How Clean Is Your House?

I happened upon a BBC show called How Clean Is Your House?. I saw part of a show featuring a couple who lived on a goat farm. That was bad. The one on now has a woman whose house is so full of junk that the presenters have to actually climb over piles of things to get from place to place. Stunning.

I remember that Lifetime did an American version, but it didn’t last long. I think Best Week Ever described it as “porn for neat-freaks” or something to that extent. They weren’t too far off either, from what I saw.

Some of the homes shown on that show are nauseating. I stopped watching it during lunch because it could make me lose my appetite. There was this one family that was insistent that everything be organic and earth-friendly, but their house was so gross. I can’t imagine how people let it get that bad.

I love that show. It’s a horrible, sick fascination with the filth that some people live in, combined with its after-effects of causing me to hop up and attend to dishes, laundry, vacuuming and the like.

My own place usually looks good in comparison, but watching an episode certainly gives me a little incentive to do a bit of extra cleaning. Plus, I’m a sucker for any kind of dramatic “before and after” show, like What Not to Wear, Sell This House, Clean Sweep, Style by Jury, etc.

I saw a house on that one time that had spiders webs like those pictured in that thread in MPSIMS… how could anyone live like that?

Or another time, there was a lady who kept budgies and they were allowd to fly free around the house, there was bird crap everywhere. Ick.

I’m surprised some of these houses haven’t been condemned by the Board of Health - honest to God some of them look like hazmat areas. I saw the one with the budgie lady - gack. She let them fly all over the place & crap at will.

I love Kim (the blonde) - she cracks me up.


Slight nit-pick. It wasn’t a BBC programme, but one from the commercial station Channel 4. Although BBC America may have shown it in the US.

I almost said ‘BBC America show’ but it sounded a little awkward. Oh, well.

I love this show. It never fails to get me to go clean something, and I always need a kickstart for that! I admit it’s horribly voyeuristic, but it’s so inspiring too–and I’ve learned a ton of cleaning tips.

There are a lot of episodes, both British and American, on YouTube.

Is that the show with the two middle-aged women who will get down on their hands and knees and press their noses into what is obviously a deep stain of probably fecal matter, and then express distaste at how awful it smells?

I think we all get that that stain probably smells bad. No need to actually rub your nose in it.

Yes, That is them


And yet, this is a reality TV show. I couldn’t find a UK advert but here is one which invites the less health conscious residents of Las Vegas to submit their homes to an audition of glorious filth.

There are people who will lie with Satan to get on television, irrespective of any opprobrium which may result from living in a heap of shit and publicising their insalubrious lifestyles in front of an unsuspecting world. A cynic might argue that it is in the interests of such parties to make a bad situation worse in order to attract the attention of producers. This doesn’t explain years of accumulated ‘dust, grime, slime, dirt, or filth’ but it might account for the state of homes with the contents of every room piled in the middle.

It also remains possible that the producers themselves may spot programme potential at a particular house which doesn’t quite suit their requirements. They may then wish to enliven the show by suggesting deleterious modifications which make the situation look even more dire than it actually is.

Some of the houses shown are not much better than rubbish dumps but it may be unwise to take everything about them at face value.

My reasons exactly. I love the cleaning tips, too - they have a book out but I found it too disorganized for my taste (the editor needs to be slapped).

I thought I saw one episode where it was so bad, the woman was pretty much told to hire a crew to deal with it; I think she didn’t want to do anything to help, either. I know one episode had a woman who told them that she wasn’t going to do a thing to clean up afterwards; she just wanted a big cleanup and then she’d hire a maid. And in at least one episode, they didn’t bother to go back to check up because they assumed the changes weren’t going to stick.

Plus my husband thinks that Aggie is pretty cute. :smiley:

Yesterday, I showed a couple of episodes to someone who suggested the same thing; that the mess was exaggerated for television. I mean, these people have nowhere to sit or eat or cook. (Either they eat out all of the time, in which case there should be no dirty dishes or pots, or they cook, in which case there has to be a clear spot in the kitchen.) And there are never any holes in the walls or other physical damage to the homes. Instead all of the mess is merely cosmetic.

I think I remember that one. If it’s what I think it is, it was a youngish (thirtysomething) Scottish woman. What I didn’t understand in that case was the layer of dust in the bathtub. How could that have developed if she was actually cleaning herself from time to time? And given her unwillingness to actually change her habits, the producers should have just left her to deal with it herself.

That description doesn’t begin to describe the horror of what I refer to as The Bird Lady episode. She had a total of I believe twelve cockatiels with free reign. There was not a single surface in her house not caked with crusty bird crap, including the keyboard they showed a clip of her playing, and unwashed plates of leftover food lying around.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, when they moved her sofa, there were massive SLIME TRAILS from slugs living beneath it :eek:

At least she didn’t have any children. I feel really sorry for the kids on some of these episodes. Some of those cases are more than worthy of a call to CPS.


You guys are fooling yourself if you think it’s made up for the camera. It’s all too easy for a certain type of depressive individual to get in this state. Check out the photos and pictures over at the Squalor Survivors. (my go-to site when I need inspiration for cleaning) .

It’s possible they exaggerate it, but not implausible. When I was younger we lived like that (lots of issues, we’re better now).

We’d eat out a lot, and when we did cook at home we’d only clean the dishes needed to make and eat that meal. Then they’d sit until we needed them again. Our counters were covered in dishes, several of the cupboards had dirty dishes in them. shudders Ugh, it was so nasty.

I’m still not much for cleaning, but I refuse to let it get that bad. Now my house is just cluttered, not dirty.

A lot of those shows help me though. I haven’t seen the one discussed, but I used to watch Clean Sweep a lot.

I remember that episode well. Bird Lady did not stick with the programme afterward, either, if I recall. The birds were back to flying around and crapping on everything at will.

Slugs in the house is going too far. Far, far too far.

Remember the California condo lady who just dropped or stuck her used chewing gum everywhere–including the carpet? I just cannot comprehend that. I have a wastebasket in every room in our house, except the living room. How hard is it to drop gum in a wastebasket?

We have only three wastebaskets in our home, and somehow we manage to get garbage to where it belongs instead of on the floors.

I really don’t understand the compulsive filth thing either, and because of this thread I’ve been looking at the shows on YouTube. The Environmental Lady looks a wee bit like a girl I knew with the same bad habits towards cleaning-- “It’s overwhelming, so I’m not going to make much of an effort” was the key idea in all of it. In her case, it was difficult because she didn’t start out well-organized and she had a boyfriend who could turn a clean apartment into a disgusting dump in about 24 hours. (How do I know this? I spent the better portion of an afternoon cleaning the entire apartment, slept the night there while he stayed up all night, and woke up to filth and mess that was as bad if not worse than before I’d cleaned up. The worst part is that it was mostly food messes. ::shudders:: )