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Face to Face with a hoarder...Or hoarders...trying not to spew on the floor.

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posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 01:42 PM
I have worked at being an Adult Protection Worker and a Child Protection Worker. I have seen the worst of the worst. I don't know what state you live in but in most states you are required by law to report these kind of issues if children are at risk. What you describe is an unsafe place, not just a dirty house. Families who continually live this way can lose their children. I have had children thank me for removing them from these types of homes.

Sometimes the possibility of losing their children is the wake up call for the parents to make a significant change. Also it can get other family members involved.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 02:59 PM
I knew of a hoarder who's house overflowed.He was then were forced to start piling things in the yard. Over the years the entire yard filled up. You would see his truck in the driveway and him taking bags out of the back of the truck. You would then see him piling things here and there. Recently he piled so much up in the driveway that he could no longer park his truck.

We went on vacation for a week and came back. His property had been bulldozed, his house had been demolished. There was nothing left. The yard had been turned under and hay had been spread over the dirt so grass would start growing.

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 06:26 AM
Don't know you from Adam, but you have to grow a pair and tell them there's no way you would even return, it's worse than a pig stye. It's commendable your wanting to spare their feelings, but face it, their Toxic Pigs of the worst kind. They subject their kids to this living condition. It would probably have to be entered by people in HazMat suits if the County were to come, and child services would likely remove any minors from the premises.

I once went in a place to do some termite work. The house was apparently clean, (what you could see on the surface) but in every space from the front door to the back door, it was stacked so high with 'stuff' that a heavy exhale might have brought the whole interior crashing to the floor. I have never seen the like. It was like that Wooden game called 'Jenga' where you pull out the pieces of the tower until the tower collapses.

These people deserve no sympathy or compassion or attempts at sparing their feelings.So....... don't feel your obliged to do so, your NOT.
edit on 6-8-2013 by Plotus because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 07:59 AM
Morning all. Over much discussion with my wife we came to a decision on this situation. I checked my in box and these folks replied that my price was a little on the high side, but they could swing it. Then stated that they would have the place cleaned out by the months end. I let them know months end was not going to work for me as I will be in the middle of a new project at the end of the month. A project that will last 5 weeks and I was afraid I want be able to do the flooring install.

Then I let them know the following. Being licensed & insured in my state to perform work in my field, I was obligated to report un-safe living and working conditions I may come across. That it was purly for my safety and a liability issue. I let them know the floor substructure was unsafe in the kitchen area and that the bathroom floor was breaking through to the under the house area. I let them know whoever does the work will have to repair all the issues I laid out.

I also told them someone from the county inspections dept will be making a visit out to address my concern. That I was obligated to report a hazzard and unsafe conditions. Here's where I went under the table a bit. I called a friend who is a building inspector and his wife works for the county health dept. I told Tim the whole story, explained my situation in it all and that I was concerned for these kids & dogs not really concerned about the adults.

I asked if he would go out & inspect, I had to go and fill out a official form outling my concern. I asked him to take your wife with you when you go, she can & will do something I nor Tim are able to do. I can report, Tim can condem the house , but the wife has the real power here.She can address the living conditions with the home owners, where I can't.

Guys I am in business, this could and probally will hurt my business in some way. Phone calls and bad reviews will come I know. But I feel I have done all I can do in this. Tim will let me know the outcome, he assured me of this. He also said " It must be real bad , because I have never known you to report any one for anything, ever. And we have known each other since 6th grade." I said it was as bad as I have ever encountered. I hope I did the right thing. As far as out right calling DSS. I could not do that. What I did do works for me and allows me to have a clear concience about it all.

I just hope it all works out. If and when I hear any more about this, I will try to refresh the thread and let you all know. Thanks for the advice, it helped a great deal in coming to a decision. PS. I have several friends who are inspectors in one dept or another, but I called Tim because Tim is a dog guy, he owns and raises Chocolate Labs and I figured he would speak up about the conditions the dogs are in. Plus his wife is health inspetor. So folks, did I do the right thing?

