The Secret Lives of Hoarders: True Stories of Tackling Extreme Clutter

The Secret Lives of Hoarders: True Stories of Tackling Extreme Clutter

by Matt Paxton, Phaedra Hise


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399536656
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/03/2011
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 332,202
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

The idea for Clutter Cleaner came to Matt Paxton as a way to pay rent, with the first project being his own grandmother's basement. As the business grew, Matt's philosophy of "no job too extreme" took hold. Paxton and eventually garnered a following large enough to land him and his tell-it-like-it-is approach onto A&E's hit reality series Hoarders. Before moving to television, Paxton worked as a Federal Reserve Analyst and an inventor. 

A freelance writer and editor, Phaedra Hise specializes in her cultural writings. She has worked for CNN Money, was a former staff writer for Inc., and a popular food editor for Virginia Living. Her work has been collected in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Salon, Forbes, Popular Mechanics and Smithsonian. She lives in Virginia, with her husband.

Table of Contents

Foreword Suzanne Chabaud ix

Introduction xiii

1 What Is Hoarding? 1

2 Why People Hoard 33

3 Where to Begin 65

4 The Plan: Laying The Groundwork 79

5 The Players: Recruiting The Team 101

6 The Cleanup 119

7 Staying Clean 157

Epilogue 187

Resources 211

Acknowledgments 223

Index 227

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Secret Lives of Hoarders 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Matt on the show "Hoarders" and couldn't wait to read his book. It didn't disappoint. A great book for anyone who knows a hoarder, or is just interested in the subject of hoarding. Matt looks at hoarding with a no-nonsense attitude, yet with compassion towards the hoarder and the issues which have lead them to hoard. Definitely interesting reading.
McGuffyAnn More than 1 year ago
This is a very interesting book, based on the cable TV show "Hoarders", which airs on A & E. The book is written by the owner of Clutter Cleaners, Matt Paxton, who also is an expert and speaker on issues of hoarding. The book is full of case studies of hoarders, including how it begins, causes, and then recognition and resolution. There are reasons explained as to why some people begin to hoard. Also discussed are odd items people have been known to hoard. The psychology of hoarding is sorted out with sensitivity and sensibility, as Matt offers plans of action that work. Sorting this all out with the hoarder is part of breaking the cycle of hoarding, and ultimately healing. The book is hard to read at times because of the content, the ways in which people are affected, and the reasons behind it. However, never does Matt judge the hoarder, choosing rather to explain the cycle and how to break it. He allows them dignity and hope, as well as help. This is an important book, as this is a problem that many people have as a hidden source of shame. Only by facing it and sorting it out can one ever clean up their homes and their lives.
CasualUnclutterer More than 1 year ago
Matt Paxton is a compassionate, insightful author for a complex, painful subject who found his life's calling by chance. But he brings endless passion, compassion, energy, a sharp ability to read people and even enthusiasm to that work - conducting the intensive deep cleanings that the homes of people with hoarding disorder often need in order to be able to reclaim the spaces safely. This book is an excellent introduction to every aspect of the activity: the typical mindsets of people with hoarding disorder, and ways to approach working with them; potential complications of government or other outside involvement in the case; the "how-to" of the actual cleaning process, and most important, how to allow and encourage family members to get involved in the person with hoarding disorder's recovery. Lauren Williams, Casual Uncluttering LLC, Woodinville, WA, USA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book! Although Matt is not a mental health professional, he clearly understands the psychological factors that make hoarders acquire and keep items.
MaryG31 More than 1 year ago
If you have seen any of the Hoarders programs this book probably won't add anything. I would have preferred each individual story to be told through to its conclusion and given an overview but the book does skip around a bit. That said, it's interesting from the point of view of there being different types of hoarders. Again, it's good but not riveting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OmaKO More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Matt's compassionate stories and his insight. This would be a great book for any psychology student's library, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very honest and down to earth. Looks at both causes and solutions.
CathyNotK More than 1 year ago
Great info whether you are struggling with this issue personally, know someone who is or just want to understand the issue more fully. Good place to start to develop stragegies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago