We’ve have had a rough last couple months. I’ll spare you the full story, but my wife and I put our lives on hold to (amongst many other things) clean out a hoarder house.

According to Wikipedia:

Compulsive hoarding is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by excessive acquisition and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment.

In our case, we had to clean out a house that has been acquiring stuff for over three decades. One of the owners had a serious medical emergency, and in order for him to safely return home, a social worker needed to inspect the home to make sure it was safe. Of course the condition of the house wasn’t at all safe. No smoke detectors, no fire extinguishers, boxes of moth balls all over the house, a grease-soaked dishtowel draped over the back of the stovetop, and of course plenty of tripping hazards.

So off to work we went. I systematically moved through the house room by room, rounding up trash, creating piles of objects that needed organized, and throwing out lots and lots of junk.  We rented a 30-foot dumpster and completely filled it after a day and a half of work.

In order to keep my soul from being crushed by the unfortunate circumstances, I started capturing some of the funny objects I encountered. So in the spirit of coping with this mess of a situation, I’m going to share some of these gems with you.

“Made in West Germany”

Quiche Quiche Quiche

A branding time machine

Awesome old graphic design

I kept thinking to myself, “man, I wish Draplin was here with me. He’d be flipping out.”

I encountered some painfully sexist, dated paraphernalia

While the cover story is wince-worthy, I think the headline “Acoustic musicians: still alive and picking” takes the cake.

Killer security

Found these together.


The most magical thing about this is the mustache

So that’s that.

When it was all said and done, we worked nonstop for 9 straight days, we filled up two 30-foot dumpsters, and could have easily filled a third. In the crowded garage that served as our staging area for the trash, I accidentally stepped on the gas line and we had to call 911. The whole thing was pretty harrowing.

We eventually headed home to return to our lives, but the experience (the whole experience, not just the cleaning a hoarder house) really knocked us on our asses. I’m only just now starting to emerge from the fog. I was really excited about heading back to work, but have found it difficult to get some good momentum going. Here’s hoping I’m able to get back into the swing of things.

This situation was caused by decades of unchecked mental health issues. So if there’s a moral to this story, it’s to talk about mental health and get mental help. Mental health so incredibly important yet it still carries a strong stigma.