"We are all just 5 decisions away from a life changing reality. It goes both ways, you could be 5 decisions away from sh*tting in a bucket or 5 decisions away from becoming a millionaire. I’ve seen both."
Per everyone’s request, I have posted links to my podcast 5 Decisions Away, so that you don’t have to download it on iTunes. If you do like it, PLEASE subscribe free on iTunes.
Let me stress, this is not for everyone. It’s crass, rude, funny and hopefully entertaining and informative. It’s been described as gross and inspirational, which is our goal. My Clutter Cleaner partner in crime, Cabell Hatchett, and myself talk about how we ended up cleaning hoarded homes and about the interesting things we encounter on the road. Sometimes we’ll be joined by guests and hope that you’ll send in suggestions for topics and guests. We need your help, please send in your requests.
Theme Song Contest:
You’ll notice each week that we have a new theme song created by a listener. It doesn’t matter if you are musical or not, please forward a link to your theme song recorded on soundcloud.com to email@example.com. Winning songs will be played on the weekly podcast, you’ll receive a Clutter Cleaner Road Crew t-shirt and you’ll be invited on the podcast at some point in 2012. The only rules to the contest are that the song must be 10 to 15 seconds long and it must include the words “Matt Paxton” & “poop.”
We’ll update the podcast every Thursday.
Thanks for listening.
**Please help support the podcast. If you are shopping at Amazon.com, please click on the link to your right and it will automatically direct you to Amazon. It doesn’t’ cost you anymore and we get a little bit of cash to support our podcast. Let me know if you have any questions.** If you can’t see the link to the right, click here.
When you are ready to listen to the podcast, simply choose the episode you want to listen to and click “play.” If you like it, please let your friends know. A quick blog, tweet or Facebook post about 5 Decisions Away will really help out.
Podcast No. 73 – Bubblegum (05/15/2013):
The boys talk about mother’s day, matt’s love of trains and Cabell’s hair. Enjoy.
Podcast No. 72 – Let It Go (05/10/2013):
Matt & Cabell catch up late night and discuss some new hoards, read listener letters and swap old college stories. Good times.
Podcast No. 71 – Call Me Sally (05/01/2013):
Cabell and Matt catch up on the week, talk about some extreme hoards and the most fascinating interview Matt’s ever done.
Podcast No. 70 – Must Be (04/22/2013):
Matt and Cabell are back in the office talking about Matt’s first time on HSN, the Boston Marathon and Matt’s Uncle John.
Podcast No. 69 – Uben (04/11/2013):
Yup, the boys made it to episode 69. This one is very refined and dignified. Enjoy.
Podcast No. 68 – HCF (04/3/2013):
Cabell & Matt are just chilling in the steamer talking about their latest job catching 80 cats in 1 day. Good times…good times.
Podcast No. 67- The Rock (03/14/2013):
Matt & Cabell get caught up trips to LA and Chicago and we have our first official “Cabell’s Corner.”
Podcast No. 66- Super (03/07/2013):
Cabell & Matt are joined in studio by one of their faithful listeners. Mr. Mangione shares his life story and plays a few live songs for us. This is a good one. Enjoy.
Matt & Cabell catch up on moving pianos and going to the circus. Taking a break from the serious and having some fun.
Podcast No. 64- Friends With A Stripper (02/20/2013):
A few days late – here is the 5DA Valentine episode. Matt is visited by 2 friends that describe their fascinating journey through love…Paxton style. ENJOY.
Podcast No. 63- Free (02/13/2013):
The boys are back home after a LONG week in Arizona. Ronnie joins the podcast to talk about traveling for the first time in 25 years and the boys discuss a new line of business.
Podcast No. 62- To Better Us (01/30/2013):
Matt is honored to have author/poet/survivor Tavarius “TJ” Thompson in the steamer to talk about his life and his new book “TOLD.” A fascinating episode with a future leader of America. Please listen to TJ’s words, vision and power. We can all learn from this fine young man. Seriously – tell everyone you know about this episode, TJ’s message and voice need to be heard.
Podcast No. 61- Jason Good is Funny (01/25/2013):
Writer, blogger and comedian, Jason Good, calls in to the steamer to talk kids, comedy and groupies – or lack their of. If you are a an of his blog www.jasongood.net (Jason Good 365) this is a must listen. Enjoy.
Podcast No. 60- Party with a Sephardi (01/17/2013):
Matt’s favorite financial contributor is in the house. Roben Farzad joins the boys to discuss international affairs, finance and his unique past. Matt doesn’t sound as dumb as you think and Roben drops some SERIOUS knowledge on our butts. AWESOME EPISODE. Listen. Now.
Podcast No. 59- 1 Out of 100 (01/11/2013):
Matt & Cabell kick off the new year with their take on resolutions and that Sunday night feeling.
