Sometimes when the cleaning crew is moving the clutter out, they'll find dried-up cat corpses.
It's that bad.
Cliff won't watch it; he says it's like watching somebody pick pimples.
On the show, a whole crew is brought in to help these people get rid of their junk. At least half the hoarders eventually reject this help because they can't force themselves to give up anything.
And while I allow myself to feel superior (at least I'm not anywhere near THAT bad, I tell myself), I can relate to these people in many ways.
Take the baby crib, for example, the one I used for both my babies, and that was Cliff's youngest sister's baby bed before that. I finally summoned up my courage and had Cliff dismantle it and throw all of it away except the head, which I have on the wall here in my computer room. I suppose that's progress. But why do I feel the need to keep any part of it?
Over at the old house, I used one upstairs bedroom for storing keepsakes and such. It was piled with boxes and containers full of every kind of memorabilia one can collect; I called it "the junk room".
It looked very much like rooms you would see on "The Hoarders" (no dead cats, though). Honestly, the junk was starting to seep out of that room and take over the upstairs; it's a good thing we moved when we did!
I was forced to deal with all that stuff when we moved to the trailer house, but there's still a lot of it in plastic bins and boxes, stacked in a corner of the garage.
So every time I watch "The Hoarders" and see someone holding an item from her past and weeping, I can identify. I have five or six items tucked away in drawers that my children wore as newborns, and a tiny pair of overalls worn by my oldest grandson when I was babysitting him as an infant.
By the way, I do know one person in the flesh who has a full-blown problem similar to those exhibited by folks on the show. Such people do exist. This TV show has helped me understand what makes her tick.
I couldn't help but notice, when watching "The Hoarders", that often the camera will get a shot of the hoarder sitting at a computer, pecking on a keyboard, oblivious to the mountains of rubbish heaped around her... or him; sometimes it's a guy with the problem.
And here I sit, pecking away on the keyboard, knowing there's a pile of CD's in their jewel cases in the guest bedroom that I need to do something with: they've been piled in there on the bed for days now.
What do you folks do with your CD's? I have put most of my music on the computer and then added it to my Ipod, so the actual CD's are seldom used. But I don't want to throw them away: What if I lose my Ipod, and what if my computer crashes? Do I buy yet another plastic storage bin and toss them all in there and pile them in the garage?
See, I told you! Somewhere underneath my skin dwells a problem hoarder who would love to take over my life.