Hoarders, Hoarding: Buried Alive, and True Confessions: Animal Hoarders are pretty much the only things I watch these days. First, it makes me feel like an AMAZING housekeeper. You can see my floor? BOO-ya! I rock! Second, it motivates me to be a BETTER housekeeper, particularly while I'm watching the show. About halfway through an episode I just have to start sorting something, folding laundry, putting away dishes, etc. When I make a little headway I can relax again and watch some more show until it motivates me to get up again and do another chore. It's so great! A show that makes me want to clean my house. It's like watching some excersize program where you accidentally burn a few calories because you're so intrigued by the moves they're doing. And third, maybe my most favorite part, are the PEOPLE are Hoarders. They are INSAAAAAANE!!! I always gives me something interesting to talk about with Joe over breakfast.
The shows mention the 5 levels of hoarding, which I found a little synopsis of:
A level 1 household is “normal,” with some clutter, and is clean and livable, but perhaps with the occasional pet odors. Even some pest evidence — a few mouse droppings or an ants invasion — might be found in a Level 1 house.
A level 2 household might have more problems with pet and pest damage, may have some doorways blocked by clutter and may also have one important appliance, like a washer, dryer or refrigerator that hasn’t worked in some time.
Levels 3, 4 and 5 continue in this mode but with floor to ceiling clutter and things like structural damage in the home, such as leaks or broken windows, bathrooms that are unusable, rotting food and major pest infestations.
A person with a level 5 hoarding problem can sometimes not live in his own home because there is nowhere to sleep and the bathroom and kitchen are unusable.
According to that scale I suppose Joe's right - I definitely struggle with keeping my house free of clutter!
Okay, this is NOT my living room. But that's why watching Hoarders is so awesome, it motivates me to declutter. Then, according to Wikipedia (the source of truth and knowledge), I really DO have some hoarding tendancies (noted in italics, not in underlines - thank goodness!). They describe hoarding as a tendancy to hold onto a large number of items that most people would consider not useful or valuable. For example:
- Junk mail
- Old catalogues (I can't bring myself to throw out "This Old House") and newspapers
- Things that might be useful for making crafts (that's not hoarding, that's good common sense!)
- Clothes that "might" be worn one day
- Broken things/trash (this is Joe, he has quite a few broken items he won't let me throw away! Don't let him fool you! He's not innocent)
- "Freebies" picked up (did you read all about my new dishes shelf?)
- Beds that cannot be slept in
- Kitchens that cannot be used for food preparation, refrigerators filled to the brim with rotting food, stovetops with combustibles such as junk mail as well as old food piled on top of burners.
- Tables that cannot be used for dining (we have to clear off the table to eat before every single meal. We DO clean it, but still!)
- Chairs or sofas that cannot be used
- Filthy unsanitary bathrooms; piles of human feces collected in areas of the home, sometimes there are animal feces over the floors of the home, giant bags of dirty diapers hoarded for many years.
- Some hoard scores of animals they cannot even marginally care for; often dead pets cannibalized by other pets are found under the heaps
- Does not allow visitors such as family and friends, or repair and maintenance professionals because the clutter embarrasses them.
- Keep the shades drawn so no one can see inside
- Get into a lot of arguments with family members about the clutter
- Are at risk of fire, falling, infestation or eviction
- Feel depressed or anxious much of the time because of the clutter
Sorry so long, I just find hoarding extremely interesting and decided you should, too :)