you want to help them be safe, but you cannot make them get help.

      great hub and content. thank you

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 5 years ago

      Really good topic. I watch the same shows that you talked about here. I think it is so sad that there are people that go through this. I wish there is a way we could partner these folks with one pet. Then maybe that will help fill their void. I voted up! Useful, awesome info and interesting! :)) shared on twitter & FB too

    • Camille Harris profile image

      Camille Harris 5 years ago from SF Bay Area

      I recently learned about hoarders in my Abnormal Psychology class. The DSM-IV-TR (current version) does not include a separate diagnosis for them, but the new DSM is rumored to be including a designation for these individuals.

      As you've stated above, many hoarders encounter a stressor such as the loss of a loved one that triggers this behavior. We recently watched a case where a woman completely filled her home with trash (none of the items appeared to be usable) and was forced to move into a trailer on her property. She began filling the trailer as well. Not just with trash, but with animals like chickens and goats.

      Her family staged an intervention and she became irate, then broke down when the professionals tried to take her animals to get them the care they needed. Turns out 6 of her 16 children died, and the remaining children were removed from her care for abuse and neglect. Her hoarding began soon after the children were removed.

      I think shows like "Hoarders" and "Buried Alive" are good because they bring mental illness to our front doors, so to speak. The people on these programs are suffering, and while we may initially find their behavior detestable, it soon becomes evident that they have very little control over their impulses to hoard.

      Anyway, great Hub and thanks for the Hub love!!

      Keep up the great work!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Wow, Holmes221b! That's disgusting and sad at the same time. These things do happen. What is really sad is that the neighbors became so desensitized to the smell that they never even thought to check on the neighbor. I appreciate you sharing your experience!

      JSMatthew~

    • profile image

      Holmes221b 5 years ago

      I once had a job as a house clearer. One flat, where the resident had hoarded everything, including rotting food and even his own urine in bottles. Each room was full to the ceiling with rotting foul smelling rubbish. To make matters worse, the man who the flat belonged to had died and remained in his flat for over a month. It was only when the green slime started coming through the ceiling of the flat below that his neighbours called the police. They were so used to the smell, that his rotting body wasn't enough to bring what had happened to their attention.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Very good point mvillecat. Many hoarders hide their behavior behind closed doors mainly due to embarrassment. Many people with this disorder hold normal jobs and have normal friendships. Often times friends wonder why they are never invited to their house. Great point! I appreciate your comment.

      JSMatthew~

    • mvillecat profile image

      Catherine Dean 5 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      I am currently enrolled in a professional organizing course and I am dealing with hoarders in my work. It is a very sad condition which does not get enough attention from the medical community because these people are living so privately. Thanks! I voted up.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi ThoughtSandwiches! I can really relate to this too. I have almost every notebook from middle school and high school! I saved quite a few text books as well. I always think I'll need the information for reference some day. Funny thing is, I found some old essays and poems I wrote along time ago and turned them into Hubs! I guess that is me justifying my own version of hoarding! I appreciate your votes and comment!

      JSMatthew~

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Hi J.S. ...well...what a sad and nasty habit to fall into!?

      I have a tendency towards hording paperwork...odd notes...that letter from Selective Service from 1983...the pile of copies of (a portion) of the 1850 Census for Benicia, California...yeah...

      It's not all hording-like...you know...it's all in a couple of (never looked through) filing cabinets...but still. What if I throw that out today and Selective Service knocks on my door on Thursday? Yeah...I can see how this can happen. Voted Up and across.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @femmeflashpoint: I used to watch the show at the beginning but don't get much TV these days. It is amazing to see how some people live! I once saw an episode where they found 3 mummified cats underneath all the clutter. It really is sad and I feel for the people who suffer this. Serious Hoarders need long-term counselling. Hoarding is a behavior which can be modified; the brain is much harder to change.

      Many times after a hoarder moves into a new place or their place is totally cleaned out, they often go back to hoarding and collect at a much higher frequency to try to replace their loss and surround themselves with their comfort zone. I appreciate your comment! Thanks for stopping by!

      JSMatthew~

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thanks Victoria! I am glad that you realize that you are not a hoarder! Most people collect things; some collect only things that are useless, and that is what causes the environmental problems found among Chronic Hoarders. I do have the tendency myself, but I fight the urge because it adds up quickly. I appreciate you comment and votes! Thank you.

