Interesting and Chilling Facts about Hoarding!


It’s incredible how reality TV has exploded over the past decade. Reality shows produce the largest amounts of viewers and some of the highest paid celebrities in Hollywood. These shows bring millions of dollars to the networks where played.


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Although I am a fan of a few reality shows, there’s one show that flat out grosses me out and is so depressing – Hoarders! Hoarding gives me anxiety. I find myself stressing out during these shows, having similar feelings to those I get when watching a horror film. This anxiety has caused me to become severely paranoid.


My wife tends to hang on to everything! She has notes, homework assignments, letters, clothes and other items from her past that are accumulating dust and serve no purpose whatsoever. Sentimental value she says? I think not. She was forced to go through her old belongings when her parents recently moved from their home of over 20 years. Although she did make good progress in ridding herself of a lot of junk, my paranoid self was the biggest help of all – carelessly chucking anything I could get my hands on into the garbage without her knowing (shhh…don’t tell).


There are mixed numbers online stating how many hoarders exist in the US. The numbers range from 1.2 million to as many as 15 million! But even with the smallest amount of 1.2 million people, that’s still 1 in 300 people. I’ll bet a lot of you have more than 300 friends on Facebook (so popular!). Could some of them be hoarders? These statistics say yes!


There are some pretty horrific stories of hoarders. The worst one I came across was about a couple found buried alive in their junk-filled home. It appears the wife had fell and become trapped under the trash and debris. When the husband tried to come to her aid, he also got trapped. When the fire department came to dispose of the dead bodies, they were forced to wear hazmat suits because of the awful stench and disgusting condition of the home (and bodies). HORROR MOVIE!!!


Hoarding isn’t just done inside one’s house, there’s also the hoarding of items outside on one’s property. In 2010, Orem, UT, a neighboring city to where I live, dealt with over 3,000 cases of outside hoarders! Enough was finally enough! The Neighborhood Preservation Unit was formed to enforce the decade long city ordinance that prohibits the accumulation of junk “be visible from a public street, alley, or adjoining property.” The sole focus of this unit of two police officers and a sergeant is to keep neighborhoods nice and residents happy.


Not only do these properties detract from the beauty of a neighborhood, they also lower surrounding home prices. These properties pose a threat to the public as they are a fire hazard and an accident waiting to happen. When the problem gets too out of control, a house can be condemned and children can actually be taken away.


So there you have it. Do you feel sick to your stomach yet? I do. Watch for signs of hoarding in yourself and your loved ones. When this condition becomes out of control, there are all sorts of negative side effects to the person involved and their friends and loved ones.


Do you have any personal experiences with hoarding? Someone you know? You? Share them with us!

Garret Stembridge