It is something mental. There are different types of hoarders - those who save old garbage and other filthy things.
Most save clothes, food and newspapers/magazines.
I have a friend who is a hoarder and would be elgible for the show - she's that bad. She does flush her toilets but she is a compulsive thrift store shopper. She buys thousands of paperbacks which are science fiction with no interest in reading them, she likes the pictures on the covers.
She reads romance and I don't know how many thousands.
She has a full basement and started putting things in her basement but it got pretty much filled up all around the stairs. Then she started opening the kitchen door to the basement and just pitching things down the stairs when she came home with new items. She would sometimes spends thousands on ebay in a month and just opened it and then pitched it down the stairs.
When her hot water went out she could have it fixed. It would take several men nearly a week to move all the junk so they could get to the hot water heater. So... she went to the "Y" every day to shower.
Then her heat went out and no one could get to the basement to undo it.
Her entire house had stacks of stuff over her head. She had tiny walkways. One of her extra bedrooms had stacks and they fell over so she couldn't open the door again becuase the junk blocked the door.
Her floor rotted through in one place but no one could get to it to fix it.
Her refrigerator broke and no one could get the old one out or a new one in so she then had no refrigerator.
When the kitchen got so full she couldn't get in there she bought a microwave and electric skillet to put on her bedroom dresser so she could still cook and one of the neighbors let her put food in their refrigerator.
Then when her house was full and she couldn't open her basement door anymore becaues of all the junk she went to the back of the daylight basement and unlocked the windows. THen when she bought new stuff she would just go outside, open the basement window and pitch it in.
This was all valuable stuff to her. She couldn't bare to get rid of any of it. Some of it actually was very valuable. Dolls she paid nearly $1,000 for buried under stuff. Probably every ornament Hallmark ever made - in fact 4 or 5 of each one but she has no idea how to find any of them and none have been out of the new boxes.
It was nothing for her to spend $2,000 or $3,000 at a doll show and bring the new dolls home in boxes. No idea where they are.
Finally the county told her that her house was condemned. When you get that much stuff, you have rats and roaches and other insects, there is no way to control them.
THey gave her two years to empty her house before it was torn down and she had to pay to have it torn down.
Her brother owned a place to store stuff - she filled her car every day for 2 years and didn't even make a dent. When they bulldozed it, so much of her expensive stuff - so many pricey dolls and family heirloom jewelry - it was never seen again. Its all in a dump somewhere.
She has a new house and its looking the same way.
She always had to buy shoes - almost every week a pair or two of cheap shoes becuase she lost them or one of them. She could never find a pair of shoes that matched. In fact she constantly bought clothes becuase she couldn't find hers.
I don't know how many cell phones she bought because she lost hers in her house and the batteries died so they won't ring.
When I talked to her last she was talking about getting psychological help. I hope she does.
She's physically very neat and tidy. She just can't part with a newspaper or magazine and has a compulsion to spend every dime.
She spent $8,000 on ebay one month - really got into her savings. On craft supplies for a craft she didn't do. Just looked interesting. All of that went down with her house.
It is very sad to see someone like this. I've heard it often happens when there is something life changing. SHe had been with a company 25 years in an excellent job when they went out of business. She was in upper management and at her age then, she was not able to get another job. The depression got her collecting everything. There was security for her in her stuff.
Oh and her car - I don't know how she fit in it. She parked in the furtest point from the entrance doors so people wouldn't walk by and see in her car - she was really embarrased.
Even to this day - every day without fail she goes to Goodwill, Animal thrift and every other thrift store in town and comes out with a basket full of stuff she will never use, just to put in stacks in her house.
Her disposable income is around $5,000 a month I think with retirements from 2 companies and social security. She does not have one bill for anything except phone and electricity and insurance for her car.
She spends the entire $5,000 on a little bit of food and the rest on junk to go into stacks throughout her house.
Edited by Henri Jean on 05-02-12 02:36 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
I agree that they are mentally ill,,,,,frankly, they need help. However, I also find it disgusting. As someone mentioned, however, all hoarders are not the same. Some are very "neat" and clean,,,,the compulsion doesn't always include filth. The filthy ones worry me more, though,,,whether it's a mental illness or not, it's dangerous and unhealthy.
Animal hoarders are scary too - Some people just have to keep every cat they can find and sometimes you see on the news where someone has hundreds of cats in their house. I heard of one with over 400 cats inside!
I love cats. My son has two cats I adore and someday I hope to have one when we aren't travelling anymore. But I do not want 150 of them.
I CANNOT UNDERSTAND ANYBODY HAVING THAT MANY CATS!!!!!!!!!!!HOW DO THEY FEED THAT MANY?FURTHERMORE, HOW DO THEY GET ANY REST OR PEACE...I WANT 1 CAT & GIVE ALL MY LOVE & ATTENTION TO JUST IT. I CAN IMAGINE HOW HER HOUSE SMELLS~~~~~~~YUCK!!!!!!!! I HAVEN'T SEEN THE SHOW IN A WHILE. ARE THEY STILL ON? I AM SURPRIZED TO SEE HOW CLEAN THEY LOOK IN THE CONDITIONS THEY ARE LIVING UNDER.
This is a mental illness or something wrong. Either they grew up with hoarders or something happpened to them to cause them extreme insecurity and they start hoarding, finding security in stuff around them.
They are not dirty people. My firend showers and washes her hair every day. Her clothes are always clean. In fact they are almost alwyas new becuase hse can't find most of her clothes so she has to keep buying them.
She would help me cook sometimes and washed her hands before she handled dishes or food, her hygenic habits are fine, most hoarders are that way.
She just has tons and tons of stuff that make it impossible for her house to be clean - you can't have 10 years worth of newspapers and magazines piled up and not have some issues with insects or rodents. But in her mind she may need to refer to an article in one of those papers from 7 or 8 years back. She can't grasp the concept that she could never find the article.
She literally has thousands of kintting and crocheting books. To find a crochet pattern she saw a few months back would be impossible.
Like Linda said, they really believe they are helping when they have all the animals. My friend has no pets, had a cat at one time, but not now. She does want a cat, but just one.
IT'S FUNNY HOW YOU CAN BE SO HAPPY ONE MIMUTE,THEN THE NEXT BE IN TEARS!!!!!!!!!!!I WANT YOU TO KNOW FIRST OF ALL, MY HOUSE IS NOT THAT CLUTTERED. I WAS JUST SAYING THAT. BUT FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS, THINGS HAVE BEEN KINDA BAD FOR MY DH AND I. FIRST HE FELL AND BROKE HIS LEG IN TWO PLACES. HE HAS HAD 3 SURGERIES, BUT NEITHER ONE WORKED!! I WAITED ON HIM HAND AND FOOT FOR A LONG TIME. BUT I AM NOT COMPLAINING AT ALL.THEN IF THAT'S NOT ENOUGH, I FELL 3 WKS AGO AND BROKE MY ARM, KNOCKED OUT 2 FRONT TEETH,AND CUT MY CHIN AND HAD TO HAVE TWO STITCHES. NOW THE CLUTTER I AM REFERING IS SURGICAL STUFF. 2 WHEELCHAIRS,LIFT CHAIR, AND I WON'T GO INTO ANY MORE. I HAVE SURVIVED MOSTLY BY SB.COM. MOST OF THE THE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SUPER NICE. SORRY THAT I BOUGHT UP THIS THREAD, I MUST SAY. THAT'S THE REASON I HAVE BEEN USING BIG LETTERS. IT'S MUCH EASIER WITH ONE HAND. WELL, I HAVE TO GO HAVE AN X-RAY ON MY ARM.