Face of the day


SWNS Elizabeth Eaton, a former university lecturer who spent 30 years hoarding thousands of documents

Today’s face of the day, Elizabeth Eaton makes me feel organised even though I am a terribly lazy housekeeper.Elizabeth is a hoarder but thankfully recognised that she had a problem and asked for help.

A former university lecturer’s hoarding became so bad her belongings began spilling out of her letterbox.Elizabeth Eaton, 59, spent 30 years collecting thousands of books, lecture notes and exam papers.But the academic has finally decided to seek help with her obsessive behaviour and roped in cleaning specialists.

The experts have already cleared more than three skips worth of rubbish from her three-bed semi in London after she struggled to move around her cluttered rooms.

Some rooms were buried up to five feet deep in clutter and her three-piece suite in the living room was completely submerged under mounds of rubbish.It wasn’t until Elizabeth, who taught computing at universities across London, noticed her belongings were protruding from her letterbox that she realised the extent of the problem.

She said: “At that point I realised I really needed help sorting it out.

“I remember my friend was helping me sort through some items as more stuff was coming through the letterbox. As soon as we were getting rid of things more was coming in.

Zoe, one of the de-clutter divas who worked on Elizabeth Eaton's house. Pictures in the lounge.

Zoe, one of the de-clutter divas who worked on Elizabeth Eaton’s house. Pictures in the lounge.

“I knew I had to have professional help as it was overwhelming.”

As well as collecting items, she also took a liking to re-homing guinea pigs – and the 11 she kept enjoyed generous-sized pens – leaving them with more room to move around than her.

Elizabeth lives alone and started hoarding to cope with the death of close relatives, a problem that was compounded by her mother Joan’s death in 2007, aged 83, and her aunt Vera, who died aged 94 in December 2014.

She then roped in the help of TV house-clearing experts Allyson Pritchard and Zoe Steel, known as the Declutter Divas, who cleaned up three decades worth of rubbish in just ten days.

Less than a month later Elizabeth feels like a new person and knows she made the right decision.

“They’ve helped me get my life back. I’m so much more confident and I am not embarrassed to invite people to my home which I could never have done before,” she said.


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