Chicago hoarders buried in their own trash

When an elderly couple hadn't been seen for almost 3 weeks, Chicago Police conducted a well being check.  You could imagine their surprise when they couldn't even get past the front door.  There was garbage packed from floor to ceiling.  The stench was so bad, that they were forced to put on hazmat suits


before forging into the disaster.  

Surprisingly, they found a man (76) and a woman (75) alive, but trapped.  The Chicago Fire Department took them to Jackson Park Hospital where apparently they're in fair condition.
The hoarding condition fascinates me.  I have never ending piles in my own house.  Papers I'm not quite sure what to do with, but nothing like what extreme hoarders go through.  I think most people are fascinated with this condition.  Quite honestly, I think we secretly enjoy seeing it because it makes us feel better about our own little messes.  We can say....well at least my house isn't that bad! 


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  • Oh my, I think my husband needs help. And, when does it cross the line of just being messy. For me, when I see garbage and kitchen messes all over, I just think that's being messy. Or maybe it's a combo, mess + hording?

  • P.S. I just came down from upstairs where my bed isn't made and my kitchen's a mess from baking for a bake sale today. If someone were to come in now, I'd make the news for sure!

  • In reply to jtithof:

    too funny Jackie... I go through episodes like that too. It's usually when there's an Oprah show on it or something and I look around and think. hmmmmm

  • In reply to jtithof:

    hmmmm I took a minute to look at new posts on Chi Now as I am cleaning up my desk. YOW

  • In reply to jtithof:

    Wow thats downright scary dude. Can you imagine.


  • In reply to jtithof:

    Thank you for your recent article on hoarding, which many experts consider to be a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). More than 2 million adult Americans suffer from OCD. In an effort to better understand this common disorder, Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute is conducting a study to examine possible genetic contributions to OCD. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health.

    We are looking for individuals with OCD who would be interested in participating. Participation involves a 2-3 hour interview and a blood/saliva sample for DNA. We also ask that family members (parents or siblings) provide a blood/saliva sample for DNA. Individuals with OCD are compensated $75 for their interview and DNA sample, and family members receive $35 for their DNA sample. Study procedures can take place in the home or at our medical center.

    If you would like to help us gain a deeper understanding of OCD, you may contact Columbia University research staff at 212-543-5364 or e-mail Confidentiality is assured.

  • That has to be one of the grossest things I've ever heard... yikes.

  • In reply to kirby:

    Urinating in jars is a result of the plumbing not working. Glad you people think it's funny.

  • I've seen the Hoarders show on A&E (on cable tv) and it's, well... depressing. I do agree with the author here in thinking part of us secretly can feel better when we see this, that we may be messy but we are not this bad. Hoarding is not messiness though, it's a symptom of a mental illness and it can be very emotionally difficult for them to give up on any object. Every object may be seen having significance or a good future use. Like those photos show, some hoarders are very meticulous about their things.

    I don't know if anyone here's seen recent movie "Up in the Air" w/George Clooney, but this brings it to mind the empty backpack analogy his character uses in motivational speeches. It' sort of the "things you own end up owning you" type of thing. He encourages the audience to let go of possessions, even goes as far as to say "Photos are for those who can't remember." If you woke up tomorrow and someone told you everything you own has been removed, it's all gone, would you feel exhilarated? One of my friends is paying $300 a month for a storage locker, for what, unused furniture and crap? I was like what, seriously?? Ditch it! My motto has always been "When in doubt, throw it out." I love throwing things away (or recycling/donating/gifting them if possible), it feels good, liberating... plus it makes your house feel bigger.

  • In reply to NoMorePuppyStores:

    I like getting rid of things too. Even things I'm not so sure about giving away... I never miss them. I also can relate on the pictures. I do take a lot because I like them on the walls, but often on vacation I won't even bring a camera. Primarily because I just want to enjoy and experience it completely. Not always making sure I'm documenting it...
    BTW, I LOVE your dog photo. Very, very cute.

  • In reply to NoMorePuppyStores:

    My company has been providing junk removal services for obsessive hoarders in the Chicago area for 25 years! We have seen it all! Our record is thirteen 50 cubic yard truckloads of newspapers out of one 3 flat building! Most hoarders never cleanout their property in their lifetimes. They usually die and leave the burden of junk removal to their relatives. It usually takes a court order or sale of the house to force a hoarder to get rid of their junk while they are still alive. We often do a "sort through" junk removal service where we move the keepsakes to storage and the unwanted items in to our 50 cubic yard truck for disposal. If anyone in the Chicago area needs our services please check out our website at

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