Obsessive hoarder Sue Richardson nearly ended her marriage after her hoard completely took over her home.
Sue Richardson has ten grandchildren yet can count on one hand the number of times they have come to visit. ‘Having them just pop in, giving them their tea, letting them do some colouring-in, run up the stairs, maybe even stay over. I never had that,’ she admits. ‘I couldn’t, not even with the two grandchildren who just live round the corner. My daughter wouldn’t let them come here at all.’
The reason why her home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, became a child-free zone will be baffling to most.
There was no family falling out, no acrimonious relationships with her children or their spouses. Indeed, it’s clear Sue adores her son and two daughters and their expanding broods.
But the uncomfortable truth is that her home had become a health hazard. Every room was so crammed full of clutter — including, ironically, an obsessive collection of more than 100 dolls destined never to be played with — that an accident was just waiting to happen.
We’ve all experienced days when our homes are less than visitor-ready, so how bad must Sue’s have got? Particularly since her doll-collecting hobby couldn’t sound more child-friendly. Sue, 60, takes a deep breath before explaining.
‘It wasn’t fit for children to be in,’ she says. ‘You couldn’t walk across most of the rooms. There was a danger of something falling on them, or them tripping over something.
‘In the bedroom, we couldn’t get to the window to pull the curtains. They stayed open for years. In the kitchen, we couldn’t really cook because there was nowhere to set anything down.’
Read on to find out more about:
- Sue’s story.
- Advice from compulsive hoarding expert Clare Dahill on how she helps people who suffer from hoarding overcome their hoard’s.
- The story of Scott and his wife, Faith, whose marriage is close to breaking point because of Scott’s hoarding.
Remember, if you or someone you know is suffering from hoarding, you can contact us at www.facebook.com/CloudsEndCIC for help.