Podcast No. 58- Wrap It Up (12/28/2012):
Matt & Cabell recap their holidays and Matt shares some holiday organization tips for the end of the year. There might be some good stories as well.
Podcast No. 57- Ronnie Pooh (12/20/2012):
Back by popular demand, Ronnie joins the boy in studio. The boys share their favorite holiday stories and Ronnie reflects on the holidays with family after celebrating by himself in prison for the last 20 years.
Podcast No. 56- Rollin’ With My Homies (12/13/2012):
Matt and Cabell are joined by one of their favorite people – BS. No bull, this may be one of our best episodes of the year. Sit back, relax and get your mind blown. This one gets deep.
Podcast No. 55- Hair Like Jesus (12/06/2012):
Mr & Mrs Coolhand are in the studio to talk about triathlons and what motivates Cabell. Cabell steps in and leads the show. If you think Matt talks too much, this will be your favorite episode.
Matt & Cabell sit down for their annual Hoarders themed Thanksgiving Meal. this is not meant to be funny – just gross. I think we succeeded. Enjoy. Have a great holiday weekend.
Podcast No. 53 – Big Fish (11/15/2012):
We couldn’t wait anymore. The boys are still sick, but ready to talk potty training, Cory Chalmers and 4 person naked bicycling. WE ARE BACK.
Podcast No. 52 – 52 Weeks of Awesome (10/25/2012):
Matt & Cabell celebrate 1 year of 5DA, relive a few guests and answer listener questions. Are you ready for another year of awesome (and immature humor)?
Podcast No. 51 – A Year Wasted? (10/19/2012):
Matt tells Cabell about how he almost got his *ss kicked on the latest episode of HOARDERS. They also discuss their other fears and discuss going another year with 5DA.
Podcast No. 50 – Pfeffernator (10/11/2012):
Matt is on the road and is joined by THE Pfeffernator and his friend David to talk about the liquid poop hoarder and the future of mental health. Check it out yo.
Podcast No. 49 – Good Coop Bad Coop (10/04/2012):
Matt & Cabell are back in the steamer talking kids, NYC and Cabell’s new golfing buddy.
Podcast No. 48 – My Junk (09/26/2012):
Matt is back on the road hanging out with some of his friends from the hoard.
Podcast No. 47 – Good (09/20/2012):
Coolhand and Spotty sit down with an old friend to hear the most fascinating story ever heard on 5 Decisions Away. Stick around to the end of this one.
Podcast No. 46 – No Sweat (09/14/2012):
Cabell and Matt are catching up and talking about the new season of HOARDERS. Matt goes into detail about spending the night in his first hoarded house.
Podcast No. 45 – The C Word (09/07/2012):
Matt visits with one of his favorite non-hoarding clients. They talk about life, love, family and teaching your spouse to do the cleaning. Good times.
Podcast No. 44 – Coast is Clear (08/31/2012):
Cabell and Matt wrap up the end of summer and get ready for the fall. HOARDERS is back on next week and the boys talk about some of their most recent hoards.
Podcast No. 43 – The Routine (08/24/2012):
Matt is on vacation and sits down with his family to tell stories of their times growing up. One of the cleaner episodes of 5DA that can be enjoyed by all. Matt will be back next week with Cabell in the steamer.
Podcast No. 42 – Going Skiing (08/16/2012):
Cabell & Matt are back together after a long month. The boys are in the steamer to say good bye to Ally the Intern and catch up on the last month.
Podcast No. 41 – Wrestling Chickens (08/12/2012):
Paxton is on the road taping HOARDERS. This week he checks in with a good friend and they talk being homeless, reality TV and get drunk enough to race each other in the parking lot.
Podcast No. 40 – The Real Deal (07/31/2012):
Dr. Melva Green joins Matt on the road to talk spirituality and taking chances. There is also a good possibility, that these 2 will talk HOARDERS. Long, but fascinating. Thanks to Dr. Green for her time and brutal honesty.
Podcast No. 39 – Same As Me (07/19/2012):
Matt and Cabell talk HOARDERS and dish on some new additions to Season 6. The boys are back.
Podcast No. 38 – Just Finish (07/12/2012):
The boys are in the steamer talking hoards and answering viewer questions. Cabell drops some serious triathlon knowledge.
Podcast No. 37 – ReCharge (07/06/2012):
Cabell joins Matt in the steamer to talk about how he got through one of the most difficult weeks of his life. oh yeah…and it’s 4th of July too.
Podcast No. 36 – Dog Hair (06/28/2012):
The boys are back in the Steamer catching up on their kids, what they found on the hoard this week and the difference between confidence and cockiness.
