Matt Paxton is a familiar face on Hoarders. The reality show on A&E highlights the process of removing overwhelming clutter from homes around the country. In an exclusive interview to find out more about hoarding, we talked to Matt Paxton about his life assisting people who have too much stuff. The down-to-earth Hoarders reality star reflected on his job of cleanup and gave us insight on how he helps others.
“The massive mess is a great symbol of tragedy. Something horrible happened,” said Matt Paxton on how he feels about the first look at a hoarder’s house. “Usually a trifecta of bad things.”
When approaching each project he opens his heart in understanding, treats every individual equally and incorporates the hoarder in every aspect of the project. Believe it or not, what viewers see on Hoarders is how the cleanup happens in real life too.
From the time the van first pulls up to the final camera shot, the process of organizing piles of stuff gives people watching Hoarders an overview on how Matt Paxton works. The cleanup is a massive project and sometimes it takes a few days for everything to be picked up properly. For Paxton, he has seen his share of strange things buried in those piles stacked from floor to ceiling including $13,000 cash, a homeless man and 25 years of unopened mail.
So How Does Matt Paxton Get Involved?
Matt Paxton shows up at the job to talk to the hoarder and a plan is made. Incorporating the individual in the process is absolutely essential according to Paxton. Then organizing, de-cluttering and cleaning begins until the area is restored to proper living conditions.
“We get calls from hundreds of families who need help. Nobody wants to live this way. This is a disorder and we tend to forget there is a purpose. Hoarders are very smart,” said Matt Paxton about the process of finding help.
How to Help a Hoarder
Thinking that you know someone that needs help as they are becoming a hoarder? Matt Paxton suggests that before you confront any possible hoarder, that you take a close look at their situation. Offer to take them to lunch and find out when is going on. Consider offering help gently, but refrain from being condescending or yelling at the hoarder as that doesn't work.
“We see a lot of success with people who are part of the process,” said Matt Paxton on the emotional side of collecting a mess in homes. “Remember people didn't wake up one day and decide to be a hoarder.”
Matt Paxton’s Life on A&E and Beyond
People know Matt Paxton because his friendly face is on A&E, but he is also well known in the professional organizing community because he focuses on extreme hoarding. Matt Paxton’s profession is so specialized that his skill is sought out around the world. Hoping to help as many people as possible, the organizing expert wrote a book to help families tackle the issues of extreme clutter. The Secret Lives of Hoarders is based on true stories and offers insights on Paxton’s profession. Or you can find out more about extreme clutter on Matt's website Clutter Cleaner.