When we were growing up, my mom always used to say that she hoped she passed away before our father. It sounds really grim, but she really only said it because she was worried she would become a hoarder if he went first. My mom’s heart was always in the right place, but sometimes she just said the wrong things. My dad actually did pass away before my mother who, as she feared, actually became a hoarder after all. There wasn’t a problem with hanging onto old things of my dad’s that had some sentimental value. There was a problem with holding on to the last bits of trash that he threw away on his side of the bed. It didn’t take long before the buildup of trash and junk was really taking a toll on the house’s air quality. My childhood home was always attached to memories of being cozy and clean. It soon became a nightmare of a place with no proper air circulation that smelled of garbage. It seemed like the stench had become integrated into the vents. We hired the best tech in town to do the most thorough cleaning of my mom’s ductwork, and it still smelled terrible. Finally, I was able to convince my mother that it was time to throw some things out. While we were able to conquer the mountains of trash, the smell still remained throughout the house. My mom wound up investing in an air purifier. After a month of keeping the place clean and running the air purifier regularly, the house finally smelled clean again. My mom was actually a lot happier too. Getting rid of all the garbage got rid of her anxiety, so she’s doing a lot better now than she was.