This topic contains 34 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Zora Zora 2 years ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #158260
    Profile photo of zchristy
    zchristy
    Member

    I read a conversation on the Hoarders Facebook page that got me thinking. In it, people were talking about what a BORE the Chris & Dale episode was because the hoarders were only moderate. There was no bugs or skeletons or feces, so it was “boring”. It appeared they were watching for the shock factor.

    I’ve read other people who say they clean after every episode – the final “reveals” inspire them to improve their living spaces.

    I am inspired by the finish and I love the stories- sad as they may be- of the people profiled. I’m still trying to define my answer, but why do you watch Hoarders?

  • #161068
    Profile photo of Julsave
    Julsave
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I watch it on-line as I catch up with my filing in my home office. I watch it because it always puts me in a “clean it up” mood.

  • #161090
    Profile photo of Wendye999
    Wendye999
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    Watching the show encourages me to process why I save things that I do. I have a serious clutter problem, but think it’s more related to depression than hoarding issues. That is, I don’t keep much for sentimental or emotional reasons, but I was raised to recycle and don’t care to throw away stuff that is still usable by someone, if not myself. I want to deliver it to the appropriate agency, which takes a fair amount of effort. Freecycle is helping a lot in that regard because people will pick items up from my porch. I also need to get in touch with Purple Heart because they pick up too.

    The show usually lights a fire under me too…every commercial break I’m inspired to hop up and take care of something. It helps that the show airs on Monday nights…my trash/recycle pickup is on Tuesday. On the night the show aired (last season) of the woman who saved all the expired food, I went straight to the fridge and cleared out everything that didn’t belong!

    All in all the show has been helpful to me. When something falls on the floor and I’m tempted to let it be (or think that I’ll get to it later), I think of those folks who have floors just covered with stuff that they can’t even identify…and make the decision to take care of it rather than ignore it.

  • #161091
    Profile photo of opadit
    opadit
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I watch it to remind myself to focus on my people, not my things. It’s a way to recognize the destructive thought patterns for acquisition and hoarding that I sometimes slip into, and it helps me resist them.

    Also, frankly, it serves as a kick in the butt to straighten up so that I can properly dust and vacuum my home. Hate to say it, but I do come away from a lot of the scenes thinking, “At least I never got that bad.”

  • #161110

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I actually turned it on initially for the Train Wreck factor, got interested in it. I also used to watch Clean House, but when I saw when they worked on the homes of a few (not many-they screen pretty well) hoarders with REAL problems and didn’t know how to deal with them, I stopped watching. Not all the people on the show who participated truly understood what they were in for. One neurotic woman hated absolutely everything that was changed, even her adult daughter’s bedroom; but if she wanted to keep her daughter at home, she had to let her clean up her room from her, the mother’s, crap.

    Anyway, one of the reasons I turn Hoarders on sometimes is to passively aggressively get my husband to understand that although we have clutter (mine and the children’s) it’s not anywhere near as bad as it could be, and most of it is from the reality of having children in the house. He flips out too much and only notices when things are NOT done, as opposed to noticing the things that ARE cleared up. I hate that. What’s the point, then?

    It also a relief to me that I am NOT a hoarder; that I’m no where near as bad as he would have me believe. His grandmother was a type 4? hoarder, I think. Papers, cat litter, crap, junk, piled high in her house. They had to rent an enormous storage box the size of an 18 wheeler container to move her crap into when she moved into my FIL’s house.

  • #161133
    Profile photo of Samdan
    Samdan
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    Shows like ‘Clean House’ and ‘Clean Sweep’ angered me. I kept seeing low-handed jokes made on the messy person’s expense. The people featured on these shows had messy homes, but they didn’t have real, pressing, and emotional problems that needed fixing.

    I watch ‘Hoarders’ because it’s the first show I’ve ever seen that deals with hoarding as a serious issue. In it you see people with real problems that usually need to be dealt with as soon as possible (e.g. eviction, losing their spouse/kids, etc.). These are people who are not only living in these messy situations, they’re also dealing with other issues that may or may not be associated with their hoarding (e.g. depression). ‘Hoarders’ makes it known that the clutter is only a byproduct of bigger, more complex issues. Trained professionals who specialize in hoarding meet with these people, unlike the actors/comedians/entertainers on other shows.

