Yesterday I mentioned the strange phenomenon of researching a problem you might have, only to find people who have your same problem but twice as worse. As you can imagine, the internet has no shortage of pics, stories, and video clips of pack rats to the ninth power. And yes, there are indeed pack rats out there who are in much worse shape than I have ever been.
Please don't think this is my attempt to rationalize my problem. I do admittedly still have a problem that I'm working out, but the truth of the matter is there are some really nasty, compulsive hoarders out there. One real important difference is that my clutter does not include garbage (that is, food-related trash). Do I look into my fridge and find the occasional expired-2-months-ago container of "food" growing in the back of the second shelf? Stacks of dirty bowls in the sink? Of course. But...I sure don't find such a thing in my living room! My place is still pretty bad, but I've never had a problem with insects or rodents making homes. I don't have any pets. I don't have any kids or roommates. I clean up spills. I take the trash out. I even clean the toilet. As my friend said, "You have a problem with clutter, but it's CLEAN clutter."
Sad to say, some people DO have homes where food is rotting in the bedroom. One of these clips I found was a Dr. Phil episode on "extreme hoarding". Part 1 of 6 can be found here.
If you think Dr. Phil is a dork, and that his show consists of giving over-simplified solutions to simple-minded twits...well, you'd be correct. Not surprisingly, this story gets turned into a whole whine fest with sobbing over "the children", irrelevant parts of the woman's life, the happy ending, etc. In fact, at one point the guest calls out Dr. Phil on an out-of-context interview clip inserted somewhere. But if you just let the sappy crap slide, it's still an interesting episode, if anything just to look at the disgusting house. Enjoy.