Hoarders is an American reality television series that debuted on A&E. The show depicts the real-life struggles and treatment of people who suffer from compulsive hoarding disorder.[1] The series premiered on August 17, 2009 and concluded its original run on February 4, 2013, after six seasons.[2]

GenreReality show
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons10
No. of episodes121 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Dave Severson
  • Andrew Berg
  • David McKillop
  • Elaine Frontain Bryant
  • George Butts
  • Jessica Morgan
  • Matt Chan
  • Mike Kelly
Camera setupMultiple
Running time42 to 85 minutes
Production company(s)Screaming Flea Productions
DistributorA+E Networks
Original networkA&E, Lifetime
Picture format480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseAugust 17, 2009 (2009-08-17) 
External links

Over a year after the program's original cancellation in 2013, Lifetime began airing a series of weekly "Update" episodes on June 2, 2014.[3] Each broadcast presents an episode from earlier seasons, ending with a present-day visit to a featured hoarder by the therapist or organizer who worked with him/her. Interviews with the hoarder and his/her family reveal how their lives have progressed since their first appearance on the show. This led to the production of a seventh season, Hoarders: Family Secrets, which aired on Lifetime from May 28, 2015 to July 30, 2015.[4]

The program returned to A&E for subsequent seasons beginning with season eight on January 3, 2016. "Update" episodes continue to run between seasons under the titles Hoarders: Where Are They Now?, Hoarders: Then & Now or Hoarders: Overload.



Each 60-minute episode profiles one or two interventions. During most of the first season, the hoarder worked with either a psychiatrist/psychologist, a professional organizer, or an "extreme cleaning specialist," each of whom specialized in some aspect involving the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorders, anxiety disorders, and/or hoarding. A crew of professional cleaners (usually a local franchise of the series' major corporate sponsor) performed actual cleanups. Two episodes in the first season featured a cleanup with both a psychologist and an organizer: Jill (episode "Jennifer and Ron/Jill") and Patty (episode "Patty/Bill"). From season 2 onward, all hoarders were given a psychologist and an organizer. The final episode of the first season, "Paul/Missy and Alex", featured professional organizer Geralin Thomas, CPO-CD, working with Missy, while a child psychologist, Dr. David Dia, worked with Missy's seven-year-old son Alex. Beginning in the second season, each hoarder had a psychologist-plus-organizer/cleaning specialist team assisting them in their cleanup. This specialist combination leads a group of cleaning professionals, family, friends, and relatives of the hoarder in conducting a two- to three-day decluttering session. The cleanups aim to teach the hoarder new ways of thinking and patterns of behavior, and to make the home a liveable and usable space. In most instances a crisis prompts the intervention, such as the threat of eviction or the removal of minor children from the home.

At the end of each episode, on-screen text indicates the short-term outcome of the cleanup effort, including the subjects' decisions on whether to seek further assistance from organizers and/or therapists. The show provides six months of aftercare funds to pay these professionals and, occasionally, to carry out vital repairs to the home.[5]

Beginning with the season nine finale, episodes were expanded to two hours and focused on a single hoarder.

Each of the "Update" episodes revisits hoarders from previous episodes, showing clips from their original appearances followed by newer footage detailing the progress they have made since they were featured.

Hoarding disorder

With the release of the DSM-5 in 2013, hoarding was classified as a separate disorder. During the show's original run, hoarding behaviors were considered symptoms of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). Hoarding does show links to obsessive and compulsive behaviors; however, it also shows connections to major depressive disorder as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).[6]

Hoarding could have simply remained a symptom and been included under multiple disorders. However, treating the comorbid disorders in a patient often does not eliminate hoarding behaviors. Another significant factor in the disorder's reclassification was the discovery that more people could be diagnosed with hoarding behaviors than could be diagnosed with OCD.[7] This showed that hoarding could not be a subtype of OCD. Rather, it had to be a separate illness with similarities (the fear of letting go being the obsession, and the hoarding of unneeded items as the compulsion). These similarities are recognized in the DSM-5, as hoarding is classified under obsessive compulsive related disorders. Other disorders in this category include body dysmorphic disorder, trichotillomania, and excoriation. These disorders share common features such as "obsessive preoccupation and repetitive behaviors."[8]

The role of documentary shows like Hoarders in this change of classification is unclear. However, some believe the rise in awareness caused by such shows was a significant contributing factor.[7] When hoarding became a buzzword, it "commanded a significant amount of professional…attention".[7] Studies that may have been prompted by this may have helped reveal the disorder as the unique and complex illness it truly is.