    One of the main things I like about this show is that it is finally bringing to the mainstream the idea that there really are people out there with this disorder who do feel ashamed about their homes, have serious issues and need help. ‘Hoarders’ has shown that it treats the condition with respect. Because of this, more and more people who are hoarders or have loved-ones who are are finally acknowledging that their frustration, resentment and fears can be overcome with the right resources. They’re not alone in their secret. They’re not alone in their shame. Now, they’re more willing to reach out for the help they need.

  • #161140
    Profile photo of JLBanker
    JLBanker
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I am with Wendy on this one when she says “Watching the show encourages me to process why I save things that I do.”

    In my early twenties I had a minor shopping addiction (I’m 35 now). I was going through a lot back then and to cope I would go shopping and buy “collectables”. It got pretty bad and contributed to a LOT of debt. Sometimes I need reminders to not become that person again so Hoarders is a good show that gets me thinking and reminds me of the person I used to be.

    I am not a heavy watcher and I really could do without the hardcore feces/dead animal episodes. The ones I like to watch are more like the Chris & Dale episodes.

  • #161143

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    i only what episodes online occasionally. i mentioned the show to my mom and she immediately felt the need to tell me “I’m not that bad”. she is getting better but i grew up in a house/apartment that was almost always filled with clutter. it didn’t seem to really get that bad until after she stopped drinking, so i think she sort of replaced drinking with collecting stuff. i still feel like i have to much stuff even though I’ve given up a lot in the last several years b/c of moving and such. so I’m still working towards living a more minimalist life(which i know is not for everyone especially my mother). but watching the show really puts this into perspective for me, i used to have so much crap that i wasted so much money on. i always want to clean after watching hoarders, and while watching and its nice to know that i will never be that bad. i do hope those people get the help they need through being on the show and don’t just end up back where the were.

    i watched one episode recently where they took everything out of this guys house so he could see what it would feel like to live in a clean space not filled with stuff and that’s something i think that would help a lot of people(not all) and hope to see them do it more often.

  • #163122

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I also find that it really puts me in the mood to clean. I started doing one major decluttering project during the commercials, there are 2 back to back shows so I was able to do some great things.

    For some reason they’ve been playing reruns every week now on the channel I’m watching, I’m hoping they will put new ones on soon.

    It really does give a sense of relief when you have dealt with clutter in your life to know that yours isn’t that bad. Maybe that’s not nice but while it inspires me to do better, it also makes me feel good about my own house and the progress I’ve made over the years.

  • #163134
    Profile photo of Aunt Cloud
    Aunt Cloud
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    No, I don’t. The attempted “cure” within two days of intense clean-up is no more effective than a two-day camp for an obese person (and, as we’ve seen on “The Biggest Loser”, even a hands-on, boot-camp style program doesn’t always work).

    These people need serious help. I wouldn’t watch a person with schizophrenia, bulimia or any other mental disorder try and be instantly fixed. With the hoarders, with the exception of Season 1 Steve (?), no one really wanted to change. Most of them were digging in their heels, not really understanding why people were freaking out when finding decomposing pumpkins or cats in their homoes, and basically making life miserable for the cleaning crew and their families.

    I would gladly watch it if people would actively try and change their mental hard-drive. Most of the episodes I’ve seen so far have left me sad, angry and extremely fruetrated. I don’t watch many hours of TV a week, so I’d rather watch something that makes me smile, not want to throw something at the TV.

  • #163135
    Profile photo of Aunt Cloud
    Aunt Cloud
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    No, I don’t. The attempted “cure” within two days of intense clean-up is no more effective than a two-day camp for an obese person (and, as we’ve seen on “The Biggest Loser”, even a hands-on, boot-camp style program doesn’t always work).

    These people need serious help. I wouldn’t watch a person with schizophrenia, bulimia or any other mental disorder try and be instantly fixed. With the hoarders, with the exception of Season 1 Steve (?), no one really wanted to change. Most of them were digging in their heels, not really understanding why people were freaking out when finding decomposing pumpkins or cats in their homoes, and basically making life miserable for the cleaning crew and their families.

