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The US Sun

I’m a hoarder – my husband of 37 years left me for keeping 22,000 lbs of trash but I took drastic action to win him back

By Emma Crabtree,


A WOMAN has ditched thousands of pounds of trash that she hoarded in her home in order to win back her husband of 37 years.

Claudie from Peoria, Illinois, was featured on season two, episode 13, of A&E's program Hoarders.
Claudie threw out 22,000 pounds of clutter from her house by the end of the cleanup Credit: Youtube / A & E
Jim never promised that he would return once the house was back in order Credit: Youtube / A & E

Her hoarding issue became so bad that her five-bedroom house was full and she ended up living in a homeless shelter.

The program saw how Claudie battled against her hoarding disorder in order to win back her husband who left in 2008.

The 58-year-old met her husband Jim, 72, on Valentine's Day in 1971.

The pair had 10 children together, and Claudie had two others from a previous relationship.

The footage of the house showed items piled high in rooms and the entire floor was covered in items such as blankets, clothes, and newspapers.

Jim vanished without any notice on November 12, 2008, prompting a police search and 12 days later he was found in Las Vegas.

Once he was found, Claudie said to him on the phone: "Why didn't you come back home?

"You are my life I can't go on without you."

She explained that he told her "you must go on without me" and "I'm getting a divorce."

Jim's wife of 37 years said: "He kept telling me, I want you to clean this house."

She said: "I'm used to being here with my husband. I love him so much, and I can't live without him."

Claudie resolved that if she cleaned up the house, Jim would return to her.

He told the program: "I do believe that there is a big chance of me coming back, and she would get her head together."

Renee, Claudie's 27-year-old daughter, explained how her mother would bring things into the house and not throw them out.

"I remember there were padlocked doors with junk behind them because she said that she didn't want us to go in and steal anything," Renee said.

She added: "My mother's hoarding has destroyed this family" and that they are "at a crisis point, because my father wants to go home."

A team of specialists arrived at the house to help Claudie move back in from the streets and win her husband and family back.

Claudie asked that none of her children are alone in any of the rooms due to her suspicion that they have thrown out items of hers without her permission.

As the team, Claudie, Jim, and some of their children rattled through the house, they found items covered with mold.

During the process, a number of the family members ended up having disagreements as emotions ran high.

In the end, the house received a thorough clean out with one closet being cleaned out so Claudie could step into it "for the first time since 1986."

Over 10 trucks were filled with the removed clutter that weighed a total of 22,000 pounds.

Throughout the 20 minute program, Jim made no promises about returning to the house to be with Claudie, though he said he still wanted to live there.

By the end of the cleanup, Jim was still living in Las Vegas, despite saying he had loose ends to tie up and would return to help Claudie with the house and to be with her.

Meanwhile, Claudie is still living on the street and is only speaking to two of her daughters after relations fractured once more.

She is reportedly seeing a counselor but has not chosen to get further therapy and wants to use aftercare funds for house repairs.

According to the program, up to 19million Americans struggle with hoarding disorder.

This is an issue that is diagnosed as a person who has an obsessive need to acquire and keep things, even if they are worthless, unsanitary, or hazardous.
According to Claudie's daughter, she would bring items into the house and refuse to throw them out Credit: Youtube / A & E
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