‘Hoarders’ Makes Me Want to Throw More Stuff Out

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Christina and Janet are two middle aged women with the same terrible problem. They were profiled on a chilling television program on A&E called ‘Hoarders,’ which showed their jam-packed houses where piles upon piles of clothing, boxes and thousands of other things lie in disgusting piles. There are narrow trails that the women and their children navigate to get to the bathroom, and both of the women’s bedrooms are their epicenters of clutter. The kitchen? Worse than you can imagine, with every dish balanced, Dr Suess style, on top of the sink and counters.

It’s a disease….not just a personality trait. The aerial views of the piles and the semi-soft focus makes it all look even worse. The subjects are shown in tight facial shots, explaining the circumstances that caused them to value those boxes of plastic children’s toys and six-year-old newspaper clippings. Each has her own reasons for this spiral into living in a cluttered hovel.

But the time comes after the therapists arrive and men in blue shirts come with big trucks, prepared to rid these poor families of their clutter. But each trash bag must be gone through, each discarded child’s shirt or sheet of paper must be approved. It gets tough, the most hard core hoarder retreats to her bedroom, the bed closed in by a mountain of clothes. Still, the second woman soldiers on, letting it all just….go.

We are treated to a refreshing sweep of the now decluttered house, it’s like the euphoria of showing a new house to a new tenant. Janet weeps as she sees her living room in a state that won’t embarrass her daughters. Christina never quites gets into the groove, and settles back into a depressing and cluttered state.