Podcast No. 35 – Word (06/21/2012):
Matt is in Seattle for a week and gets to sit down with his favorite blogger/author, Jennifer Worick. They talk PT Cruisers, Steam Punk, writing and other things they want to punch in the face. @ClutterCleaner
Podcast No. 34 – The Other Bucket (06/13/2012):
Matt & Cabell are in the steamer talking about back up dancers, super fans, drunk texting and who failed the Paxton Challenge. @ClutterCleaner
Podcast No. 33 – Making Donuts (06/06/2012):
Matt is back in the Steamer with Cabell and Ally the intern. They talk about Matt’s 15 year college reunion and Cabell highlights some interesting finds from this week’s hoard. In the second half we answer listener questions and praise our good friend, Fast Eddie.
Podcast No. 32 – First Time Solo (06/01/2012):
Cabell is on his own in the Steamer while Matt is away. For all those people that thing Matt talks too much, this is the episode for you.
Podcast No. 31 – Stepping Stones (05/23/2012):
Cabell and Matt are in the steamer talking music. They select a few of their favorite songs and discuss how the bands and the words motivate them to keep going. Note, if you like The Avett Brothers, this is probably a good podcast for you.
Podcast No. 30 – No Band Yet (05/17/2012):
Matt & Cabell are back in the steamer and get caught up on the last few weeks. They answer viewer questions and celebrate the dumbest joke they’ve ever heard. The boys are back and better than ever.
Podcast No. 29 – Your Momma (05/10/2012):
Matt’s mother visits the steamer for the very special Mother’s Day Episode. They discuss listener questions and talk about what Matt was really like as a child. Cabell is back in the studio next week.
Podcast No. 28 – Waiting On A Train (05/3/2012):
Matt remembers his grandfather and makes a few decisions. Cabell and Matt are testing a shorter format to see how the listeners like it.
Podcast No. 27 – The Sure Thing (04/25/2012):
Cabell & Matt are in the Steamer talking all things hoarding. The boys answer listener questions this week and try to encourage some of their favorite fans. The boys need your help choosing their last stop on the upcoming cross country tour, listen to find out how you can pick their last stop.
Podcast No. 26 – Don’t Squeeze Me (04/20/2012):
Cabell and Matt are back in the steamer. They recap the week and get caught up on Matt’s new job as a teacher at the National Institute of Decontamination Specialists (NIDS). WARNING, the 2nd half of this episode is GRAPHIC, explicit and intense. Real conversation with people that clean up crime scenes. This is not for anyone under the age of 18. It’s interesting, informative, graphic and intense. Make sure you want to listen to it. That being said, I think it’s one of our best podcasts yet.
Podcast No. 25 – Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid (04/11/2012):
Cabell talks to Matt about his surgery, nurses and a new hoarding cleanup technique. The boys are updated by your favorite Clutter Cleaner employees, Ronnie and Page. Page announces his plans for life after the hoard and Ronnie talks about how he’s adjusting to life outside of prison.
Podcast No. 24 – Goodbye Mountain (04/05/2012):
Matt hits the road while Cabell has surgery. Matt sits down with a bunch of the Hoarders crew and learns why they are the toughest crew in television. The crew shares stories about their favorite and least favorite hoards and make fun of Matt. This is a must listen for fans of HOARDERS.
Podcast No. 23 – That’s What She Said (03/29/2012):
In the first half of the show, Matt and Cabell kick back and remember a few bad dates. In the second half of the show, Cabell’s mother-in-law and wife visit and share a really cool story. Hang on until the end to learn how to say “That’s What She Said” in German.
Podcast No. 22 – Milk Cocktail with The Sklar Brothers (03/22/2012):
Cabell and Matt talk about the worst smell EVER and recount Matt’s trip to LA. In Part 2, Matt hangs out with The Sklar Brothers and learn what it takes to be the #4 twin comedy act in television. Hands down the 2 funniest men ever to appear on 5 Decisions Away. Thank you Sklar Brothers. Once again, we’ve managed to offend, inform and inspire in under 1.5 hours.
Podcast No. 21 – Host Boy (03/15/2012):
In the first half of the show, Cabell and Matt get caught up on the week and “the incident.” In the second half of the show, Matt travels to Califorinia and meets up with his HOARDERS partner in crime, Cory Chalmers. Matt and Cory talk all things hoarding and tell each other how awesome the other one is.
Podcast No. 20 – Kicked In The (03/08/2012):
Matt and Cabell are back in the studio after a long week at work. The boys talk about their latest jobs and get updates on a few friends. A 5DecisionsAway super fan stops in and the guys answer viewer questions in the second half. A full episode that will not disappoint.
Matt sits down with his wife, Sarah, and talks about the what it’s like to be the lady behind the man on top of the diapers. They discuss how they met and answer viewer questions. Matt’s nagging wife talks alot and doesn’t really let Matt say much of anything. Cabell is back in the studio next week.
Podcast No. 18 – Hanging With My Boy (02/25/2012):
Cabell and Matt are in the NEW Clutter Cleaner podcast studio. The boys talk about the circus, the first snow and Matt’s run in with an old flame. As always, the boys answer viewer questions during the second half of the show.
