I'm a cleaner & help hoarders reclaim their homes – from clients sleeping in cars to pillow toilets, I've seen it all | The Sun

A CLEANER told how she works with hoarders to give them their lives back – with some unable to stay in their homes because they're too full.

Marie Fagan empties properties that are packed floor to ceiling with rubbish that has likely built up over years.

She helped one woman who had no space left her home and was forced to sleep in her car.

While another client couldn’t get into her bathroom so had to do her business into pillows that she then piled up indoors.

But Marie, from Glasgow, revealed she never judges anyone and lets the customers decide what gets chucked out.

She said: “We treat them like human beings. They’re just having a struggle.

“You can’t just go in and think this room is full so I’ll go in with bags and shovels. It’s a long process and it’s hard graft.

“You’ve got to go through everything. Even bits of paper and bits of tissue. It can be as extreme as that. 

“You’ve got to build a rapport with them. We have a consultation first and show we’re not there to judge them. We let them make the plan. We just go from there.”

Marie has run her firm MD Trauma Clean Ltd for the past 17 years.

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She travels across Scotland dealing with messes that no one else wants to tackle.

This includes everything from crime scenes to undiscovered deaths, rats, sewage and industrial accidents.

Talking to the GlasGo podcast she revealed that every incident has to be dealt with and approached differently.

In some instances they refuse to let her inside so she has to spend time building a relationship before she even gets through the front door.

After that she then works in partnership with the hoarder to clear everything out always being respectful of what they’re going through.

Marie said: “They have had so much trauma in their lives. You don’t just wake up one morning and think I’m going to keep all my stuff and be a hoarder.

“I think it escalates to the point that they can’t do it anymore.”

One job was so bad that mum Marie struggled to deal with the mess she had to clear out.

She said: “ I remember a really, really bad bathroom.

“You couldn’t even see the bathroom, It just looked like a room and it was floor to ceiling.

“I remember getting down a wee bit and finding more and more and more bad stuff.”

Marie second guessed herself wondering if she had taken on more than she could deal with.

She added: “I was standing in the hall going ‘can I do this’? Questioning myself. Then just got on with it. 

“That woman was living in her car. So it was like I just focused on getting her back in.”

Another challenging job involved a client with a good job who had a secret life at home.

Marie revealed: “There was another woman who couldn’t get into her toilet. 

“There was just a wee square in the house that had an ironing board. The whole house was floor to ceiling. 

“She was buying pillows and using them as a toilet. There was just a mountain of pillows in one room. She was pristine. This was a professional woman. But she had quite a traumatic thing happen in her life.”

Marie deals with all sorts of incidents and no two days or callouts are ever the same.

Her and her team always make sure they talk through everything they’ve seen to avoid them bottling it up.

But the revealed that she gets a huge deal of satisfaction from helping hoarders get their lives back in order.


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Marie said: “It’s amazing. Some of them write poems. You drive away and you’re dead happy. They can’t thank you enough.

“It’s so satisfying going in and helping them and seeing them the difference from when you started.”

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