My mom is a hoarder, although mostly she will deny, deny, deny. This isn't a picture of one of our houses, but it is strikingly familiar. I can even tell you how it smells there . . .
The first time I watched to show "Hoarders" my heart was racing the whole time. I recognized and related with EVERYTHING! That was my childhood . . . rooms like this pictured here, PLUS we had animals (most of the real bad hoarders do) and those animals wet and defecated all over the house, and that was left there. But I'll talk about the animal situation in another post.
So, added to the animal smell, there was/is a rotting food smell - especially citrus. And a moldy smell. This mix is still with my mother. When I go pick her up - from her house that looks pretty much the same - maybe a bit more walking space - everything about her has her oder . . mildew and more. Her clothes, skin, etc.
Since she IS a hoarder she constantly is picking up stuff for us and her grandkids - but if the items have been in her house for any length of time they come over smelling bad like that. We accept it gracefully, but usually the items (if they can't be washed) disappear from the my house.
My kids love their grandma - but I did need to instruct them that grandma MAY smell when we pick her up, but to make a big TOO DOO about it would hurt her feelings so kindly, and for the love of Grandma , be kind. When my kids have told her of her oder she either thinks that the kids are being mean to her, or that it was because of one specific thing - like she was working in the garden and my be sweaty . . . deny, deny, deny.
When I've asked her about a PARTICULAR room (of
the many all of them) she'd say "Oh that was just that room and EVERY ONE has a room they use for storage . . ." Or something like that.
Rotting food, animal waste, mold . . . oh - and human stink. One thing that is peculiar to mom is that in whatever home she has lived (with or without me and my siblings) the bathroom is either broken, or it breaks down. For a while there we lived in a house that had an unfinished bathroom so we used a bucket outside. I was about 13 then. It was mortifying. I can't remember what happened to the bucket once it filled up. I think mom just made us dump it out somewhere.
Yes. Made us. The kids.
When my mother had her period . . . GOOD LORD! But I really think I'll save that for a different day.