Hoarding, and out-of-control collectors

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In our trade, you come across many stories, quite literally, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

As Christmas is approaching, and I find myself thinking about the excesses of the festive period, my mind turns to the hoarders and the out-of-control collectors. I have seen many of these (often very sad) cases over the years, but one of them stands out in my mind.

We had a call to a house in Esher occupied by a husband and wife with a home full of the things they collected. The husband collected aeroplane paraphernalia, including a building of a huge mock up airfield in the attic, with model planes everywhere. The wife collected dolls, of which there were hundreds. There was very little space for living, as they had allowed their hobbies to dominate their home. Every cupboard was full. The spare room unusable. They could not seem to part with anything that they brought into the house. This was a good example of out-of-control hoarders. It took our men nearly a week to sort through this, and the local charities benefitted from the excess. We swept the house clean and made it ready for sale. It was a strangely pleasant surprise when we eventually saw the carpets.