One of the boys favorite clients stops by to talk about living and surviving as a recovering hoarder. If you’ve read Matt’s book, The Secret Lives of Hoarders, than you know Jackson. His brutally honest conversation paints an amazing picture of what it’s like to be a hoarder. As always, there are some laughs, but this one is more fascinating than funny.
Podcast No. 16 – Back to School (02/8/2012):
Matt & Cabell are back in the warehouse recapping the last few weeks on the road. Matt discusses being invited back to University of Mary Washington and the boys answers lots of viewer questions. Matt relives his worst injuries on the hoard.
Podcast No. 15 – Peeling the Onion (02/1/2012):
Matt continues his streak as the luckiest trashman in show business. He visits THE ONION and talks with Joe Garden, Anita Serwacki, Nick Gallo & John Harris. He learns what it takes to write for www.TheOnion.com and that ducks are very aggressive. If you like smart comedy, than don’t listen to this podcast, if you want to laugh a little and pee your pants a lot, than download immediately.
Podcast No. 14 – Down, but not out (01/25/2012):
Matt & Cabell are joined by their friend Greg and he talks about losing his job and starting over. If you are down and out or just need a little motivation, this is the episode for you. Part 2 discusses viewer questions and we talk about the 2 worst houses the boys have ever seen – HOARDERS episodes Mary & Carrie.
Podcast No. 13 – Drinking Stories with Steve McKenna (01/18/2012):
Matt and Cabell sit down with the hardest drinking man in show biz. Steve McKenna stops in to swap drinking stories and talk about what it’s like to be a professional drinker. Matt and Cabell answer viewer questions and say goodbye to Ally the Intern. As always, we manage to offend, inform and inspire in less than 90 minutes. Please tell your friends. Thanks for listening.
Podcast No. 12 – Kingfish with Tom Segura (01/11/2012):
Matt & Cabell hit the road to meet up with comedian, Tom Segura. The boys talk standup comedy, HOARDERS and the worst hotel in Oakland. In part 2, Cabell & Matt complain about their amazing wives and answer viewer questions.
Podcast No. 11 – The Guy That Kissed Belly Buttons (01/04/2012):
Matt is joined by Curtiss the Cameraman and Eric The Soundguy to discuss a failed prank, how to film in a hoard and what it’s like to be a child actor. Curtiss earns his star on the 5 Decisions Walk of Fame and the boys find out how Matt is related to El Guapo from The Three Amigos. Stick around for the deleted scene at the end.
Podcast No. 10 – Brazilian Swim Team (12/29/2011):
Matt, Cabell & Ally the intern recap the holidays, a recent trip to Walmart and they issue an incredibly corny New Years challenge. The boys each remember a lost relative and discuss how Matt ended up with gum on his jeans. As always, keeping it classy.
Podcast No. 9 – Traditional Holidays (12/22/2011):
Matt, Cabell and Ally the intern share their favorite holiday memories. The boys break down the newest theme song contest submission and Matt and Ally the intern compare tattoos. Never boring, this episode of 5 Decisions Away will keep you entertained over the river and through the woods.
Podcast No. 8 – That’s Who I Am (12/14/2011):
Matt & Cabell discuss what it’s going to take to become the #1 podcast in the country, appropriate words and Matt’s least favorite night in Las Vegas. Part 2 includes hoarder updates and even more viewer questions. www.5DecisionsAway.com.
Podcast No. 7 – The Boys are Back in Town (12/7/2011):
Matt Paxton and the Clutter Cleaner team are back from a week on the road. They talk about their jobs, the things they find and Ronnie’s newest quest. In the second half, Cabell & Matt answer a listeners questions about hoarding. Matt tries a new format this week which enables more time to help the listners and slightly less cursing. www.5DecisionsAway.com
Podcast No. 6 – Matt’s First Time (11/30/2011):
Matt gets to hang with an old friend and Hoarders Producer, Bert Klasey. They both tell differing accounts of his first epsiode and highlight characters that never made it on the show. Matt talks about many of his failed business ventures and tries to pull off one of the worlds greatest pranks. Gross, funny & oddly motivational, this one is well worth the extra 30 minutes. Cabell and the boys will be back next week.
Podcast No. 5 – Thanks for Nothing – Thanksgiving (11/23/2011):
Matt & Cabell answer listner questions about hoarding, holidays and family. The boys plan out a thanksgiving meal from food they’ve found in the hoarded homes that they clean. Happy Thanksgiving everyone from Matt, Cabell & the Clutter Cleaner crew. www.5Decisionsaway.com.
Podcast No. 4 – Second Chances (11/17/2011):
Matt & Cabell sit down with their newest employee who is fresh out of the can. The boys learn about how to get by in solitary, why we all deserve a 2nd chance and if hoarding can be compared to being in prison. Although the most interesting parts of the interview had to be deleted for safety concerns, it’s a fascinating hour. Stick around until the end, it’s worth it.
