Two of the recognised causes of hoarding are loss of a loved one and growing up with a family member who hoards. Cardiff based 82 year-old Brian has experienced both. His mother was a hoarder and when his wife died almost 20 years ago his hoarding habit began in earnest. His three-bedroom home has a well-kept, tidy garden but step inside and clutter and chaos is taking over every room. From pieces of old shoes to boxes of supermarket magazines and obsolete TVs, Brian believes everything he has kept has a purpose and a use, however since breaking his back from falling off a ladder in the garden his daughter has decided to take control. But getting him to agree to throw anything away is going to prove harder than even getting around the house.
Over in Florida 74 year-old Sandy is an extreme hoarder. Despite the pristine exterior of her home every single surface within is littered with rubbish. After having a heart attack, Sandy couldn’t bear to throw anything away, she slipped into a way of life that no one was aware of. Eventually though a friend uncovered her secret and called in help. A specialist team of cleaners come to clear the house, but as they move piles of rotting debris they discover more than just the odd cockroach and in the kitchen there are some rather disturbing things amidst the mounds of coffee filters and out of date food.
Finally we meet Paul. The 52 year-old Bristolian has been cultivating his hoarding habit for 14 years and it’s not only his flat that is full to the brim; his van and his two cars are packed with all sorts too. Paul has been seeing his girlfriend Sharon for six months, and we join them as she comes to visit his flat for the first time. Despite her arrival he hasn’t cleared much out and it is so packed that to show her around the whole flat they have to leave through the front door, and go round to the back door, just to access his kitchen. Will this be the wake-up call he needs and will she stick around to see the end of his hoarding days?