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Question about TV show 'Hoarders'

Started 1283812226.77 in Viewpoints | Last reply 1283948857.19 by trixie

There are episodes of Hoarders on all day and as I flip by, I watch for a minute. But after a very short time, I find I just cannot continue to watch as there is such filth or family problems or strange compulsions by the hoarders. It is really painful to watch for more than a minute and not enjoyable or entertaining to me. I feel so sorry for everyone concerned.

But I did wonder something for those of you who might have watched for a longer period than I did - how do these people get the money to keep buying all the stuff they have? I don't mean to be nasty here, but most of the actual hoarders seem to be pretty unstable and I wonder if they are able to hold jobs that pay a decent salary. Are they normal outside of the hoarding problem and do have responsible positions in the work world? I remember that one lady was married and it seemed that her husband allowed her to spend money for all the stuff as he said it made her happy although it was about to wreck their marriage (?) so she did have her husband as a source of income.

What about others? How do they afford all the stuff they purchase?

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Zoologist1283813273.7236046 PostsRegistered 9/3/2010

ITA with you.

I just came down here because I had watched about 5-7 min. this time of Hoarders, and the woman (Jill) said she was a scientist or something, so she 'uses her brain' rather than just arbitrarily toss food according to the "Use By" dates.

Very, very unstable people. Sad that they choose to live this way, and sadder still that the families can't just come in and whoosh! toss out EVERYTHING rotten/trash.

Now, I personally am a Cancer, which by nature means I'm all about collecting, scrapbooking (actually just piles of yellowing newspaper and totes of photos, not fancy schmancy scrapbook kits, etc.), memory keeper.

BUT maybe it's because I'm claustrophobic, or something, but I can't live like those on TV.

free2be1283813303.6211746 PostsRegistered 6/7/2006

Some of them dumpster dive, some are magnets for people wanting to get rid of their own junk, probably most shop at thrift stores and garage sales.

They may chose to live frugally in other areas of their life so they can spend all possible extra income on acquiring stuff. Some of them even get food from dumpsters.

I think the TV shoppers have some income, like an inheritance or a spouse to pay for it.

Last edited on 9/6/2010

Last edited on 9/6/2010

"Beware the irrational, however seductive." ~ Christopher Hitchens

MyGirlsMom1283813410.9633422 PostsRegistered 12/5/2008

From the information that I have gathered, most Hoarders are employed and or Professional.

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong, because someday in your life you will have been all of these."

minkbunny1283813464.8528259 PostsRegistered 7/15/2007

I can't even watch the show so can't comment on the content but I am reading a book called The Wedding Ring (based on the quilt pattern as the matriarch is a quilter)

Three generations get together to help the grandmother clear up the excess clutter in her home as she has become a hoarder - they learn a lot about each other in the process. Smile

My heroes have always been cowboys, and they still are it seems.

“Once in a while right in the middle of an ordinary life,
love gives us a fairy tale”

cmhpss1283813542.3637444 PostsRegistered 12/19/2008

There are episodes all day long today because the new season is starting tonight.

My MIL is a hoarder, so I can tell you where she got the money. She used credit cards and savings with no thought for what would happen when bills came due. She also would take anything offered that someone was giving away, even if it was junk. She took stuff she already had and just seemed to make a huge mess by dragging stuff out of cabinets with the plan of "organizing". Many of the hoarders on the show seem to be just like this. I have also seen shows where the hoarders keep trash, so that amounts to what is in the house.

I think several of the hoarders are on disability, so that is where they get some money. Also some seem to get stuff from trash piles that people have left at the curb. They can't believe that people would throw perfectly good stuff away.

While I realize that these people have a mental problem. It is beyond frustrating dealing with someone like this in your family. Many of the people on the show seem to want help. My MIL thinks she has no problem and has yelled at and alienated relatives with her abuse when people try to help her.


4paws1283813748.68322685 PostsRegistered 7/29/2006

Sick people.

free2be1283814083.19711746 PostsRegistered 6/7/2006
On 9/6/2010 MyGirlsMom said:

From the information that I have gathered, most Hoarders are employed and or Professional.

That too. I remember one show about a woman who went to work every day, neat as a pin, clean, make-up on -- and lived in a flithy mess with a pathway.

"Beware the irrational, however seductive." ~ Christopher Hitchens

SFGiantsgi­rl1283814576.91170 PostsRegistered 7/12/2010

I can't imagine being a hoarder I like to toss everything that is old and useless.

