Launder that life

Did you see The Hoarder Next Door last week, Channel 4’s latest lifestyle shocker? I watched it with Child Two last night on catch-up and it’s rocketed into first place in my telly loves list, ahead of even Homeland – well yes, mainly because Homeland has just finished, but still ….

I’m not sure what I love best about it, the Cinderella transformation of a filthy, junk-filled tip into a habitable home, the therapy element courtesy of the wonderfully dressed psychotherapist, Stelios, or his matching ties, shirts and hankies, which so far have appeared in yellow, blue and red. Lovely!

Both Child Two and I were upset by the condition of the first patient/candidate’s cats, one of which seemed very mangey-looking. They lived a bit like mountain lions, ranging across his teetering Everests of old sewing machines and willow pattern plates, pooping where the fancy took them and eating rubbish off the kitchen floor. Poor things! I can (just about) see how someone can be so overwhelmed by grief/anger/something-or-other to let their house get in this state, but I can’t see how they can inflict it on their pets …. but that was before we met the second candidate, who had cats, dogs, a rabbit and a chicken, yes a chicken, living free-range in her own house full of tat.

Unlike previous makeover/declutter shows, the idea here is that the hoarder undergoes six weeks of therapy with the colourful Stelios, by the end of which it’s quite unlikely that they will revert to their burrow-creating ways. It’ll be interesting to see if it really does work long term.

Obviously, it’s inspired me to do a bit of life-laundering myself. I’ve got the plastic bags, the rubber gloves and the hoover at the ready. Off I go, thanks to Channel 4 and the therapist’s lovely ties.

I think there's a chicken behind here somewhere ....


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