A Family in Crisis: Before and After
The Rogozenski family's lives were forever changed when Joel was diagnosed with leukemia 13 years ago. His wife, Paula has helped him battle his illness and raise their two daughters. Meanwhile, the Rogozenskis' home has become buried beneath mountains of clutter.
Clothes, boxes of books and unfinished home-improvement projects inundate the Rogozenski home so badly it's rendered areas like the living room totally unusable. Now, Joel may have only months to live, and the clutter is robbing the family of enjoying whatever remaining time they have left together. Paula says she wants to get her home in order for Joel but she doesn't know where to begin.
"When we walk down the staircase, this is the room we see," Joel says. "???it's kind of depressing but hopefully that will change." Meanwhile, the clutter keeps piling up.
Paula says she feels overwhelmed by both her husband's illness and her cluttered home, so she clings to items - particularly from her daughters' childhoods - that remind her of happier times. Her daughters, Laura and Felicia, say they want nothing to do with these things and the friction is putting a barrier between the girls and their parents.
Peter confronts the family with what's led to their physical and emotional clutter - their refusal to face Joel's illness. Peter says that only by openly discussing their emotions about Joel's leukemia will the family be able to clear away the clutter and live in the "now".
Before Peter organizes the guest room it's packed with so many boxes and piles of wood you can't even see the floor.
Joel can no longer travel to see his loved ones because of his illness. After Peter and his team help to clear the room, there should be plenty of space for out of town guests to come and visit Joel.
After the room is rebuilt based on the families "Vision Pile", a calm, relaxing environment is created and there is plenty of space for visitors' belongings.
After Peter and his team declutter the room, the miraculous makeover is sure to bring houseguests and new memories for the Rogozenskis.
"It brings family back into this space," Peter says.
When Peter first arrives at Paula and Joel's house, boxes are stacked six feet high in the family room, and racks of clothes and unfinished Do-it-Yourself projects filled the corners.
After the transformation, the room is inviting and everything has its right place. Paula and Joel can now make it a true "family" room again.
"The thing that I learned is it's not really the material items, its your relationship with your spouse, and your family, making sure the girls were dealing with my illness and live for the moment and just be happy," says Joel.
"I'll always remember Peter for what he's done for us," says Paula. "And we're more than thankful for giving us our dream, basically."