Television as Motivation Pt2

So reading one of my favorite blogs Unclutterer, I saw a reference to a show called Hoarders. Curious, I headed over to A&E online to check it out. And was scared shitless.

The episode I saw was about Kerrylea and Lauren. Kerrylea was a middle aged woman who had already been through one divorce because of her hoarding. Now her second marriage was immensely strained and she was facing foreclosure on 2 homes. She had purchased the second home in order to accomodate all her clutter and had gone through her and her husband’s retirement savings in order to try and keep it. Now she and her husband were living paycheck to paycheck, and had to sell one of the homes or lose them both.

Kerrylea seemed physically unable to clear the clutter. She hired a professional organizer for 2 days and as the time went on, she seemed to develop this peculiar head tic. She spent over 4 hours in one bathroom and got nowhere. She freaked out when she thought one box of her items might be missing from the home. They weren’t missing at all: she had mislabeled the box and it was sitting elsewhere. But she was up in arms about it and unable to continue. I was horrified.

As the episode continued, I began to clean out my closet. And clean and clean and clean and clean. I was merciless. Each time I watched Kerrylea struggle with something, the item in my hand seemed less important and I would throw it in the donate pile. By the end of the episode, I had significantly cleared my closet and had several bags of clothes and shoes ready to give away.

I just couldn’t imagine it. Couldn’t imagine having to give up a relationship with a supportive man because of my attachment to material things. Couldn’t imagine climbing further into debt, to the point of foreclosure because I needed another house to store my things in. And while I understand that this is a recognized disease here in the U.S., part of me just felt it was unacceptable. Because I am also Haitian and having been to Haiti all my life, I knew hoarding was an affliction of the privileged. You have to have possessions in order to hoard them.

All I could think is I didn’t want her life. It was a powerful motivator. And so I will begin decluttering again in the morning. Because material possessions are not worth your loved ones. Not worth your peace of mind. Period.

Here’s the episode I saw.

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~ by Reveye on September 16, 2009.

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