Most of us have a friend, a relative, or a neighbor who seems to pack his or her home with unnecessary stuff. Researchers are just beginning to understand why.
St. Louis-based artist and photographer Carrie M. Becker created a miniature diorama of a hoarder's house. Becker makes her work, she explains, as a "mirror and not a judgment." Many of the items in the highly-detailed models are accurately crafted to scale by the artist.
Orange-juice containers, newspapers, six-pack cardboard carriers, plastic and paper bags, green compost bins, pill bottles, rain gear, old New Yorker magazines, and running shoes fill Greg Samson’s home, often to waist level. The area around Samson’s stove is clear enough so he can cook turkey patties or fry up some chicken—what he calls the limit of his culinary repertoire. As we talk, he describes a moldering turkey wrapper that had recently been sitting on the countertop for a few days and attracted his attention. “I can’t think of a plausible scenario in which I would need that,” he says.
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