Life after hoarders’ hell
We watch many TV shows because we enjoy them, but “Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners” offers up a different reason for being viewed: It features horrendously filthy and ugly rooms full of hoarded gunk—which the compulsive cleaners are brought in to sift through and throw out, so the hoarders can lead normal, unconstricted lives again.
It definitely isn’t “enjoyable” watching the show, but we do it with our own kind of compulsion, because we know or hope that, at the end of the viewing hour, we will be rewarded with new knowledge about how to make sure that we don’t end up drowning in our own neurotic detritus!
The telecast of “Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners” we caught focused on three compulsive cleaners who were so obsessively clean that they spent hours and hours tidying up their already pristine homes. Instead of admiring them (cleanliness is supposed to be next to Godliness, after all), many of their neighbors thought they were more than a bit neurotic, and urged them to “get a life!”
The cleaners certainly didn’t think they needed psychological help. Instead, their expertise and passion for sanitation were urgently needed to make England clean again, not the unhealthy cesspool they felt it has become.
True enough, for the purposes of “Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners,” the compulsive cleaners were the heroes of the hour, and were individually assigned to “normalize and humanize” houses that were full of filth and uselessly hoarded stuff.
One house was owned by an octogenarian widower who had simplified living for himself so that he existed in a very small space—surrounded by great, big heaps of clothing and diverse collectibles that he no longer used.
Before his assigned cleaner could get to clean the floor and walls, however, she first had to convince him to throw out 95 percent of the detritus that had been choking his life for decades. That took a lot of doing and sometimes even insulting, but she finally succeeded. And, days later, he was invited back to see that his hovel had become a livable space—that he could just possibly turn into a home.
Another old hoarder was paired with a young man who lived to clean. The combination of old hoarder and young cleaner made the situation even more combustible as each looked down on the other!
Yes, the old hoarder stood to benefit from the cleaner’s hard work, but she still fought him every step of the way, because she felt that he disparagingly dismissed her as a filthy old, crone who had lost her grip on her life, and was in mortal danger of being permanently eliminated by her basic lack of self-control.
Eventually, they came to terms enough for the young cleaner to do his assigned task, and the clean and glut-free domicile that has been revealed amazed both of them—and viewers, as well! Yes, there can be renewed and “repurposed” life after hoarders’ hell, so let’s also save our own homes from ourselves!