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The Secret Lives of Hoarders: True Stories of Tackling Extreme Clutter

by Matt Paxton Phaedra Hise

On the front lines with extreme hoarders, The Secret Lives of Hoarders is much more than harrowing tales of attacking the ugliest, dirtiest, and most shocking hoarding cases in the country. It is a behind-the-scenes look at this hidden epidemic--what it means, how to recognize it before it gets out of hand, and how to deal with it. Through his work with hundreds of clients in the worst circumstances-from the giant 'rat's nest' that hid more than $13,000 in cash to a vast collection of mermaid pornography to twenty five years' worth of unopened mail--Matt Paxton has learned to understand this disorder and his clients' impulses to collect, to speak the hoarders' language, and to reach out to them with compassion and concern while avoiding criticism and judgment. Most important, he guides compulsive hoarders successfully through every step of the cleanup and healing process. The Secret Lives of Hoarders is an engrossing and sometimes unsettling look at extreme clutter but one that helps hoarders, their families, and their friends find meaning in the chaos.

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