The Messiest Homes from TV & Film

The Messiest Homes from TV & Film

Sarah Coffey
May 19, 2010

It's spring cleaning month on Apartment Therapy, and we've been looking at a lot of clean homes, but we're turning for a moment to those rooms that don't usually show up on the pages of blogs and home magazines because they're just...well...too messy. Although they may not be healthy or even very liveable, they've definitely got a story to tell, and some of them are captivating enough to support a whole TV show or film.

  1. Grey Gardens: This 1975 documentary follows the lives of two Edith Bouvier Beales, a mother and a daughter, who lived for years in a decaying mansion in East Hampton. As relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, their story made the papers many times and led to a cult film. The heartbreaking movie shows how the Beales' problems translate into external disarray.
  2. Clean House "Messiest Home" Episode: There's something about the Style Network's Clean House that always draws us in. Fancy home makeover shows are great and all, but they can't compare to the extraordinary before-and-after shots you get when a home is really messy. In 2007, they filmed a special episode where they rounded up the messiest homes in America and the results are totally cringe-inducing.
  3. Hoarders on A & E: This show brings professional help and organizing assistance to people with hoarding problems, helping them to clear out their homes and deal with some of the underlying issues. There's a really inspiring before-and-after gallery on the A&E website.
  4. Possessed: When Things Begin Possessing You: Like Hoarders, this British documentary examines the lives of four people who save everything. It uncovers the complexity of hoarding, questioning whether it's a reflection on consumerism, a symptom of mental illness, or an exaggerated version of a problem that's more common than we think.
  5. Animal House: All the other stories of messy homes on this list are pretty heavy, so we thought we'd throw a curveball and end on a funny note. This 1978 movie set the standard for toga parties—no one but John Belushi could do that much damage to a frat house.

  6. Photos: Grey Gardens, A&E, Clean House, Possessed, IMDB

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