History’s Famous Hoarders
Hoarding is a complicated yet fascinating mental disorder to many people, resulting in a number of interesting character studies related to the affliction. While most hoarders are hardly infamous, the following people found a certain notoriety thanks to their inability to keep clutter at bay.
Edith Bouvier Beale and Edith Ewing Bouvier
Proving that even those with impressive pedigrees can fall victim to hoarding behaviors, mother and daughter Edith and Edith languished in a New York mansion for years until the home was condemned in the early 1970s. The most notable aspect of this case (which was immortalized in the critically acclaimed documentary Grey Gardens) was that the women were related to former first lady Jackie Onassis. It was Onassis and then husband Aristotle who took charge of restoring the mansion, which resulted in over 1,000 bags of garbage being hauled away during the cleanup.
Art and eccentricity often go hand in hand, which may explain the peculiar case of Bettina Grossman. Calling New York City’s famed Chelsea Hotel home, Grossman spent 30 years as a sort of artist-in-residence, filling her tiny living space with innumerable works of art. The ever-growing mounds of supplies and canvases eventually forced the reclusive artist to sleep in the hotel’s hallway. While Grossman is now living a far more orderly life in a rest home due to her advanced age, her legacy lives on through several documentaries…and her curious artwork.
Notable hoarding cases occur outside the United States as well, as illustrated by Englishman Edmund Trebis. There was little this elderly man didn’t acquire, often going through his neighbors’ trash to collect items he believed were worth salvaging. As a result, Trebis’s home was brimming with items of every distinction, including large items like freezers, motorcycles, and most disconcerting, a mortuary table. When met with complaints about his living situation, Trebis displayed a snarky attitude that won him many fans when he was featured in the British documentary A Life of Grime.
Hoarding Is No Laughing Matter
No matter the situation, hoarding cleanup is essential for both peace of mind and overall general health. Fortunately, Aftermath is staffed by trained professionals, caring and compassionate people who specialize in remedying hoarded homes. While dealing with the underlying causes is also important, maintaining a safe and comfortable place to live can be that all-important first step toward regaining control and starting down a path to recovery.