Many of us are guilty of judging people by appearances but there is another side to that coin; from the outside, some people may look very well put together, but in reality their lives are in absolute turmoil, be it debt, alcohol, drug addiction and, quite possibly, hoarding. Some of the finest professors, attorneys, CEOs and executives may have great minds, but they too have their weaknesses. Did you know that 2%-5% of the USA population suffers from hoarding? Many are very high caliber people with good jobs, great minds and awesome resumes, but their home lives are in turmoil because of hoarding.
It was just the other day we interviewed a globetrotter who lived in Paris with a Professor of Economics. The Professor could probably rattle off precise facts about world economics , but his biggest problem was not having a clean and tidy home. From ceiling to floor, he did not have any empty space be it on tables, chairs or even the floor. If even one thing was removed, as soon as he would get home, he would replace it with something else. He couldn’t bare to have any empty space and would fill it with books, magazines, cups, shoes, or whatever. It was never ending. There were no clear pathways from room to room; the space would be filled with all types of things, including trash e.g. bottles and cups of moldy coffee.
A friend of a friend went to visit this Professor just a few months ago and it had gotten so bad that the house was infested with rats, mice and fleas. The Professor was not able to clear up, clean up or get out. His live-away spouse paid him a visit one day and decided enough was enough. He was getting ill and had bites on his arms, legs, neck and back. This albeit smart Professor- had failed to pull himself out of this terrible situation. The house needed to be cleaned up, cleared and fumigated. The neighbors were also starting to notice the increased number of pests in their homes and a stench on their previously sweet smelling little cul-de-sac. It was deteriorating so badly that someone had to do something.
Getting into a hoarder’s home is tough because they tend to be very private and ashamed of their lifestyle. They want help, but they don’t know how to ask for it, let alone accept it. The best way is to give them the comfort that you are there as a friend, a very concerned friend, who wants them to live in better conditions. The Professor’s spouse decided to put aside their differences and help him; she got him into an assisted living facility so he could get counseling and treatment for the skin condition he had developed from all of the bites. She decided to get a cleaning crew in to help, but if this home had been in California, the best solution would have been to contact HoarderHomes.com because we would buy the home as is. The hoarder gets cash and everyone moves on with their lives.
There are plenty of stories similar to the Professor’s but not all have a good ending. At times, the hoarder is left to their own devices, living a life that may result in death caused by any one of the hazards in their homes. Look around you and don’t judge a book by its cover; people may look fine, but may be going through hell at home. Don’t forget, every hoarder hoards different things, some even stray animals. Imagine living with hundreds of animals under your roof with toilet manners simply non-existent. Reach out and help a hoarder today.