Remembering my “Hoarding:Buried Alive” experience

Well, I was only on the program for about thirty seconds–but a few friends asked me, “Was  that you on that program?”

I put about twenty-five hours into assisting the lead organizer who got the main amount of credit because her assignment was to make the kitchen look beautiful. My assignment was to go through the rest of the house and get it ready for an estate sale.  You can read a brief article about the show here

I decided to write about this now because I was updating the “about” section in my blog and decided to find a link to the show. It was always hard for me to find a direct link, so when I came across something that referenced the show, I was delighted. And the memories started coming back.

I was glad to be given the big challenge, since I love to tackle big jobs.  The client had filled a gigantic basement full of mostly high quality furniture and items that were sellable. The upstairs was stuffed pretty full of stuff also.  His problem was that he was great at buying, but not so good at selling. In addition, he needed to go through a big stack of boxes which had been packed by professionals when his house flooded.

I could hardly walk through the basement when I first arrived. My first step was to simply try to make some paths.  Why I enjoy such a challenge–I have no idea–except for the fact that when I unlock the code, I feel so satisfied.

Once I created places to walk, I had the supreme joy of putting like with like.  This made it easier, of course, to sell things. As I kept moving things around in a logical way, more space opened up so that similar items could be displayed more clearly and attractively.  That is another fun aspect of my job.

As I made more room in the basement, I was able to bring things from upstairs down below to make more space in the rooms on the first floor.  Some things were packed in order to be ready to display outside on the day of the estate sale.

I know it takes a lot of time to really bring one room into shape, especially a kitchen which is piled high with odds and ends.  So while the lead organizer worked away at her one room, I kept pushing my own limits and getting closer to the goal of being prepared for the estate sale with thousands of items needing to be dealt with. I spent minimal time with the client because he was busy with other things, and my main job was to get things out in the open so he could easily decide whether or not he wanted to sell something.

I also enjoyed helping the production crew set up and make even more necessary space for cameras and equipment.  The producer wanted to film the day of the big estate sale, and I was fortunate to be filmed when I came to the client to ask a question.

I have a dream that some day I will be able to facilitate the transformation of a hoarder’s home demonstrating some of my unique methods, and showing how friends and family can help to do the job with maximum compassion and efficiency and minimum stress and emotional break down.


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