How To!: Live With a Dirty Family Secret

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Usually when something enters Rachel’s parents’ home, it never leaves. Growing up, Rachel and her siblings tried to clean out the growing piles of junk, but her mom would often dig into the trash to retrieve whatever was tossed. Rachel finally escaped her parent’s over-stuffed house but she still worries about their safety and quality of life. On this episode of How To!, we bring on Jessie Sholl, author of Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding. She knows what it’s like to spend hours decluttering a house teeming with stuff, only to have it come back with a vengeance. Many of us will eventually have to parent our parents, but how do you handle such an extreme case? Jessie explains that hoarding is a mental illness and advises Rachel on how to find agency in a situation that feels so helpless.

If you liked this episode, check out: “How To Avoid Becoming Your Mother.”

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