    I would gladly watch it if people would actively try and change their mental hard-drive. Most of the episodes I’ve seen so far have left me sad, angry and extremely fruetrated. I don’t watch many hours of TV a week, so I’d rather watch something that makes me smile, not want to throw something at the TV.

  • #163193
    Profile photo of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I come from a family with a history of depression/anxiety issues. In some it manifested as a need to obsessively get rid of things; others went the opposite way. I am bipolar that way! Sometimes I want to get rid of everything I see, and other times I can’t let go.

    I don’t watch “Hoarders” on anything like a regular basis. To me it is like “What Not to Wear,” I need to be in the mood for it and generally speaking I am only in the mood for it when I feel myself sliding up or down the scale, aware that I need to get in tune with myself and balance my personal weirdness.

    I think the show is doing a service by legitimizing the disorder, and since they make it clear that these people are not being compelled to participate, and that many follow-up services are being offered, I don’t think they are exploiting the subjects at all. If the show helps even ONE person recognize and address a problem before it becomes a crisis, isn’t that a good thing?

    Plus, seeing the worst-case scenario sure does put things into perspective when I’m contemplating the dust bunnies under my couch.

  • #164828
    Profile photo of suzjazz
    suzjazz
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I’m terrified that I will become a hoarder. I have way too much stuff and I am not getting rid of it as fast as I’d like. Watching the show reminds me that at least i still have my sanity, unlike these poor souls. But for how long?

  • #199140
    Profile photo of squidy
    squidy
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I can’t lie. For me it’s mostly just masturbatory.
    It does inspire me to clean and to get rid of stuff. (Because I form weird attachments to objects too..) But after I’m done cleaning, I keep watching. And I fantasize about more cleaning.

    I think this is because, for me, it’s a bit personal. There’s a family of hoarders (about an 8.5 out of 10 as they would be rated on the show..) that I let myself get a little tangled up with for a while, and I’m still not really over everything that happened. But at least I’m not fantasizing about throwing a certain member of that family off a cliff anymore.

    Not that I’m saying I’m animus or apathetic towards all hoarders. I do sympathise with the people on the show more often than not, and it’s pretty heart-warming whenever the cleaning and therapy are successful.

    But I still experience a lot of less-than-savory thoughts and emotions while watching the show, and I get a sort of twisted satisfaction from it.

  • #199142
    Profile photo of Parsifal
    Parsifal
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    One of my relatives was a hoarder – as bad as anything you’ve ever seen on TV, and worse. I want to understand how people turn out that way, and why.

  • #199145

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I watch from time to time, to see how the mental health issues are dealt with. Like others, I can’t watch every episode. If one of the professionals called in is being harsh or demanding, that episode gets turned off.

    I had the privilege of listening to a panel of folks involved in a Hoarder type show. The psychologist, the adult daughter of a woman who was featured, a previous ‘hoarder’, and a professional organizer. It was eye-opening for me, and I came away with a better understanding of what happens in the whole hoarding process.

  • #199146

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29981109/
    The above is a link to a documentary called ‘My Mother’s Garden’. It’s the work of a film maker whose mother is a hoarder. Parts of it are hard to watch, so be forewarned.

    For me, it’s more complete and more intimate. It might be available on Netflix.

  • #199147
    Profile photo of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I only watch the show Hoarders with a friend who likes all those TLC shows. But in general I like all the hoarding media, including Hoarding, Buried Alive and the various movies about hoarders/collectors because I think the “real” hoarders’ thought process/rationalizations give insights into why all of us accumulate so much.

    Also, I read a lot of COH blogs and memoirs, and the more analytical books about hoarders, and i think there is a lot of similarity between hoarding and addiction, in terms of how people parent and the process their kids go through. It’s very affirming without leading me down the rabbit hole of “what exactly was going on with my parents?”, because one of my parents is a confessed/treated/sober addict and the other still maintains he acted just like that before he ever started using, so reading about addicts & alcoholics puts me mentally between them, not in a good position to learn much.

  • #199154
    Profile photo of shebolt
    shebolt
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I watch for several reasons:

    Pure train-wreck entertainment;
    To remind myself that I’m not that bad off;
    To remind myself that, under the right circumstances, I could end up like that;
    To inspire myself to get up and clean something.