      JSMatthew~

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

      I have been watching the show on tele as well, rarely d/t time issues, but, my goodness! I feel so sorry for these people!!

      It's one of those situations wherein people want to help, but it's nearly impossible without getting them some treatment and psyche support first.

      Great article!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Wow, great hub! Hoarding is so interesting. I am somewhat of a packrat. I'm very sentimental, so it's hard for me to let go of letters, cards, or anything that someone has given to me. I'm getting better at that, though, and am working on it not getting out of control. I can get around in my house, though, so this hub makes me feel blessed that I'm NOT a hoarder. I keep my house neatly cluttered--haha. I organize closets and other areas, getting rid of stuff from time to time. So, while I'm not a hoarder, I do have too much "stuff." Very interesting hub. I feel sorry for people who have a true disorder related to hoarding. I voted up this hub, along with useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Lol! It is so easy to save stuff for that "special occasion of the future", that never seems to come! Thanks again for your comments.

      JSMatthew~

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

      J.S., I do appreciate well-designed containers, too. Hahahahahaha. Unfortunately, I was not born with a "cleaning" gene. And, I did not marry someone who is ruthless with clutter. That's my NEXT husband!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Arlene I appreciate your honesty and for sharing your story. My wife is a pack rat and I am the opposite so it sometimes causes stress in our life. Sometimes when she is not home I just go and clean out an area. It's usually just empty containers, bags and wrappers and such. She used to get mad but now I think she is grateful because she knows its the only way to stop clutter! The photos above are actual photos I took while I was cleaning out a house! There are places out there that you couldn't imagine how bad it can get! Thanks so much for your insightful and engaging comment as well as the votes!

      JSMatthew~

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

      My husband and I keep things, but we can let them go. In time. He falls under the "I'll use it in the future." So the future comes, and he can't find the item, so he goes out and buys it. I love paper--cards and letters that are valuable only to me. But because of the Internet and memory sticks, I can store them without the clutter. I love books, magazines, my writer's journals and legal pads. If I'm not writing, I'm reading. My sofa in the living room is my island. I operate from there with my laptop. But I have my spinning wheel nearby and all my knitting projects. Instructions and yarns. Being retired, I'm learning how to put things in a donation box and cart them off to the Goodwill which just opened down the street. I am getting ruthless in retirement because of the fact that I can't take my possessions with me when I kick. Being the daughter who helped Mom move, I know the stress of sorting, giving and throwing things away. I still have plenty to do. We have to clean out a house and a storage unit of our lives and whatever we bring into our marriage right now. When you've got two people who are packrats and slobs, forget about hoarding. We merge. You have clutter for two. If we had children, they would be packrats, too. Well done! Voted up, interesting and useful. I don't watch those TV shows on hoarding, but I did see that interesting TV fiction on CSI. I don't know any hoarders who need to be "cured". Just the packrats who take a long time to let go of what is useless or not in use.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      It is a serious problem miccimom. Every article that they hoard has a significant value to the hoarder and non-hoarders have to take that into consideration while dealing with clean-ups. There is a strong psychological element to this disease and overwhelming the victim can be devastating to their physical and emotional health. I appreciate your comment!

      JSMatthew~

    • miccimom profile image

      miccimom 5 years ago from U.S.A

      I never realized the epidemic of so many hoarders. I agree that we need to help them out, especially if they are family members. And we need to try to understand that there stuff, every piece of it means something important to them. Its not so easy to just throw it out. It is a day to day healing. But when children are involved that is where the problem lies. It is so unsafe for children to be in a home where there is hoarding. Interesting Hub!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hello Carolyn. I would like to point out that as you have experienced, this type of behavior can affect people of all types with different backgrounds. It is not unusual that your friend kicked you out of the house. There is a strong emotional and psychological connection to this type of behavior and often times the hoarder feels embarrassed or minimalize the urgency of their situation.

      I don't think that you are betraying your friend; in fact, you are reaching out and trying to help her. There are agencies that can get involved, particularly the fire department (fire hazard) and Social Services, particularly if the house is dangerous and hazardous.