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 08:06 AM
reply to post by grayeagle

I had to reply to you. It is as you stated, your "job". To take kids out of bad living conditions. It's not mine. Mine is home renovations. I could have just up and left and that be the end of my involvement. But yet I did not. I did get involved and I did report the conditions, but I did it where I can live with it and I know something will be done. I have a concience and I like keeping it clear. Thanks for your post. OYM1262

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 09:41 AM
reply to post by openyourmind1262

This isn't just's something else. There is some kind of deep psychological issue here, but one thing's for sure, the kids should not be raised in this environment. Someone needs to drop the bomb and give an ultimatum and time deadline for cleanup, or call the authorities. I'm usually the LAST person to recommend involving a child agency, but I'd at least give them a chance to clean it up FIRST. Then, if they fail to, the kids need to be rescued from this.....if even part of that description is true.

So folks, did I do the right thing?

I think so. Especially considering the reporting duties of your license. Personally, I would have given them a chance to resolve it themselves prior to involving others, but from the sound of it, they likely would have missed any deadline anyhow. Unfortunately, I have to deal with some similar people from time to time, and laziness and a lack of urgency are kind of par for the course with these folks....hence the conditions they are in.

And hey, I get it. I mean, my garage is filled with junk (but things, not trash or garbage), and I have a storage trailer that has bins and bins. I plan to have a garage sale soon, but just finding the time to organize it. But this pack rat mentality will NEVER extend to my living area....EVER.

Still though, I have a bunch of cats, dogs, and a couple birds in the house, and yet at any time, we could have company come in to a clean and well-ordered home (and all they'll smell are the Scentsies, as we let the dogs out regularly, and clean litterboxes daily).
edit on 6-8-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 10:40 AM
reply to post by openyourmind1262

I think what you did was perfect. You used the resources available to you to make sure there would be a follow up on the situation. I don't think it could have worked out any better.

And I am proud of you for stepping up and saying something when it is so much easier to look the other way and move along. You did the right thing OP, I know you were torn about it from what you had posted. It takes a lot of compassion to actually be that concerned about another family and how your actions or inactions might affect them. From here, the ball will be in their court to clean up their act and make their home safe for their children.


posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 11:21 AM
reply to post by openyourmind1262

So my rant is , why? why the hell do you folks choose to live like this? Clean up your damn house, my goodness it aint helping your kids. Mow your grass, clean up your yard and take some damn pride in your stuff.

I've known people who choose to live this way and like you said... you'd never know it based on just meeting them on the street corner. But then, that's also part of the equation because it is their choice.

Of course, another choice would be preferable... especially as a neighbor. The thing that keeps coming back is whether they are hurting me (or anyone else) by making that choice as they have and if not, then aside from sliding a note under their door with a few pointers on housekeeping, we really shouldn't feel either obliged or empowered to intrude.

I've also had nosy neighbors before who would call the cops if my dog barked too much or if my kids were climbing a tree (that's dangerous!). The police would come, walk through the house and then before leaving, explain that they were just doing their jobs... which was, what? handing out awards for Good Housekeeping?

If people (I dislike using the politically correct word 'hoarders') live like those you describe and again, if they really aren't hurting anyone (I feel bad for the dogs... maybe a call to the ASPCA?), then personally, I would be very inclined to blow off steam like you have but then, I'd have to call it a day

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 01:05 PM
I agree with those who said both laziness and a sickness. I have personally seen both examples (hoarding due to laziness along with hoarding due to some strange desire to own anything and everything they can).

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 02:52 PM
reply to post by openyourmind1262

You are right it isn't your job to remove kids from their home and it wasn't mine either. Usually it is only law enforcement that can actually remove children. My job was to find a safe place for the children. Children are usually placed with the closest relative that can provide safe housing for them while the parents clean up the house and make it livable. Reporting situations where the children are at risk is usually not an option. We are all responsible and required by law to report child endangerment or abuse.