Podcast No. 3 – Keeping it Real (11/10/2011):
Matt sits down with reality television blogger, Andy Dehnart, from RealityBlurred.com to talk shop, entertainment, reality television and ofcourse life. It’s a much more interesting podcast than we thought it would be.
Matt and Cabell sit down with the experts from HOARDERS to discuss animal hoarding, fighting roosters and cat ladies. Never a dull moment at 5 Decisions Away, this one is intense as it is funny. Be prepared to laugh at the 14 year old boy jokes, but be ready for some seriously graphic moments. Matt carefully tackles the very un-funny topic of Animal Hoarding.
Podcast No. 1 – Questions we get asked at the bar (10/25/2011):
The introductory episode of 5 Decisions Away, Matt talks with his co-worker, Cabell Hatchett, about how he got started, cleaning up hoarded homes & what motivates him to work. They cover it all from the coolest thing to the grossest things they’ve ever found on the hoard.
Summer is officially over and it’s time for me to get back to work. Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past few months, but I’ve been filming episodes of HOARDERS and promoting my new book, The Secret Lives of Hoarders. Thanks to you guys, for making my book a success!
Many readers have been asking to see the links of all the cool publicity we got over the summer, so here they are. I’ll be getting back to writing this fall and as always, I hope you guys will interact and respond. Although this post is a summary of recent publicity, I really want it to be a kick start for us to get back to talking, writing and changing. These highlights are in no particular order.
That’s right, I’m on a show with Vanessa Williams (so gorgeous) and “Weird Al” Yankovic (not as good looking). It was an incredible opportunity to talk about The Secret Lives of Hoarders, but it was also just really cool to meet Whoopi Goldberg. My dad was a huge fan and it meant a lot to me to be able to share with Whoopi. Turns out you can speak to four women at one time. The full video is available here. If you want to go directly to my segment, click the 4th button or go to the 26:25 mark.
This was my first time on LIVE television and I think it showed. I was scared to death! Thank god my wife was there to calm me down. Very cool to be interviewed by George Stephanopoulos. This interview launched the book and we got a TON of exposure. Thanks ABC. Click here to see the segment.
Quick story: They picked my wife and I up in limousine to drive us over to the studio. When we arrived, we saw 5 paparazzi outside ready with their cameras. When I got out of the limo, they all lowered their cameras and we heard a collective loud sigh of disappointment. Apparently, Chaz Bono arrived 10 minutes later. Welcome to the big leagues, Matt.
If you had told me two years ago that I would be reviewed by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Dirda, I would have laughed in your face. To get straight to the point, it was an absolute honor to have him review my book and even more of honor to know how many people were helped because of his exposure. A big thanks to the Washington Post for selecting The Secret Lives of Hoarders. My dad must be rolling over in his grave. Check out the full review here.
Yup, I’m in Playboy. The guy said it would be tasteful and quite honestly, I needed the money. No Mike Honcho in this one. Actually, it’s an interesting article about my friend Randy from RANDYLAND and other people that have been on reality tv. If you’ve seen the RANDYLAND episode of HOARDERS, this is a detailed account of what happened. Side note, Randy and I are good friends now and still talk.
I think for the first time in my life, I actually read Playboy for the article! Check out the full article here.
So after putting this all together, I realized I’m talking about my deceased father quite a bit. Well, it’s kind of hard not to talk about one of your parents when your life changes for the positive without that loved one ever seeing you “do good.” My father died before he got to see me fall in love, become a father, appear on TV, write a book or help people. When my dad died, I was beginning to recover from a gambling addiction and I drank too much. I do believe that my father sees me now and is relishing in all of my recent success. That being said, it doesn’t change that he isn’t here to share it with me on a daily basis. I sometimes wonder would any of this happened if he hadn’t died? I believe that his passing motivated me to get my life back on track. Without that bad, I would not have the good I have today.
So, this is where you guys get to participate. I want you to tell me the one person in your life that you wish was still around to see you NOW. Tell us who they are, what they did to make a difference in your life and LIST the things you are proud of that you’ve accomplished.
I’m serious on this one, don’t just write that you are sorry for my loss, I’m totally fine with it. I want you to dig deeper and tell me who you miss and what they are missing. My list above may be flashy, but we are all bad asses. Don’t just read this post, please participate. Make sure you respond and let us know why you are a bad ass and who is missing it.
You may or may not know, but I’ve been working with A&E to create my own show for a while now. The time has finally come and A&E is airing my new pilot on this Saturday, June 18th at 1pm EST.
The new show is called Dirty Money and I need you to DVR it or watch it at 1pm on Saturday, June 18th. It’s a perfect warm up for the Hoarders premier on Monday, June 20th.