      The downside to this is that many times the person is forced out of their house and the house can even become condemned. Many people die in these types of environments, so you really need to way which is more important; a person's health or their pride. There really isn't a 100% win-win situation, and the person needs to realize and admit they have a problem and get help. It's not easy!

      I suggest talking to a therapist and asking for their advice on what is the best way to get help for your friend. I wish I had a perfect answer but this is a very tough subject! I hope this helps you.

      JSMatthew~

    • profile image

      Carolyn 6 years ago

      carolyn 15 minutes ago

      I have a friend in a distant city who has had some sort of breakdown during the years she cared for her parents until they died. Evidentially she fired the household help and progressively no one came to her house. On the outside she appears perfectly fine, is a Realtor, and ASID interior designer and no one has a clue about her house. There are stacks of things to the ceiling in some areas and only about a one foot path through the entire house. Thick dust hangs from the curtains, the refrigerator interior, the stove and counters are crusted with spilled food. The floors have dried urine from the 3 dogs accidents and the cat box is full. I say all that to say if the person is not willing to admit there is a problem, WHAT do you do?? I talked to mutual friends, a Pastor, showed them pictures of the house...everyone treated me like I was betraying her in some way. I wanted to enlist some help from people close to the situation. She had shut them out as friends for years so no one wanted to get involved. What can you do? When I cleaned the refrigerator, not throwing things out, but creating a questionable area of stuff to ask her about keeping...she basically threw me out of the house. Are there agencies that can go in?

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Emmeaki, thank you for your comment. I think you are right about hoarding often being triggered by death. It is a very real and serious issue that many family's have to deal with.

      It can be costly as well, and many people can not deal with the financial strain it would have which would add to the stress and anxiety associated with this problem.

      I thank you for adding your words.

      JSMatthew~

    • Emmeaki profile image

      Emmeaki 6 years ago from Brooklyn, NY

      After watching Hoarders on A & E, it seems that hoarding is often triggered by a close death in the family, husband, wife, parent--just like your friend's mother. This is so sad.

      I see those clean-up teams that come and try to clean things out, but what about the average Joe who isn't on the TV show and have no money for such services? I hope more people will recognize hoarding in their friends and family members and try to help them before it becomes as bad as what we see on TV.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      canadawest99, thanks for your comment!

      What amazes me is when they find dead cats underneath layers of trash. Unfortunately, some people die because of their own hazardous condition. Many people need help for this. I think this problem and disease has been around a lot longer than we think. We just realize it now because of the coverage of the subject on TV.

      JSMatthew~

    • canadawest99 profile image

      canadawest99 6 years ago from Canada

      I always watch on TLC and I am amazed at how bad it can get.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Artist-For-Hire, thanks for the wonderful comments! Isn't it amazing how much stuff we can accumulate in a short period during our lifetime? Imagine how much more there would have been if you had waited an extra 10 years!

      I have to admit, although I am organized in my own personal habits, as a family, my house is quite cluttered! I want to spend some time this summer cleaning out my house and basement. I appreciate your comments!

      JSMatthew~

    • Artist-For-Hire profile image

      Artist-For-Hire 6 years ago from Western Australia

      Ok, I confess...

      We recently hired the largest skip bin that I have ever seen because things were getting a little squishy for this family of five in a three bedroom home. We've lived here for 10yrs and never really had a big clean-up.

      When the truck dropped the bin off I thought "No way...we'll never fill that, it's HUGE,"

      Two days into the clean-up-athon, I had cleaned out 10yrs worth of kids toys and craft items, manuels for toasters we hadn't owned for years (who needs a manuel for a toaster anyway!), bills from 4yrs ago, magazines from 5yrs ago, clothes that "I might wear it one day", shoes pushed so far under the bed I forgot they existed....the bin was filling up fast.

      Over days 3-5 of the clean-up-athon, we started throwing larger articles in: old mattresses ("somebody might sleep over one day"), the old sofa, baby hardware; the cradle and changetable, old speakers etc. Wow...that bins pretty full...who would have thought?

      By day 7 of the clean-up-athon. We had de-cluttered the garage and outdoor area's.

      The bin was FULL...this bin was as big as my station wagon and it was over flowing. I can't figure out how it ever fit inside! My house looked nothing like the photo's in this hub and I still managed to fill the biggest bin in Western Australia (that might be slightly exaggerating...but it was Huge).