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 03:38 PM
reply to post by openyourmind1262

I used to see that on daily basis when i did service calls. there was one house that was so nasty that I went home, stripped in the garage and tossed my clothes into the garbage. It was that bad..I finished the service call but I probably should have declined due to sanitation conditions.

I currently work with a hoarder. He looks like hoarder, he knows he has a problem. His personal truck is a mess... the back is stacked with scrap and fast food trash that has been there for at least a year. His passenger seat is a mountain of crap.. His house.. well he lives in a small town outside my city. I looked it up on google maps and I didn't have to ask which house was his.. I was tehre one time and about puked.

from what I gather from him.. is taht he doesn't notice it. It does not bother him but he does realize he is a hoarder. However he has done little to change it and doesn't seem to be going to change it anytime soon.

I am tempted to say it is either a life style of way of being

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 04:10 PM
Your story reminds me of the neighbors I had growing up. They were old, but their son (who was in his 60's) lived with them. We'd have to take their mail to them sometimes when it got put in our box. Their house was so nasty, everything had a greasy feel to it. I remember one particular time when I went over there with my mom because their daughter couldn't get a hold of them and she asked if we could check on them. Now, I'm a mechanic, I can stand getting dirty, but I felt filthy just from being in that house. Old food was everywhere, dirty dishes were stacked so high in the kitchen that you almost couldn't walk through it.

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 05:39 PM
I can't even watch the show "Hoarders." It makes me cringe~ I want to clean those people's houses. I am a neat freak and can't for the life of me figure out why people live like that. It is just gross.

I have had a couple friends who were borderline hoarders and I wouldn't go to their house. It just stunk so bad of cat urine and dog poo. They would leave the poo on the floor on pee pee pads and just put new ones down on top of the old ones. It was nauseating.

When people say they don't have time to clean imo it just means they are lazy!! You can take 5 mins to put dishes away or clean dishes while something is cooking. Heck when I cook something in the microwave or the toaster oven I clean dishes while I wait or I fold laundry. People need to prioritize and imo a clean house should be priority! I would be embarrassed to have people over if my house looked like some of these people on hoarders.

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 05:58 PM
I have to admit, I have just the opposite problem. For a brief time while I was working, I hired a cleaning service to clean my house twice a month. I would get so embarrassed at having my home not look good, that I would stay up 'til 2:00am cleaning before the service would get there the next day! My home was sparkling clean when they got there - they just re-vacuumed, re-mopped, and re-dusted what I had already done the night before.
My husband told me I would either have to quit doing that, or fire the cleaning service. I knew I couldn't quit, so I fired them.

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 06:04 PM
I can understand you wanting to know why, but you don't have to do this floor, right? You can just say no. You don't need an excuse.

"Hoarding" is kind of a relative term. My wife has 100 pair of shoes. I have 2500 books. Some people would call us hoarders (though we are neat and clean.) I've been asked why I have so many and my answer is, "Because it makes me feel good." It's cozy being surrounded by them. Some people feel the same way about teddy bears.

But even with someone in a whole 'nother league like you describe, IF they are not hurting anyone else by posing a health hazard (like attracting rats because of rotting food, for example), what's it to ya? Sure they are "mentally ill" measured against the norm, but the community doesn't really have the right to intercede and should be very wary in doing so.

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 06:07 PM
Are they hoarders or just slobs? I have been in the same situation and refused to work in homes like this. I almost got fired once because I refused to take my tools into a filthy home full of roaches & fleas. My boss told me on the phone to just get the job done or I could start looking for a new job. I told him I would do if he came and worked with me. When he got there he took one look and apologized to me and said he wouldn't step foot in that pig stye either.

If there are kids there, protective services need to be called. Making children live in filth like you describe is a form of child abuse.