CAshopper2­0111283815831.9933745 PostsRegistered 12/20/2009
I watched this last nigt and the woman said she spent her entire $200k of retirement on junk. I think people bargain shop too - they can't resisit a good deal. My sisterin law is not a hoarder but she can't throw things away that could be useful. She also doesn't like giving to goodwill unless she's asked everyone she knows if they could use an item... So obviously her house is cluttered. I think a lot of them spend about the same as the rest of us, but on low-quality "bargains" and then never getting rid of anything. If I think about the quantity of stuff that over the past 5 years I've given away, given to goodwill, or not bought even though it was on sale, then imagine it in my garage... I think I could fill a garage! Not an entire house but certainly a 800-1000 square foot space!

BuckeyeMom21283817405.39558 PostsRegistered 2/2/2010The Mitten State

You do not have to have a lot of money to be a hoarder. The stuff you see has usually been accumulating for YEARS. These people's economic status has nothing to do with it. Those that can't afford to shop get around that by being given things, going to garage sales, thrift shops, etc. My Grandma was a "hoarder" before there was really a word for it. Though there was not the filth, there certainly was clutter and mass chaos....entering our home just drained you right away. Thankfully I am quite the opposite, I HATE clutter!! It causes me anxiety if there is too much clutter going on.... just imagine if you did not purge anything out of your home for one year...yet kept bringing things in.....can you imagine how quickly your home would fill up? Now imagine that over a span of YEARS....eeeeeek!

The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any. ~ Fred Astaire

DrPhil1283817478.8132175 PostsRegistered 12/2/2008

I will be featured on tonight's episode.

"I'm not bipolar but biwinning." - Charlie Sheen

------1283817712.8818558 PostsRegistered 2/13/2008

I don't remember if the season preview was for Hoarders or the other show Buried Alive but there is one shot of what looks like thousands of bugs living underneath a piece of cardboard or wood. Then a shot of an opossum jumping across piles of blackened garbage stacked up in what looked like the kitchen. I almost lost my dinner.

I cannot watch these shows anymore.

you mad bro?

drizzellla1283818128.5971686 PostsRegistered 7/16/2007

I also think many of the people on Hoarders are on some disability. One guy was an actor and he was living in the LA area. Living in LA area isn't cheap. And he had not worked in over 3 years.

One other lady, Betty from Marysville Ohio, they talked about all the people from different social agencies and judges and police that had worked on her case. Trying to have her house cleaned up so her husband could live in the house again. They were talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars that this one case cost. Makes me wonder if she was on public assistance.

I only remember one guy having a job - a school bus driver. One other lady worked but her husband was the hoarder. And she lost her job - so their case was compounded by her losing the job and the house partially cleaned.

It didn't seem like the people who were having to have their houses cleaned were paying for the cleaning crews, therapists and after care. I feel so sorry for these people but at the same time can't understand why they would want to hold onto spoiled food, empty containers and other items.

The bad news is Time Flies
The good news is You are the pilot.

jldqvc4me1283818848.79391 PostsRegistered 3/31/2010Northeastern Pennsylvania

I recall watching one show where the hoarder had piles of QVC boxes everywhere....{#emotions_dlg.glare}

SparkleQue­en1283819442.9548 PostsRegistered 11/14/2008Wisconsin

I just had to chime in here. I've been watching the marathon on an off for a few hours. It's like I can't look away! I'm repulsed and fascinated at the same time. I cannot imagine someone living like that and yet, I wonder about the psychological workings that allow them to do so.

One of the episodes featured someone in my town and that was a shock. You just don't know what's going on behind people's doors. It also really makes me scared of the next potluck at work! Who knows what kind of environment these dishes are being cooked in. {#emotions_dlg.scared}

The one good thing about this, it makes me go through my house and get rid of even more stuff! {#emotions_dlg.thumbup1}

rolen1283819666.233314 PostsRegistered 10/24/2004

Thanks for all the responses about how these people amassed all their stuff. I guess I did not watch or pay attention enough to see that lots of their things were real junk that they could have gotten at garage sales or at the curb on trash day or from dumpster diving.

I guess I was asking as the one episode I watched the most had a lady who did her shopping at Target. I think she might have been the one who was married and her husband seemed at a loss as to what to do with her. I believe he was the one who said it was wrecking their marriage. She filled her cart with things and said she was very fond of 'gift sets' items. She emptied a shelf that had (I think) gift sets, travel sets and travel games. I have no idea (nor do I necessarily think she did either) know what was even in the gift and travel sets. She just sort of scooped all the shelves of items into her card. Then when she got home, they showed a room that was filled to the brim with bags from Target. Her husband said most of the bags were never even opened after she got home. There were piles of filled Target bags and other items with the price tags still on.

