5 of 11
Peter and a team of six professional organizers begin the challenge of helping Sharyn and Marvin sort through their belongings. First up is the living room and dining room. "Ninety-five percent of what's in here has to go," Peter says.

He starts by dividing the front lawn into four sections: Keep, Sell, Donate and Trash. Peter makes Sharyn the director, and she gets to decide which pile everything goes in. As boxes and bags come bustling past her, Sharyn's anxiety level escalates. "I know I need to get rid of this. You've just got to give me a little bit of time," she says. As the hours go by, Sharyn is able to let go of many of her possessions...although some more easily than others.

The team makes a dangerous discovery—underneath five feet of junk, they find boxes of pasta rotting into the carpet.

As the first week of cleaning comes to an end, Peter gives Sharyn and Marvin three assignments to complete on their own the following week. He asks them to clear out their china cabinet, fill two garbage bags—one for charity and one for trash—once a day and demands that Sharyn stops shopping. Sharyn says she usually shops every day but she won't do it anymore now that Peter's here. "Not after this man came into my life," Sharyn says.
PREVIOUS | NEXT
FROM: Inside the Lives of Hoarders with Peter Walsh, Part 1
Published on November 15, 2007

NEXT STORY

Comment

LONG FORM
ONE WORD