      I've concluded that most of us are hoarders to some degree. We all have that cupboard, that draw in the desk...you know the one.

      I've also concluded that the condition of our homes (well mine at least) is an outward manisfestation of what's going on up stairs. When we are under duress (sickness, marital issues, financial issues) or suffer a trauma such as losing a loved one, the house quickly falls into a state of disrepair.

      You are absolutely correct in saying that loved one's need to take more responsibility in the matter for the problem can soon become so large one does not know where to start. This only escalates the problem and since we are creatures of habit...well, it is a difficult cycle to break at best.

      Fantastic topic JS. Very informative and well articulated.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      I think the episode was run a few months back... I was actually busy on Hubpages and my husband was watching it. I don't watch a whole lot of TV ... or at least it does not get my undivided attention. I am usually writing at the same time!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thanks for stopping by barbergirl28!

      I appreciate you sharing your comment. My wife is a semi-hoarder but not to the extent mentioned in this Hub! I have tendencies as well because I always think I might use or need something later down the road! We tend to accumulate a little bit of clutter. I didn't see that episode of CSI. I have been drowning myself in HubPages and haven't been watching much TV lately! Thanks for the comment.

      JSMatthew~

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      My husband says I am a hoarder.... but, I am more of a pack rat. I can at least walk through living spaces and I really don't like clutter. However, when I watch these shows the first thing I do is think of what is something I can get rid of. I have a tendency to keep things I find will jog me down memory lane.

      Great hub! By the way - did you watch the CSI show that did an episode on hoarders. It was very disturbing!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thanks for the vote samsons1! Hoarding sure is a growing epidemic!

      JSMatthew~

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 6 years ago from Tennessee

      voted up and useful! Well written and informative. Evidently hoarding is a compulsion, or fear of getting rid of something they think they may later use...

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thanks sarclair!

      What's funny is that I had the same introduction to the term "Hoarding" in life as you did! I always heard my grandmother say, "Stop hoarding the remote!!", when I was keeping it from my younger cousins.

      I didn't realize that "Hoarding" was a compulsive disorder that a lot of people suffer from. Many of them die every year from living in unhealthy environments. Often times they are elderly and have family members that gave up on them along time ago because of their habits.

      I think that there is a lot behind this problem; it's not just laziness; there is an element of depression and loneliness that accompanies this kind of behavior. I am glad that there are people who understand this disorder and are able to help those who are afflicted.

      The hardest part of the situation is to get the "Hoarder" to admit that they have a problem, and then they have to commit to making a major change. It is not an easy thing to do.

      I appreciate the comment as you made me remember my original understanding of the word, "Hoarder". I remember my middle sister telling my oldest sister, to "Stop 'Hogging' the Phone!" Thanks for the nostalgia!

      JSMatthew~

    • sarclair profile image

      sarclair 6 years ago

      I find the label "Hoarder" funny. I find it so funny, that I actually laughed out loud at the title. It brings back memories. When I was a young girl, I would angrily accuse my brothers being "hoarders" or "hogs" when they would eat the last slice of pie, cookie, etc.

      However, it is something serious. I think it is sad that people will try to replace material for love. It is actually real sad.

      This is an interesting hub. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      J.S. Thank you for sharin this information. It is sad the chains that keep people bound. I have watched this show a couple times. I do not believe anyone sets out to live this way. We can only help people step up to help.

      Sunnie

    • chamilj profile image

      chamilj 6 years ago from Sri Lanka

      This is the first time I heard this kind of behaviour. Unusual. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      If one walked into my house at this moment I would be accused of being on the verges of a hoarder. The problem? I have 3 adult children living in my home at this time along with all of their worldly possessions. I have a small 3 bedroom home, no basement, no garage... absolutely no storage. I am hoping that one day they will move out so I can have a little breathing room... But will that leave me with the 'empty nest' syndrome?

    • J.S.Matthew profile image
      Author

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thanks Callable S.

    • Callan S. profile image

      Callan S. 6 years ago

      I'm not sure you 'just change' the behaviour. It's like if someone is lonely, you just tell them to change that behaviour and then there isn't a problem. Which isn't true. This hording behaviour, although irrational, comes from a rational, practical problem the person faces.