“I Haven’t Seen The Floor In Four Years”: BRITAIN’S HIDDEN HOARDERS

“I Haven’t Seen The Floor In Four Years”: BRITAIN’S HIDDEN HOARDERS


SALLY: I haven’t seen the floor in four years. COMM: Compulsive hoarding… TEE: Can you see the poop on the top over there? COMM: Is a growing hidden problem. TEE: This is definitely a biohazard clean. COMM: It’s estimated to affect 6% of Americans. TEE: There’s bottles of urine in here. COMM: And up to three million people in the UK. TEE: She’s got no use of her bathroom. COMM: But when things get this serious… SALLY: It got to stage where I just wanted to end my life ‘cause I’ve had enough. COMM: The experts need to take action. TEE: It’s not good. It’s not good at all, and this woman really needs our help. COMM: Behind the ordinary looking exterior of this flat in Birmingham, lies a potentially
life-threatening secret. SALLY: There is a lot of people who have such a terrible time to just get rid of a piece
of paper. I’m not that sort of a hoarder, my hoarding is more of like, so much stressed
out by my anxiety, my depression, that I’ve ended up having a lot of stuff that, you know,
I just think, ‘Well, I need to get rid of it ‘, but I never do, because my mentality cannot just
cope with it, but yes, I do class myself as one. A lot of people deny it, but I don’t. COMM: But Sally, hasn’t always been a hoarder. SALLY: I mean, I’ve been in the flat 15 years. Things do get untidy but, you know,
I used to vacuum, clean, you know, and I looked after six cats at the time. It’s actually
started middle of 2010. My my cat passed away all of a sudden, had a heart attack. I was
reeling from him and the depression and anxiety. Then I started going out with someone, was
having problems with him, and then another cat passed away, you know, had cancer, and
then my mum had a stroke. And, it’s just sort of like snowballed from there. And it
would just build up and build up and then it gets to a stage where, you know, you can’t
cope anymore. COMM: Sally’s hoarding has become so bad that she’s been threatened with eviction. SALLY: The council got involved. They’d had notifications of people saying they could
smell something. But then the council suggested, would I consider someone coming in? Felt scary,
depressing, and it’s frightening, my anxiety went through the roof, but it needed to be
done because obviously I was going to lose my flat. COMM: Thankfully, she has found someone to help – specialist cleaning firm N Gervais. CAZ: We offer domestic cleaning service and through that we’ve had people contacting
us to do what they call their house clearances. But then what we were finding were people
like Sally, that needed somebody to come in and help de-clutter the house. So, that’s
how it started and then we found that as we went along, it became more extreme.
TEE: What I am about to do is get to the back of the living room in order to open the door
to let the fresh air in. It’s going to be a mission but it’s got to be done, because
there is no air here. TEE: When I come in, it’s the smell, it’s the piles and piles of black bags, which I
believe is rubbish. TEE: So, outside is pretty messy but… TEE: But that is the least of our problems at the moment. There is an overspill here
of her bits and bobs, which has basically just got to go. TEE: Another problem that we’ve got here is the fact that she can’t get into her
kitchen. The door can neither open, nor close, because of the amount of things that’s in
front of it. TEE: This is Sally’s toilet and bathroom. I don’t think you can see the cobwebs up
there. I think she has got used of her toilet now. But she’s definitely not got use of
her bathroom. Her cats are in there, I don’t want to let them out. TEE: Everybody deserves to be able to use their bathroom. Okay, can you see the poop,
on the top over there? That’s all cat faeces. So it’s pretty bad in here. This is definitely
a biohazard clean. It’s not good at all. And this woman really needs our help. CAZ: The majority of us have some form of care background, whether it’d be mental
health, learning difficulties or working for the NHS. TEE: I’m a hoarding specialist and that’s great, because I have got OCD myself, but
on the other end. So, it’s really fulfilling to me to clean someone’s house and get it
back how it should be. To me that’s great. SALLY: That’s all cat food in there. TEE: I know it’s the cat food, but…wait…
you’ve got cat food everywhere though, haven’t you? SALLY: The whole of this problem of the process is basically all of it. You’ve got strangers
coming in, you know, going through your stuff, it’s dirty, messy, you know, you are embarrassed of what you have done for those people to deal with it. CAZ: It’s a mental health condition, we take the time… TEE: To get to know them. CAZ: To get to them and their things. It’s
not a house clearance, and we try to respect that. SALLY: I mean, I need to be here to see you know what they are getting rid off and they’ll
be asking me questions. And that was my biggest anxiety, no way could I have had that happen. TEE: So I have given Sally a job. I’ve made her start making cardboard boxes of things
that she wants to keep. TEE: Ok, what you are going to do for me is go through your bags and throw away any rubbish,
any packaging you don’t need and any boxes you don’t need. Right, so can you do that
for me? Right, good, okay. SALLY: I just feel very disgusted with myself. I had no help and I was being pulled and pushed
from everybody. You know, and it got to a stage where I just wanted to end my life because