So in her case, there had to be a source of income for her to have the money or credit to buy more stuff. But I now understand that lots of other hoarders do not get their things from regular stores.

cat231283822976.587388 PostsRegistered 7/22/2005
On 9/6/2010 minkbunny said:

I can't even watch the show so can't comment on the content but I am reading a book called The Wedding Ring (based on the quilt pattern as the matriarch is a quilter)

Three generations get together to help the grandmother clear up the excess clutter in her home as she has become a hoarder - they learn a lot about each other in the process. Smile

I know, off topic. But I loved this book and the rest of the series. Hope you enjoy it!

sylviahome­atlast1283823202.8811037 PostsRegistered 6/9/2008CO

sometimes it makes me mad that those people can't just grab a trash bag and start filling it up--I acknowledge that they have some kind of disease but they can't even move around their houses--that guy with all the newspapers--finally he did it by himself--one of these days the fire department is going to comdemn the houses--

"Let the wild rumpus begin!"
~~Where the Wild Things Are~~

sylviahome­atlast1283823299.5511037 PostsRegistered 6/9/2008CO

there were even mice running around in one house--

"Let the wild rumpus begin!"
~~Where the Wild Things Are~~

sylviahome­atlast1283823408.6711037 PostsRegistered 6/9/2008CO

...and if you are thinking I'm not so nice and tolerant about this, I guess you're right--it's gross to me

"Let the wild rumpus begin!"
~~Where the Wild Things Are~~

Cardamom1283823481.997096 PostsRegistered 6/24/2006

I love watching this show. It makes me feel like a steller house keeper!!! Wink

It really does make me want to clean.

I have seen many episodes where hoarders takes stuff off the curbside or go to the Good Will. It is fascinating. The ones that are hard for me to watch are the people who can't get rid of trash. {#emotions_dlg.scared}. Stinky stuff they should be putting in a garbage can outside.

Thankfully I do not know any hoarders, that I know of but I am pretty sure I parked next to one at the Dollar Store one day. I don't know how this person could drive. The car was loaded with junk (fast food wrappings, coke cans, clothes etc.) all the way up to the ceiling of the car. Even the drivers side seat had stuff in it. I could never drive like that!

God bless the hoarders. They clearly have some sort of mental handicap or psychosis.

The most horrific show is the new Pet Hoarders! {#emotions_dlg.scared}{#emotions_dlg.ohmy}{#emotions_dlg.sad}{#emotions_dlg.mad}

midnight1283823841.2933421 PostsRegistered 9/3/2006

Last night I watched it for a while, and they said the woman went through all her retirement if I remember correctly.

Idacat1283824225.9774707 PostsRegistered 7/26/2005Idaho !!!!
On 9/6/2010 sylviahomeatlast said:

...and if you are thinking I'm not so nice and tolerant about this, I guess you're right--it's gross to me

You don't have to be "nice and tolerant" but you SHOULD realize that hoarding, including animal hoarding is a manifestation of a mental illness, a form of OCD, the same mental illness where others wash their hands until they bleed and endlessly straighten the fringe on the rug.

What they do cannot be seen through the eyes of a sane person and understood; the disease has to first be acknowledged.

I've known a hoarder, the mother of a friend. She lived in a nice, although small, house and worked a regular job in a normal office. If you met her on the street you'd think she was just another grandma. Divorced with her children gone I think she just had nothing to fill her life with except "stuff", and these people find "stuff" comforting. In her case she did not drive so did not own or maintain a car and ran up tremendous credit card balances on her modest income.

Her house,,,,packed to the rafters with QVC boxes, many unopened, most dolls from the years when collectible dolls were a big deal around here.

Personally, I don't watch these shows, mental illness is not entertaining.

abbycat1283824316.5974618 PostsRegistered 5/19/2007Maryland

I don't know how they get the money to get all this stuff, but I know one thing .... I think I'm addicted to Hoarders and Intervention! I love watching those shows. ((hope that doesn't say anything "weird" about me)) {#emotions_dlg.confused1}



abbycat1283824317.754618 PostsRegistered 5/19/2007Maryland

I don't know how they get the money to get all this stuff, but I know one thing .... I think I'm addicted to Hoarders and Intervention! I love watching those shows. ((hope that doesn't say anything "weird" about me)) {#emotions_dlg.confused1}



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