I am still going to be on Hoarders and I am stoked to have this opportunity to possibly get my own show on A&E at a later date. If the show does well on Saturday, it may get picked up by A&E as a regular series.
Let me repeat, my status on Hoarders will NOT change and I will continue to help Hoarders for a very long time. Dirty Money follows the less serious side of me, my business and my non-hoarding clients.
This is a very exciting opportunity and I seriously need everyone of my fans, friends and family plus their friends and family to post about this show. I am strait up begging you to re-post this information on your facebook, blogs and twitter.
The more people that DVR or watch the show, the better chance I have at getting a series.
So PLEASE set your DVR’s, tell your friends, post about it online and let A&E know that you like my new show, Dirty Money.
Thank you all in advance for your support.
Dirty Money will air on Saturday, June 18th at 1pm EST.
Brief summary of the show:
Matt Paxton and his team of loveable misfits at Clutter Cleaner are the kind of guys who will tackle any clean up, no matter how extreme. Whether the township sees your 4-acre car collection as more junkyard than museum, a storm has ripped the roof off your house and soaked everything inside, or you inherit 80 years of your parent’s belongings–Matt will clean it all up. And he’ll do it all for free. But there’s a catch. He only gets paid if he finds enough valuable goods to sell for cash. Follow Matt and the guys on an unbelievable mission that ends not only with the reveal of a cleaned up space, but a tally of how much Matt was able to make on his finds and whether or not his gamble paid off.
I want to apologize in advance for the self centered posts that I will post this week. I don’t want to be a person that talks about themself all the time, but this week I have to. It’s promo week. I am traveling to the big city (NYC) to promote all things Hoarders. The new Season of Hoarders starts June 20th and my book, The Secret Lives of Hoarders came out last week (I know, brand new information to you guys).
This week I will be on Good Morning America on Tuesday in the 8am hour. Then I’ll quickly travel across town to do radio interviews all day at Sirius/XM. I’m very excited that I will be in studio with one of my favorite shows “Opie & Anthony.” Wednesday has a lot of the same.
I am accepting that every once in a while, it’s ok to be proud. Since it’s mother’s day and my mom has not figured out facebook yet, I’ll chalk this up to helping my mother brag about her son. So, please stick with me this week and I promise I’ll get back to good hoarding stories next week.
As you might be figuring out, in my life, I tend to put emphasis on experiences. I feel that if you just let things happen, you never know what you will learn at the end of the experience. Often I find myself naturally stopping an experience before it even happens. As I get older, I try to trust in life and know that letting the experience happen will bring great reward.
So this weekend, my co-writer (Phaedra Hise) and myself threw a book launch party. The picture above shows Phaedra and I signing our new book. We drank some wine, told some stories and signed a couple of books with friends and family. Phaedra and I have both had a roller coaster last 10 years and it was a life celebration for both of us. The night was great, but the one thing I kept thinking about was this guy. I don’t know his name, so we’ll just call him Chauncey.
It was supposed to be a private party, but the local paper listed it in the morning paper. We had the party at my mechanic’s garage (Paradise Garage, for you folks in Richmond, VA), and when I got there, Chauncey was sitting at the door. I assumed my mechanic had hired Chauncey as a bouncer, but when I asked Chauncey if he was the bouncer, he replied “Nope, just saw it in the paper and I thought I would come down.” AWESOME. I can’t tell you how much I travel the country and sit in my hotel room. I see interesting things listed in the paper and people tell me about great restaurants, but I never go. This dude went. I never go because I don’t want to be seen alone or maybe I’m just too lazy. Sometimes I just watch TV and I pass up on what could be an amazing experience. I’m not saying our book signing party was a life altering experience, but who cares. Chauncey was there. He’s probably been to a lot of cool things, simply because he was present. I like Chancey. He doesn’t live by the same mental road blocks that I live by. The dude just came to the party, had some beer, talked to some folks and left. I wish I were Chauncey. I wish I was that cool.
So this week, please accept my apologies in advance. I’m not trying to brag or to get all the attention in the world. I’m simply trying to sell my book and experience some really cool stuff. I’m going to try to be a little Chauncey.
Have you ever gone alone on a really cool trip or had the confidence to just do something great by yourself?
This is a short video of me buying my new book that is out today. It’s available online and in most stores nationwide. We are very excited and hope that people will read it to gain a better understanding of hoarding and hoarders. This book follows 10 of my clients over the past years and gives my opinions on how to provide true help for hoarders. I think most of you will be surprised that it’s easy to read and you will walk away with some great tips.
If you are a hoarder or one of your loved ones is a hoarder, please take the time to read this book.
Feel free to leave a message on 5decisionsaway.com and let us know what you think about the book.