I’d had enough, you know, I couldn’t cope anymore. So that’s why, you know, I need
to have it sorted and that’s what we are doing now. COMM: Since her cat Mikey died in her bed 8 weeks ago, Sally has been sleeping in the hallway. SALLY: I just couldn’t face going to bed anymore. So I basically got a round chair,
which I’ll put there. And as you can see, it’s been rubbing. I have a fire heater to
keep me warm. I have a footstool and I put my feet up, and I sleep in the chair with
a blanket over me. And I’ve been doing that for the last two months. So, it’s much,
the strange thing is, it’s much more comfier than my bed. Because obviously with everything
cluttered on my bed, I used to have just about, I don’t know, 2 foot, if that, of sleeping
space and then the cats would be by me as well, so it was very uncomfortable. And also
I suffer with carpet bugs, they actually would be crawling over the bed, and you’d have
them crawling over your legs, so it was not very nice. That’s what happens when you
are a hoarder. You have to find somewhere to sleep because there is nowhere else to sleep. COMM: Meanwhile, Tee has made an alarming discovery. TEE: This is four years worth of kitty litter. Instead of emptying it, she has got more fresh
kitty litter and then put it on top. It started from here, don’t know if you can see this
bit here, and it came up like a mountain and ended here. And that’s how it’s been all
the way around. So, we’ve obviously dug through and we’ve got to this section now.
So, hopefully this is the last bit of kitty litter until we get back into the living room.
Because they are digging up the kitty litter and it’s dust basically, we don’t want
the dust to come, you know, come up and we are inhaling it. So, the best thing we do
is spray it down. So instead of using water, we are using chlorine instead. COMM: Perhaps even more alarming, it’s not just animal waste lying among the rubbish. TEE: Right! Stop! Stop! These bottles here, I don’t want you to step on, because apparently
these are the bottles that she was weeing in. She was ill a few years ago, she started
to wee in the bottles. She’s told us that the bottles are in this room. SALLY: I suffer with bladder problems, stress urinary incontinence. I couldn’t even get
to the toilet in time, so I started having accidents obviously. It got to a stage where
I was using, filling up bottles of urine more than I was getting rid of them. TEE: We are nowhere near the floor at the moment, you think we are, but we’re not.
There is a mountain of kitty litter here, mixed with urine and kitty poop, and we’ve
got to shovel through this. I don’t know how long this has been here, but I’d say four years. TEE: My prime concern is that she gets her home back unable to use everywhere correctly.
I think it will take about two weeks to clean the whole flat, it’s all about the manpower really. COMM: And Sally is looking forward to the transformation. SALLY: My sister and my brother-in-law come up and do them a dinner and things like that,
so I’m…and have my mum back round again. That’s the sort of things I am looking forward
to. Be able to socialise with my family more than anything else. So, yes, that’s what
I’m happy about. COMM: It’s six months since the clean began, but has Sally avoided falling back into her
old ways? COMM: Since the clean, Tee and Caz have been checking regularly on Sally’s welfare. TEE: Sally has been amazing. She’s stayed positive throughout, she is always happy,
always smiling, even when she thinks, ‘Oh my god! We’re not going to get it finished,’
we do. SALLY: When you first came, obviously, you
couldn’t actually get into the kitchen, all you could actually do was just get the
gap of the door, so, it’s a big difference now, because rubbish was piled up to here,
everywhere was completely full of rubbish. TEE: It’s totally different now. CAZ: And the thing is you’ve maintained
it, which is great, because a lot of people after a couple of months…
SALLY: Yeah! CAZ: They start to go back to their old ways.
SALLY: Especially with what I’ve been just going through as well. TEE: With what’s happened with her mum, the passing of her mum and everything, I don’t
know how she’s done it, but she has really pulled through. SALLY: My life’s improved dramatically, I feel a lot healthier, a lot happier, even
though I still suffer with depression and anxiety. Passing of my mum has only been recently.
Because of the state of how I’m living now, I can handle it more and it got to a stage
where, if my mum had passed away and I was still living in the same situation, well,
I don’t think I would be here now, to be honest. SALLY: Feels strange, but, you know, because you get used to it after four and a half,
five years of it. But now it’s all clear, you still come around the corner, you still,
I still have a shock to be honest, thinking, ‘Wow! It’s gone, it’s all gone.’ CAZ: I was so proud of her, was so proud of what she’s achieved. We shall be visiting
Sally for the next 12-18 months, but I reckon 18 months at least, so that, she has got that
support… TEE: And aftercare.
CAZ: And aftercare, it’s like visiting an old friend so, it’s quite enjoyable. SALLY: There’s millions of people out there living like I was, you know, and if they could
see me and say, ‘She’s done it.’ Then maybe they can do it themselves. But they
have to have the right mindset at end of the day. And because the girls helped me to come
back to my old self, I mean they’re not just cleaning service, I see them as family.
I love them to bits, I really do.