  • #199155
    Profile photo of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I can’t bear to watch it. My former best friend and her husband were Level 4 hoarders when I knew them. Repair people refused to enter the apartment. When their landlady finally had enough (I found out after that they’d been making only partial rent payments for a year), they asked to move in with us; when I counteroffered — help finding and securing a new place, moving, and starting the paperwork for disability payments for her husband — I was cut off.

  • #199161
    Profile photo of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    It seems especially tragic when there is a mutually enabling couple at the heart of things. I’ve seen two basic subsets of Hoarders shows (and actually don’t think I’ve watched at all since this discussion started): The older adult whose spouse has either died or left, and whose children are trying to save the hoarder from imminent eviction (or, in one case, jail time); and the couple whose children still live at home but are imminently being taken away by CPS.

    When it’s a single, older person you can at least make the argument that they’re not hurting anyone but themselves. When it’s a couple with adolescents in the house, usually one adult goes into the show claiming the other person is the problem but very shortly it becomes clear that they are both equally complicit.

    And they blame EVERYONE but themselves – they NEVER voluntarily seek help.

    Sorry about your friend lucy1965. You were wise not to bring them into your home.

  • #199169
    Profile photo of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    Not wanting to derail this, but — thank you, chacha. I took a lot of flack from people on another forum who only knew them on-line: they’d never been in their home, never smelled it, never walked on a thin layer of things through waist-high piles to get to the bathroom. As much as I loved my friend — and I did love her — I was married and had a child and they had the right not to have their lives disrupted.

    Okay, done now. Who wants to meet me in another thread and talk about Christmas? *weary grin*

  • #199178
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    lucy, i am sorry about your friend.
    what a thing to deal with, and how unfair of them to expect your home to be their solution.

    i haven’t watched hoarders in a long time, but i was fascinated by it.
    i am fascinated by the other end of the spectrum too: buddhist monks living with only their robes, sandals, and a begging bowl.
    all these degrees of attachment and detachment, perceptions of scarcity and plenty…..very interesting to ponder.

    i did dislike the synthezised pressures and deadlines in the hoarders show.
    i prefer less hand-wringing and more ” this is how we are solving this”.

  • #199184
    Profile photo of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    about the deadlines … as noted I only watched a few shows, but the ones that I saw all had imminent REAL deadlines re: city or county official action, generally to remove the person from the home. Not sure how the show’s production schedule ran but it is possible they calendared their production to coincide with the deadlines – although that seems awfully cynical, even for TV.

    I am by no means an expert on the ways and means of U.S. government agencies but my impression is that it takes a looooooong time to reach a point of action and then there is no stopping it. I would actually not be surprised if some government deadlines have been *extended* to accommodate the production of the show(s). I’m pretty certain that was the case for at least one show I caught, about an older man, living in a true junkyard, whose obsession was stuck at the “value” of the junk, that he wanted to sell to benefit his grandkids.

    but per lucy … what about christmas?! I have discovered I am a Christmas hoarder! Grinch that I am, I barely give anyone gifts, and yet I have a box of gift-wrappy stuff in my coat closet. I do believe I am going to put it out in the hallway with a FREE sticker on it.

  • #199188
    Profile photo of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I don’t watch TV, but I checked out the DVD of the first season of “Hoarders” from the library, and watched it with a mixture of horror and sadness. That was when I first joined this forum a year ago, and I was also reading a lot of decluttering books and catching up in the archives of many blogs. All this for the purpose of seeing where I was on the cluttering/hoarding spectrum (thankfully, not in the danger zone).

    I have the same criticisms of the show that everyone else has cited… the rapid-fire editing, high drama, sensationalism, insensitivity of the facilitators, and the often superficial bandaid clean-up. But altogether it helped me understand a bit better how people become hoarders and get stuck there.

    The other day I came across this insightful blog entry about ADD, clutter, hoarding, and being “chronically disorganized”:

    http://arianebenefit.com/blog/2011/10/19/truth-about-chronic-disorganization-understanding-what-causes-chronic-disorganization-and-how-to-heal-the-trauma-of-lifelong-disorganization-overwhelm-and-frustration/

  • #199192
    Profile photo of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    chacha, I think in a lot of cases, the authorities are really loathe to move in and do anything because it really strains their resources. There are starting to be hoarding task forces in some counties, but a lot of the hoarder shows seem to happen in places where that’s not true (which makes sense – if there was other help, people would go there instead.)