A number of board-licensed therapists, psychologists, and professional organizers have contributed to the show as on-air personalities. Recurring cast members are as follows:


Professional Credential(s) Associated institution(s)
Suzanne Chabaud[9]Ph.D.OCD Institute of Greater New Orleans
Melva Green[9]M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H.
Scott Hannan[9]Ph.D.The Institute of Living
Mark Pfeffer[9]M.S., L.M.F.T.Panic/Anxiety Recovery Center of Chicago
Renae Reinardy[10]Psy.D.Lakeside Center for Behavioral Change (Fargo, North Dakota)
David Tolin[9]Ph.D., A.B.P.P.The Institute of Living
Michael Tompkins[9]Ph.D.San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy
Robin Zasio[9]Psy.D. L.C.S.W.The Anxiety Treatment Center (Sacramento, California)


Professional Title
Dorothy Breininger[9]Certified Professional Organizer
Cory Chalmers[9]Extreme Cleaning Specialist
Matt Paxton[9]Extreme Cleaning Specialist
Dr. Darnita L. Payden[9]Life Management Specialist
Standolyn Robertson[9]Extreme Cleaning Specialist
Geralin Thomas[11]Certified Professional Organizer


Season Episodes Premiere Finale
1 7 August 17, 2009 September 28, 2009
2 15 November 30, 2009 May 31, 2010
3 20 September 6, 2010 January 10, 2011
4 17 June 20, 2011 November 28, 2011
5 11 January 2, 2012 March 12, 2012
6 14 September 10, 2012 June 2, 2014
7 10 May 28, 2015 July 30, 2015
8 16 January 3, 2016 April 3, 2016
9 6 December 18, 2016 January 22, 2017
10 5 March 5, 2019 April 2, 2019


At the time of its premiere, Hoarders was the most-watched series premiere in A&E network history among adults aged 18–49 and tied for the most ever in the adults aged 25–54 demographic.[12] The premiere was watched by 2.5 million viewers: 1.8 million adults aged 18–49.[12]

In 2011, Hoarders won a Critics' Choice Award, in a tie with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, for best reality series.[13][14]

See also


  1. "A&E Premieres New Original Nonfiction Series "Hoarders"". The Futon Critic. August 11, 2009.
  2. Kondolojy, Amanda (September 25, 2013). "'Hoarders' Canceled by A&E after Six Seasons". TV by the Numbers.
  3. "Hoarders Update on Lifetime Could Revive Show". May 31, 2014.
  4. "New Episodes of Hoarders in Production". Mar 15, 2015.
  5. "Aftercare — Home cleaning". A&E Community. Retrieved 27 February 2012. This is Cory Chalmers from Hoarders and as part of my business, we offer regularly scheduled cleaning for every hoarding case we help with.
  6. Hall, Brian; Tolin, David; Frost, Randy; Steketee, Gail (2013). "An exploration of comorbid symptoms and clinical correlates of clinically significant hoarding symptoms". Depression and Anxiety. 30: 67–76. doi:10.1002/da.22015. PMC 4887088.
  7. Marchland, Shoshana; Phillips McEnany, Geoffry (September 2012). "Hoarding's place in the DSM-5: Another symptom, or a newly listed disorder?". Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 33: 593–597.
  8. Hiller, Anne. "Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders" (PDF). dsm5.org. American Psychiatric Publishing.
  9. "Emmy-nominated "Hoarders" Premieres an All-new Season". TV Weekly Now. May 25, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  10. Gerdes, Vicky (November 19, 2010). "Hoarders just can't let go of their stuff". Detroit Lakes Online. Great Lakes, Minnesota. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  11. Juzwiak, Rich (June 19, 2011). "Geralin Thomas on Helping Through Hoarders". TV Guide. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  12. Seidman, Robert (August 18, 2009). "Hoarders has best premiere ever for A&E with adults 18–49". TV by the Numbers (Press release).
  13. Mets, Lauren. "RHOBH Grabs Critics' Choice Award; Lisa Vanderpump 'Bloody Can't Believe It'". Bravo. The Daily Dish. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  14. "'Mad Men' & 'Modern Family' Among Winners At First Critics' Choice TV Awards". Deadline. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
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