Personally, this is an emotional day for me. Phaedra Hise and myself worked very hard to make a book that would help, not sensationalize hoarders. We both experienced some major family events during the creation of this book and it makes us both very proud to know that people will benefit from our efforts even after we are gone.
I was flying home from a Hoarders shoot this weekend and I saw this waiting outside of a flight headed to Florida. Wow!
I heard an expert say at the NASMM conference a few months ago that in the United States 10,000 people will turn 60 every day for the next 20 years. But this sight really put it in perspective and it got me thinking. Who is going to roll each one of these seniors onto the plane? How much longer is the flight going to take to get everyone seated? How does the airline recover the costs for this labor and time? Wait…does this change my price?
Obviously, I’m writing this to get a conversation going. But this picture is LOUD. America is getting old and it’s not going to be easy. I make a living helping seniors, but I still get frustrated when it takes me an extra 10 minutes to get through security at the airport. Well how much do you think the world will change in the next 10 to 20 years. It’s going to get even more difficult as the need to understand and use technology increases and our population gets older. So is this a hurdle or an opportunity. Someone will need to make online reservations and travel plans for these people. Someone will have to take care of this person when they land. Someone will need to have to transport these people and someone will have to have an accessible hotel for them to stay. Are there any types of vacation activities that accommodate older generations, but aren’t boring and slow. The people in this picture fought in a war, rebuilt America and taught us everything we know. They are not the type of people to sit still and just wait to die. They are going to be ACTIVE baby and it will affect all of us.
I view this as an amazing opportunity to change our lives as we help our aging parents and grandparents. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well, this picture reminds me that it’s worth $1,000′s of dollars.
How will the aging population positively affect your life? No complaining on this one, lets get creative. What new jobs will be created over the next 20 years focusing on the aging population?
I promised to let you guys into my mind and what happens behind the scenes on a hoarding job. So, here I am sitting in the hotel a little after midnight thinking about the hoard I was in today. I’m having one of those nights where your mind is working harder than you want it to. I just want to chill out, but I just can’t stop thinking. I can’t stop thinking that I don’t want to go to work tomorrow. I don’t want to pick up another dead animal or figure out if the poop on the floor is from a person or a really big dog that I haven’t seen yet. It’s hot, even at midnight. My sunburn hurts and I’m too tired to open a beer. My mind is in the same place that I was when I was just out of college and I had a real job. I’d sit in my bed on a Sunday night dreading a week of sitting at a desk in a suit. Just like 15 years ago, I should be sleeping, but instead I’m watching TV shows that don’t matter and I’m searching for something to make me happy.
What is making me feel so off tonight? I’m depressed. There’s nothing wrong with that, we all get depressed, but I’ve got a great life. I can’t give any details because this is a job that will be featured on “Hoarders.” So, I’ll summarize. This hoarder is a cool person, has had some hard times (really hard times) and I’m seeing pets and drugs as tools they use to make themselves feel better. I started to write this blog and wasn’t really sure where I was going with it, but i think I just figure this out. I’m not depressed about my life, I’m depressed about my hoarder’s life. It’s f-ing sad. This is a good person who has had some really bad cards dealt to them and they never had the family support that I have been given. I don’t know if I’m depressed or if I feel guilty?
Regardless of how I feel tonight, my job is to buck up, get some rest and be motivated to help this person tomorrow. It doesn’t matter how I feel inside, I have to help this person realize that they can have a better life. So what can I do to feel better?
Right now, I’m half way through the new Avett Brothers album. Someone just sent me a link to a Mumford & Sons song and Fallon will be on in a few, so that may help. If all else fails, I’ll watch some video’s of my son picking up Easter eggs (awesome, btw).
Alright, so I’m not depressed, i’m sad. Lets face it, we all know alot of people that have reasons to be depressed. I think I’m just sad because I may not be able to help this hoarder. This hoard is wearing me down. I guess sometimes life wears us down.
So that’s what’s on my mind after this hoard. How in the world, do I re-motivate myself in 6 hours to be present for this hoarder. How do I become completely devoted to them tomorrow. Your “hoarder” may be a spouse, a pet, a job, a friend or who knows. But how in the world do you get motivated and start fresh tomorrow when you simply don’t feel like it.
That’s my challenge to you. Ignoring the obvious (sex, booze and shopping), what positive things do you do to make yourself feel good? This doesn’t have to be anything monumental or amazing, I just want to hear what people do to get out of a funk.
So, I have pretty much given up on college kids. I call them the “entitled ones.” As most of you know, I am on TV, but I also run a business that cleans up the messiest homes in the country. Finding the right combination of strength, manners and guts for an employee is a far more difficult task that you can imagine. I tend to gravitate towards ex-cons, recovering addicts and kids that have failed out of college. I feel like those kids actually get it. They have usually messed up in life, hit hard times and they have developed the ability to solve problems and find their way out of a difficult situation. I’ve hired a few college kids over the years and they’ve pretty much ruined my hope in this age bracket. I’ll always take a kid coming out of prison over a kid coming out of college, any day.
