Hundreds of plastic bins housed obsolete TVs and computer monitors. Other bins had organized things, such as cables, wire, VHS tapes, hardware, etc.Many of you have asked what was in the backyard bins. And many of you have asked if we came across an elusive antique or painting buried in the attic, basement or overall hoard. Your questions prompt me to dig a little deeper (no pun intended) into a hoarder’s background, interests, and what they seek out to hoard.
Bill grew up in the 1950s in a middle-class family. He was a computer/electronics geek. He learned a lot from his father and then majored in electronics in college. I am absolutely no expert on hoarding but since I have been deeply involved in this hoarding situation for almost a year, I believe in Bill’s case, that he sought out items/objects of interest (all electronics, motors, cables, tools) and other things that he perceived as value but didn’t necessarily have interest (books, clothes).
In regard to finding an antique, painting or collectible, it’s in my opinion that if you entered a hoarder’s home that had a privileged upbringing or came from “old money” or had deep pockets, maybe that’s when something of real value would be discovered. A commenter mentioned “Grey Gardens.” This is an EXCELLENT movie staring Drew Barrymore (I rented it from Netflix several years ago). It’s a true story about an extremely eccentric mother and daughter who came from “old money” and lived in their family home in East Hampton, Long Island. (They were also cousins of Jackie Kennedy.) They were “old money” and lived in their own little world. If you haven’t seen it, rent it. Drew Barrymore really nailed the part.
The following photos will tell you about what Bill likes, his interests and what he sought out to bring back to the house.
Someone else asked, “Where did he get the money to buy all of these things?” Well, hoarding doesn’t necessarily mean spending money on “stuff.” Many of the TVs and computer monitors were thrown out by people. Bill discovered them and inherited the discarded things. He happily brought them back to the house. Over 30 years of “inheriting” discarded things adds up to a mother load of a hoard. On the other hand, things like the 1000 bins, he did spend money because he had to in order to conceal the hoarded items. He ran out of space in the house, so he then stashed his things outside. He shopped around stores for the best price on bins. On the inside lids, he wrote the price he paid and where he bought them. Again, very organized. (He also spent money buying food in bulk, stashing it away, and forgetting about it.)
Another person asked, “If Bill didn’t drive, how did he get this stuff back to the house?” Answer: Bill’s good friend, a fellow hoarder, had a van. Together they “collected” and “hoarded.
Here is another sampling of bin photos.