41 thoughts on ““I Haven’t Seen The Floor In Four Years”: BRITAIN’S HIDDEN HOARDERS

  1. 😐 I feel like my husbands sister (g) would be like this. She has 8 kids and living with her parents (husband left her there & living with his mom). She has 1 room to herself (not even her 1 year old sleeps with her) and she had the room with junk. My husband and I tried to help clean but nope. Neither her (g) or the other sister want anything thrown away that looks "good enough". 😒🤦‍♀️

  2. Filthy, lazy disgusting bastards.They always say it’s to do with traumas.Shitting in piles in the house is only what animals do

  3. My grandpa was a hoarder, but the only reason we didn’t find out till he died was because he lived on a farm and put everything into his barn. After he passes we went through everything to clean out the barn and I found an old pair of headphones that I had thrown away years ago. It made me laugh.

  4. I understand this lady so much. Whenever I get out of depressional faces I do a deep cleaning of my room. Fill 2 dishwashers, fill 2 washing machines, vacuum the entire room, open the dark curtains, open windows to finally let some air in my depression cave, fill 2 or 3 bags of trash, take a shower, shave, brush my teeth and anything else you can imagine around that. Its gross, its disgusting. But at that moment you're struggling to keep yourself going, not jumping up at 6am to do dishes. I cant imagine being so bad that I get to this point though. I give my most sincere condolences to those she has lost and wish for her life to become significantly easier the next few years!!

  5. I’d love to say “Bravo!” To all three of those girls. Each one of them is doing something wonderful, and they should be proud of themselves. The one is making huge improvements in her life, and the others are making that possible. Wow good job, all of you!

  6. it always effects people of UK and US hahahaha.. narrators around the world should see beyond UK and US in statistics

  7. What pisses me off is when people like that have animals. I understand you are in a bad situation but that doesn't mean you have to put animals in the same bad situation. Thats just animal abuse

  8. Man.. don't clean, just blow the house!
    ! I'm sure that if he looks good he could fall on some big wild animals in there!

  9. Poor lady she dosent want to live like that but her anxiety and depression causes this most people wouldent want to live like that but have mental illnesses.

  10. The cleanliness of ur space actually reflects your personality, no matter what others have done to help clean the room if you don't help yourself maintain its cleanliness, then something is wrong with you.. how can people let their space become such over the years without doing any little arrangement or dusting? Tsk!

  11. I'm not the neatest person in the world by a large margin. But I will go through at least once a year and clean the pig sty really well. The worst it has ever been is nowhere near poop on top of stuff bad.

  12. I am a net freck and watching this made me like people live like this i think i am going to die why why do people live like this i feel so bed so i am going to work with people so i will be a therapist

  13. That would be a real pain in the butt to clean a flat in a high rise. Wow! Take this woman’s cats away. She can’t even take care of herself!

  14. I suffer from severe clinical depression, and i can't tell you how happy i am that my parents are still alive and come by to visit sometimes so i have an incentive to clean my apartment. My biggest fear is that i'll end up a hoarder like this woman.

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