Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Extreme Hoarding

I have always been fascinated (nosy) about other people's stuff. I can remember at a young age going to a friend's house only because I loved to look at the way the house was decorated. I am drawn by people's things and my family is very aware of my desire to snoop in drawers. Although I am able to restrain myself, when I was little I could not. I would spend hours looking in the drawers of both my grandmother's house. I was intrigued by what people kept, how they stored things, and how each person organized.

To this day, I am always quick to help a friend clean and organize. This feeds my secret desire and helps my friends and family. I don't judge anybody or their things, I am just a nosy person. I love to walk the dog all over the neighborhood just to look at homes and how the yard is maintained. Queer isn't it?

My one grandmother has become a hoarder as she aged. She is really my step-grandmother, so technically I don't have to worry about any genetic pre-disposition. It was amazing to see the things she would save and store. Before she moved in with my uncle, I would go over to check on her and help clean her house. My dad and I would secretly try to remove things as it became evident she would be needing round the clock care and the house would need sold. Our fear was that if we let her continue to acquire things without removing some of the things already in the house, we would end up with an unbelievable mess. So much was removed but when the time came to sell the house, there was still so much that she wanted to keep. Much of it was taken to storage but most of it was either donated or thrown away.

So when I stumbled upon RML site and read her post on the film "Seven Dumpsters and a Corpse" I just had to see this film. It only costs $1.42 US through Paypal to watch it and I couldn't pry myself away. It is a really engaging story of two brothers who were unaware of the hoarding problem of their mother. Neither had been inside her apartment in years and it wasn't until she died did they find out. Unfortunately, she died in the home and was not found for some time so the beginning may be too much for those with weak stomachs. It reminded me of a story of the Collyer Brothers of Manhattan from the late 1940's. They too were extreme hoarders. So much so that the one brother was killed when he was crawling through one of the elaborate mazes on his way to his bedridden brother and he set off one of his booby traps. He was smothered by the debris and his bedridden brother died sometime after ward from starvation.

For me it would be like heaven sifting through all the stuff. I am surprised that I am not a hoarder. It's funny but when my house gets messy it's unnerving to me. Things out of place make it hard for me to concentrate as my eyes move from item to item. Why it bothers me at home but not at other people's homes is beyond me.

On another note, I can't wait to watch Oprah tomorrow -well dvr it to watch. All about saving money in the kitchen with recipes and a must have grocery list. Mmmm. Hopefully some really good stuff!

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