"Get Rid of It!": Larry and Sheila"

Who's the Hoarder?

"Larry has six or seven of everything because he's a hoarder, and that's what hoarders do," Sheila says of her husband. "He must have 40 coats." 

"Yes, I have a lot of coats," Larry admits, "but I did not purchase them all for me." He also has a hat collection, including one made from his pet snake. But Larry says, "My wife, Sheila, is the hoarder, and I can prove it. When we got married, we loaded a 26-foot truck from Indiana to this house. Sheila moved in a custom coffee table, French provincial dining room set … "

"Mine was custom made. His was custom wrecked," Sheila adds.

"I'm losing space for my personal possessions for a duck," Larry says, referring to Sheila's clothed lawn ornament.

"The duck's outfits are not clutter. They're in a small container," she says.

"I have given up some of my pets. I have given up my treasures since my wife moved in, to the point that they are boxed up in the garage, like my plants, scattered on the outside patio," he says.

"Larry was annoyed because he could not understand why real plants go outside, and artificial plants come in," Sheila says.

"They're fake flowers! They're plastic!" Larry exclaims.
"When I walked out into the back yard, the music to Sanford and Sons started playing in my head," Sheila remembers as she tours the yard. "Sink top, a washing machine, wood piles, another wood pile. Larry has so many tools. Sears has nothing on him. I'm not sure what all this stuff is."

"Fixing fan belts, changing oil, I do electrical repairs on lamps and things. I do not have to run to the hardware store every time I'm fixing something," Larry says. "I don't see anything odd about having all these ladders because they're all different sizes."

"Larry keeps stuff that just doesn't make sense. Look at all the heaters. Here's another filing cabinet. This is supposed to be a two-car garage," Sheila says

"My wife collects bells, dolls, spoons, porcelain cows, little figurines. I have given up much more than she has," Larry says.

"Everything I have is contained in one china cabinet," Sheila says. "I would love for Dr. Phil to convince Larry that some of this needs to go. No, maybe most of it needs to go."

Larry and Sheila have known each other for over 40 years. They were high school sweethearts who went on to marry others, but eventually found their way back to each other and got married four months ago. "I came out here a year ago to visit, and before I went home, he asked me to marry him," Sheila explains.

"So you were together 10 days. Why did you ask her to marry you?" Dr. Phil asks Larry.

"I really didn't want to lose her again," he says.

"Good answer," Sheila says, rubbing Larry's back.

"This is math, not magic. All that stuff won't fit in a house," Dr. Phil says.

"That's why we had a lot of garage sales," Larry says.

"No, you didn't have garage sales. [She] had garage sales," Dr. Phil says. He turns to Sheila. "And you say he sat in the house, looking out the window, pouting because you were selling all his stuff."

"That's correct," she says. "His stuff was crap."

Dr. Phil asks for some of their favorite stuff to be brought out onstage. Various coats, hats and plastic plants are wheeled out. "After the show, we're going to have a garage sale," Dr. Phil jokes. "Seriously, you've got 54 coats over here. Isn't the average temperature where you live in the 70s?"

"Yes," Sheila says.


"Y'all don't have room for all this stuff," Dr. Phil remarks. "You have three sinks in the backyard. None of them are hooked up."

"Well, two of them were for the kitchen that I was going to replace, and one was for the bathroom " " Larry explains.

Dr. Phil cuts him off. "Don't your neighbors complain


"No, I keep it well hidden," he says, laughing. 

"Look, here's the deal: You need to give up!" Dr. Phil says to Larry.


"I have given up my entire house. I don't have one room " not even the garage!" Larry argues.  


Dr. Phil addresses Sheila. "You know what he told our producer? ‘I don't want to go on the show and ask her to give anything up, because if I do, she's going to say, "I will if you will," and I've got more crap than she does, and I can't afford to do it.'"

Sheila and Larry laugh.

Dr. Phil continues, reading from his notes. "You've got seven space heaters, seven desks, 200 oak frames, a love seat, you've got a sofa with holes in it, springs missing, seven unused fish tanks, 10 TVs, you've got boxes of sunglasses " not the glasses, just the boxes for some of them, you've got 8-track tapes, you've got reel-to-reel tapes, books you've never read, God knows how many cork boards, leisure suits ... " 


Dr. Phil tells his guests that it's all about negotiation. "And here's what I want to say to you to guilt induce/motivate you: All of those coats over there, that are stacked up, that you haven't worn and won't wear " there are 54 of them over there " there were 54 people on the streets this winter who would've loved to have had one of those coats," he says.

Dr. Phil tells Paul and Sheila that their collections are not a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder. "But the fact is you've gotten into a habit and a pattern. So much of this stuff that you have, if you really got together and got the right spirit, you could donate it and give it away. The coats, the hats, even the sinks and ladders, people that are working in shelters downtown could so use that stuff. And then you could actually park a car [in your garage.] You could actually see grass in your backyard," Dr. Phil says. "So just think about that, will you? You could really put some of that stuff to good use and have fun doing it. And I promise you, it feels really good when you know that things that are just lying there might've kept somebody warm at night, or been something that somebody could use or sell for money for food for some of the shelters and children that need the help."