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 07:05 PM
Yes, you absolutely did the right thing. The reason I didn't do more about my hoarder brother was because no animals or children were involved and he lived alone. I still have guilt feelings about the house itself, though. I can't imagine the cleaning that will need to happen once he dies; in all likelihood the easiest thing to do will be to raze the place or burn it down. It truly isn't safe to go into it and he's impossible to talk to about it. So full of denial and since he is otherwise a kind and 'normal' person, I end up backing off rather than shaming him.

For the people arguing about whether this is just laziness or true hoarding, it doesn't really matter. It's a continuum; a young person at 20 with a messy kitchen and piles of stuff everywhere is a world-class hoarder 30 years later. It starts out slowly and just gets worse.

But all bets are off if animals or children are involved; at that point it's your duty to report it as much as if you heard screams every night. These people are very good at appearing 'normal' when out in public but they are just as dangerous to innocents as abusers are.

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 07:18 PM
reply to post by schuyler

You obviously haven't seen one of these houses... think NOTHING is ever thrown away. No garbage ever leaves, no dishes are ever washed, newspapers come in every day and are not removed, food containers, etc.

My brother's place is an archeological dig of sorts; the only place to sit is one sofa cushion in front of the tv; the others are covered with the latest Sunday NY Times, followed by takeout wrappers and paper plates, followed by last week's NY Times, etc and so forth, down for months and months and months. Every square foot of floor space is hidden by several inches' worth of mail that has fallen on the floor (nothing that hits the floor is ever picked up) including slippery magazines, bills he forgot about, etc.. the bathroom wall near the toilet is yellow from splashes and the toilet has obviously never been cleaned. Ditto the shower. He leaves his sheets on his bed until they're black with grime and then instead of washing them, buys new ones. I'd be willing to bet he doesn't throw out the old ones and they're stored somewhere in his place too... The kitchen hasn't been cleaned since he moved in and the fridge is ajar because the ice is so piled up on it, it's impossible to close now. He eats takeout for every meal...

The last time I was at his place years ago he let me 'clean'; it took four hours to clean off one sofa cushion's worth of piles and a small area of floor as you entered the apartment.... four hours! I had to (under his strict and highly nervous supervision) pick up every single piece of newspaper and mail individually and shake it out to make sure there was no money interspersed in it and indeed, I found six $20 bills during that four hours which he let me keep. I wouldn't be surprised if there are $1000s just laying around on the floor mixed in with garbage. He wouldn't let me take out the garbage bags I filled (probably 6 or 8) in that four hours and I'm pretty sure they're still there, piled where I left them near the door.

I was so sick from the dust and godknowswhat I inhaled while I was in that place that I ended up hospitalized with pneumonia a week later. I haven't felt right since and it was months ago... and I'll never go back.

Get the picture now?

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 09:38 PM
reply to post by openyourmind1262

I understand a little clutter here and there but that's rediculous. I don't understand that situation either, I know its a psychological problem, but how in the world can people still function like that? I've seen a couple of the episodes about hoarders.

Sorry you had to give up a perspective job and money but I'd have done the same thing. I'd probably do the same thing you're doing now Rant.

I probably would've quoted them a price so high, they at least couldn't use my service. I mean how could you have worked around all that?

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 10:41 PM
Lol, I lived with my father in-law for 4 months when preparing to relocate to a different city and he caught me cleaning his house, and was like WTF are you doing when he arrived home from work. We made it up stairs and were throwing broken radios, gun racks, and a ton of other crap accumulated from yard sales out of the second story window. He had a pole barn with 4 electric bay doors, and it was filled with anything you can imagine that was produced between 1940 and 2010. You have to put your foot down with these people, because they just don't feel stressed about their surroundings, and it needs to be addressed. Maybe its just me, but there are some serious issues with hording. Although, I am a person who takes pleasure in cleaning other peoples house. I am pretty much totally blind and I swear that I can feel filth when I go to peoples house. lol

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