I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

If anything can motivate me to clean the house...

... it would be watching the show Hoarders. It is on A&E, which is turning into the reality channel that showcases all of the nightmare scenarios. You can either watch Intervention (about drug or alcohol addiction) or Paranormal State (about ghost/demon hunting) or this new show about hoarding.

Hoarding: a bona fide mental disorder in which a person cannot, or isn't willing, to throw away any item - regardless of worth or condition. This isn't just like having cluttered closets or a few outdated items in the fridge. This is dead cats buried under garbage in your living room and buying a second home to house all of your crap. And crap it is - empty shampoo bottles, rotting pumpkins, newspapers from 1988, every razor you've ever owned.

This show is crazy! Well, the people are certainly crazy. And I say that in a nice way - but most of them did know that there was a mental problem. When you've lost custody of your children because you can't throw anything away and your house is infested with mice, you know you're not exactly right.

I was expecting to feel some sort of sympathy for these people - but for most of them, this is a symptom of an uncompromising or nasty personality. One man's wife fell down the stairs (tripping over piles of magazines) and broke her arm. You would think he might clean up after that? No. He was unwilling to get rid, or move, anything. An old lady was blaming her daughter for her unlivable conditions - a daughter that hadn't lived with her in decades! I am NOT a fan of mothers who blame their children for how miserable their lives have turned out.

But how does the hoarding get so out of control? Like the show Clean Sweep, most messes are contained to certain areas, like an unused room. It takes a catalyst to finally tackle those moving boxes that haven't been touched in 5 years. We don't clean out the junk drawer in the kitchen until it can't be closed anymore. I have old report cards and college textbooks in boxes. Is that minor hoarding or just a part of having a busy life?

After seeing all of the junk, mold and mouse feces on tv- I went on an OCD cleaning spree yesterday. I wiped down the refrigerator shelves and scrubbed the bath toys with bleach and a toothbrush. Several broken toys were thrown in the garbage. My next mission is the kitchen junk drawer and my craft supplies (those borderline on crazy, I admit).

My advice to anyone whose ever lacked the motivation to clean up? Watch Hoarders. You'll be knee-deep in Lysol before you know it.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. that show horrifies me!!! i have issues with simple clutter, from my grandmother who collected 500 different things and her house always felt so crowded. i just can't imagine the filth those people live in!

  3. i'm definately right there with you. i didn't even get to see the actual show, just the commercial, and I've been going through everything. (Probably a bit of nesting as well in me), but I totally agree with you!