I found myself watching a fascinating show this weekend. It is called Hoarders. People who just can’t throw stuff away, no matter how much it clutters their house. The episode I watched had me flabbergasted. I was dumbfounded by what I was seeing. A family in Kentucky had crap all over their floors. Whether it was Cheerios in the kids room, paper in the living room, or the hallway being used as a hamper- I shit you not!- there was stuff everywhere. Somehow they decided that they could use the hallway and the steps down to the basement as one big clothes hamper. Dirty clothes? Throw them in the hallway and walk all over them.
It wasn’t until the city came by wanting to inspect the living conditions that they did something. It was the fear of losing their three children that forced them to clean up not the fact they were eating dinner in their bed every night. Yes, they, the whole family, would use the parent’s bed to eat dinner. How messed up is that?
It amused me how their problem occurred. She was a habitual buyer. She loved to have the UPS truck stop by with packages. He was the hoarder. He couldn’t throw anything away. Whether it was the 4 empty fish tanks or the porch that was in the middle of the backyard that he got for free, he had to keep it. His thinking was that he would find a use for it eventually. If not, he wanted to be sure someone could use it. And between the two, neither one had a clue on how to clean things up or teach their kids to put stuff away. When they started throwing stuff out of the attic- they actually took a window out and started tossing stuff form the top floor onto the front lawn- the guy was shaking and was going to freak out. Do they not have rummage sales in Kentucky?
I was amazed at how people could let it get that bad. But that wasn’t the only story. There was a lady from the south side of Milwaukee that hoarded food. She spoke of the hard times, making the most of what you have and doing things just to get by. Nowadays she just buys food and lets it rout in her house. She had pumpkins that went untouched, rotting away in various rooms. Toss in some cats to the rotting vegetation and that place reeked. When they finally got around to cleaning her place out, she kept trying to keep some of the food claiming it had to still be good because the packaging wasn’t puffed out.
I think what got me about the show is that it reminded me of my own mother. In fact I called her and told her she had to watch this show. My mom is a bit of a hoarder. It wasn’t as bad as the people on TV but it was getting there. Her thing was books. She had books everywhere and it was beginning to take up space in the kitchen, hallways and other rooms. A couple years back we went in and started cleaning the place up, removing the books and making it look normal again. I must give her some credit in that she has not cluttered the place back up with more books, even though she fought us along the way.
Catch this show. I think it is on A&E. You may not believe your eyes.