A house clearance firm removed a massive 12 tonnes of belongings, rubbish and furniture from a bungalow that forced the elderly occupant to live in the hallway – for almost 30 years.
The pensioner lived with an elderly relative who was a hoarder, and filled their home with so much stuff they had to sleep in deckchairs in the hallway for three decades.
After the homeowner died, the pensioner endured the filth until local removals firm heard about her plight – and cleared the home for free.
Kent-based removals firm Klutter King spent a week cleaning the house from top to bottom – and moved more than 12 tonnes of rubbish to the tip.
Owner Kevin Porter said: “The poor tenant began lodging with the relative in the early 1990s.
“The relative’s compulsive hoarding got worse when her partner died.
“We found piles of clothes, shoes, books, umbrellas and rotting food tins all over the house when we arrived.
“The food cans had been there for so long the contents had vanished and the tins were crumbling.”
The relative, who owned the property in Maidstone, Kent, died in 2017, by which time the pensioner was too frail to shift the waste.
Mr Porter, 50, of East Peckham, Kent, added: “I’ve cleared a lot of houses since forming the company.
“In most cases it’s when someone has died or moved into a care home.
“But this one got me emotionally because of how this person had been made to live.
“They didn’t even have a bed and in the summertime they slept in the garage because it was too hot.
“It’s such a sad story. To make things worse, the landlady left the property to charity and not the relative.”
It took six men seven days to clear decades of junk, which involved dozens of trips to the tip.
Mr Porter added: “It was so satisfying to finish because it seemed like the job was never going to end.
“At the halfway point I thought ‘what am I doing?, because we didn’t think we would ever finish.”
The tenant asked the clearance team to look out for a £2000 piece of jewellery which had become lost in the rubbish.
The team were not hopeful they would find it, but eventually uncovered the lost treasure and returned it to the delighted owner.
Mr Porter said: “Most clearance companies make their profits from selling on expensive items.
“We don’t do that. I haven’t got it in me.
“The owner couldn’t believe it when we returned the jewellery.”
After the mess had been shifted, the team mopped the floors and cleaned the walls which had been blocked for years.
Builders then repaired the neglected bungalow and cleared the black mould which had spread.
Mr Porter donated tables, chairs and a bed to the pensioner who was then able to enjoy their first night’s sleep in decades.
Klutter King’s owner added: “When we first contacted the pensioner she was too embarrassed at the state of the house to speak to us.
“But they were so grateful and overwhelmed that they broke down in tears when they saw the transformation.”
The owner set up Klutter King to make a living but has now seen the massive difference it can make to people’s lives.
He added: “We did this job at cost. We didn’t make a profit. It was all about giving this person a few years of decent living.”
“I have been in a similar situation to many of the people I help.
“My job has now become about giving back as a way of saying thank you to all those who helped me when I needed it.”