The Fear of Getting Rid of Stuff.

A.K.A.  Collyer, Collier Brothers Syndrome

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If you or someone you know suffer from Disposophobia, DISASTER MASTERS  can help.

The Problem

Disposophobics are generally very smart people who basically can't, don't or won't make fast value judgments about their "stuff" so their solution for their dilemma is to keep everything.

Put  $5.00, a magazine, a diamond ring and two dozen plastic Chinese food containers on a table and ask a disposophobic to trash two of  them.

Their response ...I want all of them...

There is a solution for this problem and it is available with the help of DISASTER MASTERS services.

Click her for our Frequently Asked Questions.

For more information you can call 1 800 The Plan to find out about our on-site clutter management and removal services. We serve major metropolitan areas in the North America. We also provide one-on-one consulting services to teach our clients how to modify their habits.

Call now for more information at 1 800 The Plan.

Or send us a detailed Email about your situation to The Clutter Master  Click here

Ron Alford's NEW BOOk

The Fear  of Getting Rid of Stuff

 This book is almost finished and ready to send to a publisher who has worldwide distribution ability.  We we are accepting offers from from publishers now. If  you want to  buy one of the very first copies of this enlightening photo documentary along with Alford's insights on this human condition click below. It will contain almost 100 photos of  DISPOSOPHOBIC'S stuff.  Included will be information about this condition and several accounts of those Alford has helped to recover their space and their lives.

The photos are very real, the stories are real, the people and their absolute privacy are secure.

 To get on the first edition list click here

 We were sent the article below by a surfer.
We don't know where it first appeared. If you do please let us know we would like to provide credit. 

The Collyer Brothers Story.

On March 21, 1947, the 122nd Street police station in New York City received a call from a man claiming that there was a dead body at 2078 Fifth Street Avenue.

The police knew the house, a decaying three-story brownstone in a run-down part of Harlem, and its inhabitants, Langley and Homer Collyer, two eccentric recluses.

No one could recall having seen Homer for years. There were even rumors that his dead body was in the house. Langley was seen only when he went out on furtive sorties, usually after midnight. He earned himself the nickname of "the ghostly man." The day after the call, patrolman William Barker broke into the second-floor bedroom. What he found there took his breath away.

The room was filled from floor to ceiling with objects of every shape, size and kind. It took him several hours to cross the few feet to where the dead body of Homer lay, shrouded in an ancient check bathrobe. The autopsy revealed that Homer had not eaten for several days and had died of a heart attack. There was no sign of Langley, and the authorities immediately began to search for him. It took 3 weeks to shift through the estimated 136 tons of junk with which the house was filled. The bizarre collection of objects included 14 grand pianos, two organs, and a clavichord; human medical specimens preserved in a glass jars; the chassis of a Model-T Ford; a library of thousands of medical and engineering books; an armory of weapons; the top of a carriage; 6 U.S. flags and one Union Jack; a primitive X-Ray machine; and 34 bank deposit books with the balance totaling $3,007.18.

Gradually the story of the Hermits of Harlem unfolded, and the presence of some of the contents of the house began to be explained. Homer Lusk Collyer and Langley Collyer were born in 1881 and 1885 respectively. Their father, Dr. Herman L. Collyer, was an eminent gynecologist and their mother, Susie Gage Frost Collyer, a well-born lady noted for her musical abilities. The family set up home at 2078 Fifth Avenue in then-fashionable Harlem. But around 1909 Herman left. When he died in 1923, all the furniture, medical equipment, and books that he had collected over the years were taken back to Fifth Avenue and crammed into his wife's house. Langley had been trained as an engineer; Homer became a lawyer. Both were eccentric in innocuous ways - increasingly so when left to fend for themselves after their mother's death in 1929. Langley apparently never had a job, but was always tinkering with inventions, such as one for vacuuming the insides of pianos, and attempting to make the Model-T engine run via electricity. In the 1930's Homer became blind, crippled with rheumatism, and progressively paralyzed. Langley devoted the rest of his life to caring for him.

Distrustful of doctors, but with access to his father's extensive medical library, Langley devised odd "cures" for his brother's illness, subjecting him to regimes as a diet of 100 oranges a week, black bread, and peanut butter. The house was already cluttered with the content of two large homes, but Langley stuffed it with yet more objects picked up on his nightly excursions. After all windows were boarded up, and the gas, electricity, and water cut off, one small oil stove served all their cooking and heating needs; Langley collected water from a standpipe four blocks away. On more that one occasion thieves tried to break in to steal the fortune that was rumored to be kept in the house. Langley responded by building booby traps, intricate systems of trip wires and ropes that would bring tons of rubbish crashing down on any unwary burglar.

A honeycomb network of tunnels carved out in the mountains of junk enabled Langley to grope his way to where Homer sat. As the world's newspapers revealed the secrets of 2078 Fifth Avenue, there was a final, grisly twist. On April 8, Artie Matthews, one of the workmen commissioned to clear the place, raised a pile of newspapers, tin boxes and other debris near a spot where Homer has been found.

His horrified gaze fell first on a foot, then the remains of a body. It had been gnawed by rats, but there was no doubt that it was Langley Collyer. Langley had died some time before his brother, suffocated under the garbage that had cascaded down upon him when, he had sprung one of his own burglar traps.

Homer's death was now easily explained. Blind and paralyzed, and totally dependent on Langley, he had died of starvation and shock. The house was gradually emptied and its more valuable contents sold at auction. But despite the Collyer brothers lifelong hoarding, the 150 items raised only $1,800. The house too has now gone.

Condemned as a health and fire hazard, number 2078 Fifth Avenue was razed to the ground.

There is a viable solution for Disposophobia TM  and we have been applying it for years. The first step is for the clutterer to recognize and admit that his/her behavior and the need to collect and save things beyond normal is a health, safety and fire hazard.

What's more it serves to isolate the disposophobics from other people. Even thought they seem to try to recover from their own by buying "HOW TO"  books on getting Clutter Free or Organizing, or Time Management, and buying more stuff such as file cabinets, personal storage  boxes, shelves, etc. these items almost always become a larger part if the clutter and end up buried  under the next ill-conceived solution. It is not unusual to find 3-7 books about Getting Organized and every sort of storage and filling system in a disposophobics space.

We believe that we have the solution for disposophobics. The first step is to call us and ask for help.

Clutter Management



This recovery process for a disposophobic requires an adroit project manager and a highly trained staff who must possess a multitude of skills which are.

  1. Being able to understand the short and long term needs of the patient and/or clients.
  2. The ability to assess the scope and size of the project and provide a guaranteed bid and time frame to cure the problem.
  3. The ability to gain and maintain control of the situation throughout the project to avoid loss of time and assets.
  4. The wisdom to be able to appraise the contents for real and sentimental values.
  5. A high degree of organizational skills while working in unpleasant surroundings.
  6. The ability to direct the project's staff and negotiate with lawyers, agents,  landlords, managers, government agencies who often interrupt the progress of the project.
  7. The goal of win, win, win so that all concerned do not lose assets or dignity during the process.

First things first.

To intelligently assess any of these situations, an on-site evaluation is mandatory.

This on-site appraisal provides the project manager with the information needed to present a creditable written report of findings as well as being able to propose a realistic recovery plan of action which includes a time frame and fixed dollar amount.

To find out more about DISASTER MASTERS clutter management skills and services


1995 -2003 Ron Alford, all Rights Reserved in all media

Dial 1 800 THE PLAN



01/06/04 03:33:59 PM

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