    When they’re looking at condeming a house for squalor, the county or city is looking at a HUGE expense. I would guess in many cases they would work with the TV production crew on scheduling just to avoid having to pay for cleanup themselves. Lots of the houses shown are hazmat sites.

    I do wish there were more legit “turnaround” shows, but I think you have to start with a less-advanced case and then the visuals aren’t as arresting. But it HAS to be manageable, especially in less extreme cases – in a lot of the cases shown, the person DID manage it for years or even decades before the person helping them or keeping them in check died or left.

  • #199260
    Profile photo of Conny
    Conny
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I watched “my mother’s garden” last night and i can feel empathy for all sides.
    My mum was not a hoarder, but she did pass on stuff to me that she had picked up “on the way” and decided it “was just right” for me and when i moved away she would spend enormous amounts of money mailing me “stuff”.
    I see how i could have inherited or learned some of this behaviour and this website, and a few others keep/kept me sane(r), help me re-learn or unlearn, not sure what term would apply best.
    There is a new programme on German TV similar to Hoarders (watched a few episodes on YouTube) and my husband asked me: “why do you watch that?” my immediate response was: “to remind myself not to ever get that way, that bad”.
    Plus it is a reminder also to stop looking at objects and think: “This could be useful for….” the way i used to do, thinking i was being frugal.

  • #222641
    Profile photo of DirtyBoy
    DirtyBoy
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I watch this show and it saddens me to a great extent but it opens my eyes as to what I could be or maybe as to what I am.

  • #222670
    Profile photo of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    DirtyBoy: Hey, it’s great if Hoarders opens your eyes. Rejoice! Clutter blindness is a terrible thing. I reckon all of us on this forum have watched Hoarders with horror, then turned with new resolve to put our own lives in order.

    Some of us have real-life hoarders to deal with (relatives, roommates). In 2009, I had a 6-month sublet with a hoarding housemate, and it opened my eyes big time! I’ve been on a decluttering journey ever since. I thank the day I found this forum for support and inspiration.

  • #222681
    Profile photo of Sky
    Sky
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I watch Hoarders sometimes. It is both interesting and very sad. It always makes me want to clean and declutter!

  • #222684
    Profile photo of dianejerry
    dianejerry
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    like others mentioned it motivates me to clean. on the other hand i can’t watch it if it involves any animals. i get very upset if they’re not cared for properly.

  • #222685
    Profile photo of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I watch it devotedly. It makes me feel good that I’m clean and organized; it makes me feel bad because I look at all the books and pictures and textile projects and say to myself, “I’m a hoarder too. Just clean, that’s all.”

  • #222688
    Profile photo of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    Zora, it’s not the total amount, it’s the trend line. If the total amount is going down over time, you’re doing good. Whether you’re a hoarder or not.

    I really think we’re headed for the day people can recognize hoarding tendencies and find ways to stop or reverse them (even if it’s just learning strategies for getting rid of or not acquiring things), just like we all know the warning flags of alcoholism and say to ourselves or friends “so if this isn’t a problem, why not stop for a few months, just to show you can?”

    It doesn’t mean we don’t have alcoholics, but there are certainly fewer active ones and more resources for their families (especially the kids) than there were back in the days nobody talked about it.

  • #222691

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    I watch hoarders and immediately start cleaning/throwing things out. DH watches it and thinks, “I’m not nearly THAT far gone . . . whew!” And fills up another whatever.

  • #222700
    Profile photo of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    Why do you watch Hoarders?

    The amount is going down, but it’s now going down slowly. I trashed or gave away all the easy stuff. All the stuff that’s left needs to be processed. The field notes should be typed. The old snapshots should be scanned before I trash or give away the originals. The books should be scanned and OCRed and corrected before being given away (most of them are out-of-print science fiction novels, a great resource). The textile projects should be finished and used or given away.

    Here I am, making hemstitched linen hankies as a Christmas present for my two roomates (gay couple). Six to do. I cut out the hankies years ago and pulled threads for the hemstitching; I was going to make them for myself. I’m finishing them up at last, yay me. Except each hankie takes about six hours.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.