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Non-Fiction Review – The Secret Lives of Hoarders


The Secret Lives of Hoarders: True Stories of Tackling Extreme Clutter

by Matt Paxton with Phaedra Hise

Review by McGuffyAnn M. (nightprose)



This is a very interesting book, based on the cable TV show “Hoarders”, which airs on

A & E. The book is written by the owner of Clutter Cleaners, Matt Paxton, who also is an expert and speaker on issues of hoarding.


The book is full of case studies of hoarders, including how it begins, causes, and then recognition and resolution. There are reasons explained as to why some people begin to hoard. Also discussed are odd items people have been known to hoard. The psychology of hoarding is sorted out with sensitivity and sensibility, as Matt offers plans of action that work. Sorting this all out with the hoarder is part of breaking the cycle of hoarding, and ultimately healing.


The book is hard to read at times because of the content, the ways in which people are affected, and the reasons behind it. However, never does Matt judge the hoarder, choosing rather to explain the cycle and how to break it. He allows them dignity and hope, as well as help.


This is an important book, as this is a problem that many people have as a hidden source of shame. Only by facing it and sorting it out can one ever clean up their homes and their lives.

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2 Responses to “Non-Fiction Review – The Secret Lives of Hoarders”

  1. Hunter S. (Hunter1) says:

    I’m a professional organizer and I’ve actually seen some pretty horrific homes.

  2. When you write your book, I would be happy to review it!

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