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12 Hoarder Horror Stories That Will Make You Run to the Dump

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We hate to admit it, but we’re all guilty of hoarding something: half-finished bottles of hair products, outdated magazines, useless dollar store finds, the list goes on… But even when someone points out your embarrassing stash, it can be hard to motivate yourself to trash it.

One thing that might motivate you to throw your hoard out: horrifying stories of all-out hoarders. So think of this as a pre-intervention: you’re not a real hoarder yet, but if you don’t throw out that box full of t-shirts from college soon, you’ll be headed in that direction. Read on to see just how bad things can get (and then book a Dolly to help you drop your stash at the dump):

The RA’s Nightmare

“When I was an RA, one resident was a budding hoarder. Stacks of paper and trash everywhere, on every surface (counters, floor, desk), a couple of feet high in places. There wasn’t even a clear foot-path around the room. Just slightly-more-thin layers of paper and trash that had been tampered down by walking.” – DororoUpperCut, Reddit

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Children of Hoarders

“I grew up in a house with hoarder parents… Downstairs was a dungeon of water damage and moldy carpet. Garage had a TON of stuff from my late grandpa’s house that my mom could never let go. Upstairs there was a ‘path’ to other rooms. And by path, I mean pressed down junk and the occasional glimpse of carpet. The most disgusting was a giant mold mushroom behind the toilet. I made the mistake of trying to pick it up before I realize what it was.” – speedcuberz, Reddit

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The Not-So-Good Samaritan

“[In my landlady’s] kitchen, there were hundreds of roaches inside the refrigerator. There were moths and mice feces in dry food containers. There were canned goods that were more than 10 years past their expiration dates. Her box of teas, (which, I’m afraid, I had been served from) was crawling with bugs. Many of her cooking utensils were caked with rust. She had been cooking meals for the homeless once a month from that kitchen, and I wondered what kinds of rancid food those poor people had been subjected to.” – Stephen W. Thrasher, The Guardian

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The Colorful Collector

“[My dad was a hoarder], so we at one point had 14 miniature schnauzers in a single story suburban house because ‘we don’t have one in that color yet!'” – ClaydoPlaydo, Reddit

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The Accidental Breeders

“[A Pacific Palisade’s resident’s] sweet old neighbor ladies, identical twins, had spent years fanatically hoarding, nurturing, and feeding the local rat population. Although the full dimensions of the environmental and health damage done by the particular pair are unknown, experts estimate that the ladies’ actions may have added tens of thousands, maybe even 500,000, new rats to L.A.’s Westside.” – Max Taves, LA Weekly

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The Endless Bins

“‘[I was in a hoarder’s home], and I was suffocating in the house, so I excused myself and went outside. That’s when I saw it: what I guesstimated to be about 1,000 plastic bins. Full with junk and totally covering the backyard.’ Every fencepost had a spotlight, so the homeowner could keep an eye on his bins at night.” – Beth Kaufman, Good Housekeeping

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Hoard of Fire

“My family and I live(d) in an attached rowhouse which we own in a city in Maryland. About two months ago, a fire started in my next-door neighbor’s house (cause still unknown), which resulted in the destruction of our home and most of our possessions. What should have been a small fire turned into a two-alarm blaze that lasted for 9+ hours because of our neighbor’s excessive collection of junk and combustible materials. Their house was filled floor to ceiling with magazines, newspapers, construction materials, gas cans, and other flammable materials that made fighting the fire extremely difficult. Before the fire jumped to our house, the firefighters had to break in and fight the fire from our house because they couldn’t get anyone in due to debris. The local fire captain said the collection of combustible materials was the worst they’d ever seen and that had it been a normal house, the damage to our property would have been greatly diminished or even eliminated.” – HouseBurnedDown, Reddit