Last night, I spoke at Virginia Commonwealth University at a 200 level business class. Until this years NCAA March Madness, most of the country had never even heard of VCU. And quite honestly, growing up in Richmond, VCU was not the University that it is today. So when I was asked to lecture to a class on entrepreneurship, I had very low expectations. I tend to generalize and had already written off these “perceived” entitled kids that in my mind are simply lazy and just spend their parents money.
Obviously, I’m an idiot and I was completely wrong. Would I hire these kids for a crew on Hoarders, probably not. But do I think this generation has the ability to do more than play video games and drink Mountain Dew, yes. Until last night, I saw no value from the kids of this generation. After an hour lecture and a very interesting Q&A session, I thought the night was over. I walked out of the room and that’s when it changed. I was bombarded with confident young kids who had business ideas, new tv show concepts, hope an ambition. Oh to be young, have energy and not really know how hard the world is. These kids were me, 15 years ago! I spent another hour talking to these kids, listening and trying to give out some advice.
When speaking to groups about business, I single out passion and emotion as the things that will differentiate you from your competitor. If you can work harder than everyone else and you have passion and emotion, there is a good chance you can succeed. Until last night, this old man thought the “entitled generation” had nothing to add to our country. These kids have it and they understand technology better than we do. Once they combine passion and technology with age and experience, things are going to happen.
Last night, I went to college and I got schooled.
ADDITION: after reading a few comments, I think it’s important for me to say that I was/am an entitled kid. My parents did pay for my college and I also received a car at age 18. Also, Jason (from facebook) pointed out the word entitled is very subjective. What I perceive as rock bottom is actually awesome for someone else. I grew up in a very entitled world, my failures and hard times were created by my own decisions. As intended, this blog is written to create conversations and I hope this post continues to create conversation.
People have been asking me to do a blog for about a year now. So, here it goes.
If I wasn’t on TV, no one would really care about my opinion, read my book, take my classes or read my blog. But since I’ve gotten on TV, all of a sudden I have value, all of a sudden I’m important. The truth of the matter is I’ve been cleaning up messy homes for a long time and I started it because I couldn’t get a job and I needed to pay my rent. There are thousands of people all over this country doing what I do, but I’m the lucky one that gets to do it on television (that’s what she said). The sad thing is that if I wasn’t cleaning up poop and dead animals on TV, none of us would watch. Sail cats & dead possums are much more interesting than watching me help someone get the confidence to turn their life around.
As I said before, I am lucky enough to be an expert on the great show “Hoarders” on A&E. On television, you only see me work with hoarders, but in the real world, I clean up homes for all sorts of people – the only common denominator is that their life is in shambles and they have no where else to turn. My company (Clutter Cleaner) deals with divorcing families, relocating seniors, sad old ladies, messy estates and yes, hoarders. It’s no secret that me and my crew have had our problems in the past. We’ve learned to combine our mistakes with hard work, brutal honesty and ridiculously childish & crude humor to help people get out of the darkest moments of their lives. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail, but I can promise you, we give it our all on every job.
So, why the hell are you looking at a picture of me and some dude dressed up like Spider-Man? For me, it’s a symbolic way to launch this blog. I doubt that this Spider-Man guy came to New York city to play his saxophone dressed in tights and to get harassed by me and my crew at 2am in the morning. I have a feeling he started out wanting to do something different. I didn’t ask him if he was on his way towards his dreams or if he was on the backside. Regardless of his lot in life, this dude could play the sax. He was AWESOME. At the end of the day, I don’t think it really matters, who or where you are in life, just that you give it your best. I know, a little cheesy, but true.
We all know that my job allows me to see the world differently. I hope this blog will become a window for you to experience what me and my crew see. It’s not going to just be about hoarding, but I hope it will become a place to hear the cool lessons we learn along the way. Will we talk about hoarding, sure, but we’ll also get to hear some amazing stories, see some cool stuff we find and meet some of the people that invite us into their homes. Along the way, I will be blunt, I will make you laugh, I will make you cry and I will probably make you mad.
I’ll say it again, I’m a lucky man and I’m glad I no longer have to clean up poop to make rent. That would be almost as bad as having to play the saxophone dressed up like … Oh wait a minute. I guess the only thing different between me and Spider-Man is that I get to do it on TV. I’m VERY aware of this fact every single minute. I could easily be wearing tights in the subway playing for dollars. As the title of the blog says, I truly believe we are all 5 decisions away from shitting in a bucket. I hope this blog will help us all celebrate the good decisions we’ve made and learn from the many mistakes we’ll continue to make.
I hope you will all enjoy this blog and will truly interact. Someone please tell me if it sucks.
So, what’s the worse job you ever did to pay rent? I sold body bags at a military trade show in Vegas.