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TV presenter Jasmine Harman's mum Vasoulla is a compulsive hoarder. This secretive and often shameful psychological condition is putting a big strain on the entire family, and they are not alone. Up to three million British families are affected, but little is known about this disorder, and support is practically non-existent.

In 2011, Jasmine tried to help her mum tackle the extreme clutter, which had taken over the entire family home and compelled her 13 year-old brother to move out. Despite a huge family effort, only a few rooms were tidied. Jasmine searched everywhere for solutions; none seemed forthcoming. But now Jasmine thinks there might be hope.

In this programme, Jasmine calls on expert assistance to help her mum and other chronic hoarders combat the condition that is ruining their lives and those of their families.

Alan lives in a property so heavily hoarded that his wife, Marion, has nowhere to sit or wash. The council have given him just two weeks to clean up his garden; if he fails, the couple face prosecution.

Richard's hoarding has turned his home into a health hazard. The stairs are so thick with rubbish and rotting food that even moving around is dangerous.

Vasoulla, Jasmine's mum, can only fully access one of her five bedrooms. Torn between wanting a better life for her and her son, and a deep emotional attachment to her belongings, she has nonetheless agreed to a total house clearance.

Each hoarder presents a unique challenge, but together they help Jasmine understand this complex and debilitating psychological disorder. Will hoarders ever willingly clear their homes? Do new techniques and treatments really offer hope? And can hoarders ever be cured? On an intimate, emotional and deeply personal journey, Jasmine finds out.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Sat 14 Jul 2012 03:00

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TV blog: An incredible response

TV blog: An incredible response

“It was truly eye-opening for me to read so many tales of people in similar situations and to feel that by sharing our own stories we'd been able to reach out to others”

Read presenter Jasmine Harman’s follow up post on the BBC TV blog


Role Contributor
Executive ProducerDan Adamson
Executive ProducerDan Adamson
Executive ProducerAndrew Mackenzie-Betty
Camera OperatorChristian Watt
ProducerChristian Watt
DirectorChristian Watt

Lifting the stigma for mum

BBC TV Blog - Britain’s Biggest Hoarders: Lifting the stigma for mum

"Mum wanted to show other hoarders and their families that they were not lost causes”