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The San Diego Horror

“[At an infamous San Diego hoarding house], the homeowner was provided lodging at a hotel while cleaners went through the property. More than once, members of the San Diego bomb/arson team stopped by to pick up possibly explosive material or military gear. Animal control officers took custody of the cats they had found, and let the wild animals [including possums] go, all while the workers with the county’s vector control program doled out free rat traps in case neighbors found themselves with new tenants.” – Lyndsay Winkley, San Diego Union-Tribune

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The Unwelcoming Gift

“My neighbors in the bad apartment I moved to after I moved out of my parent’s place were hoarders to the extreme, as well as alcoholics. We started getting roaches in our apartment about 2 months after they moved in. Then came mice. Then came RATS. About once a month, we’d call 911 on them because we’d find one of them passed out in the parking lot, or on the doorstep, or on the stairs. They came over and asked if it was us who kept calling 911. Then they cussed us out because they didn’t have insurance and had to take out numerous payday loans to cover the ambulance costs. We broke our lease and moved out after ‘someone’ took a sh*t on our welcome mat.” – Not_A_Good_Gardener, Reddit

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Where’s My Mummy?

“Janet Pallone Delatorre panicked when her 98-year-old mother died in 2010. She thought the cops would think she killed her, given the state of her hoarder’s palace home. So she let her mummify for four years in her own bed up until June 2014 when police found her. Janet Sr. was still gripping her blanket.” – Noah Henry, Crave Online

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The Crawling Horr-der

“[In one house], we came upon a scene that even people who had experience with hoarding, had never experienced a situation like this. The materials in this house were stacked all the way from floor to ceiling… Most hoarders will leave pathways. But they had stacked up so high, the only way he could move through the house was to crawl on top of it. They had crawl spaces up top, and that’s how they got around their home.” – David Riggleman, ABC News

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And we saved the worst for last…

A Letter to the Hoarding Roommate From Hell

“Dear ex-roommate,

You are disgusting. You hoard pure garbage. I am absolutely furious because you’ve screwed over me, my live in partner, and our other roommate. Since we moved in we have tried relentlessly to control the bug problem to no avail. Not even the exterminators who came here TWICE could figure out how the problem was seemingly getting worse. Every other apartment is almost entirely bug free accept for ours (which is problematic because the bugs are radiating from our place to other units).

Yesterday while I watched you pack your sh*t into a van I nearly vomited from the scene. 1,000s of cockroaches came streaming from your room along with a wafting stench of rotting food. As your poor, poor mother rooted up layers of fast food containers and trash bags she began retching a gagging from the filth and roaches. I have never seen so many roaches in my life. Crawling up the wall, all over your stuff, all over your BED. How could you live like this? How could you EXPOSE us to this extreme health hazard you lazy sack of sh*t? When you threw your bed frame outside literally 1000s of roaches began to scramble all over the sidewalk. It was so shocking I had to take pictures and videos because no one would believe me if I didn’t have proof.

And finally, the nail in the coffin: You destroyed that room… Once we cleaned out all the sh*t you left behind, we saw all the damage. The walls are covered in roach feces, the floors are water logged from spilled drinks and god only knows what liquids you never cleaned up, there are still roaches all over the place. The roach population was so dense that you can fucking smell them. That beautiful spacious room is now totally unsafe to occupy all because of you. You probably got the message I was unhappy when I called the building maintenance guy to inspect it while you were still packing. Make no mistake, both him and the landlord are very infuriated by this, especially since you had previously already received a warning about your habits. You horrible cockroach queen.
And FYI, all of your stuff infested to the brim, so I hope you enjoy carrying roaches with you for the rest of your life.

TL;DR: Roommate is disgusting cockroach queen.” – brassninja, Reddit

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Ready to purge? Check out our guide on what to ditch and what to donate, then book a Dolly to help carry your donations to the thrift store and your old furniture to the dump.

Miranda is the Marketing Coordinator at Dolly. She’s moved nine times in the past six years, and while she’s grateful for the moving expertise, she’s hoping she doesn’t need to move a tenth time anytime soon.

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