Seeking Cloverdale families with too much stuff

A new, B.C.-based, reality TV show wants to help you get rid of all that stuff.

Jill Pollack

Update: The first episode of Consumed airs Tuesday on HGTV.

Imagine yourself living in a tidy, organized home. With comfortable, clutter-free rooms. A spare bedroom that doesn’t have to be cleared out in a panic for guests.

And a garage you can actually park your car in. A life without all that… stuff. Sound like an impossible dream?

Maybe not. Consumed, a new HGTV Canada series that helps people like you de-clutter their homes, is looking for some new participants.

Filmed in the Lower Mainland, Consumed features families who have too much stuff in their lives, and gets them to take part in a de-cluttering experiment that helps them face their clutter problems head on.

Host and storage guru Jill Pollack comes to their homes, performs an assessment, and then helps them pack up their possessions.

The participants try to live the next 30 days with nothing, helping them discover how little – or how much – stuff they actually need.

Created by Paperny Films – the production company behind the 100-Mile Challenge, an “Eat Local” documentary series where participants are restricted to food grown within a 100-mile radius of their home – Consumed asks the question: in the absence of chaos and clutter, is there an opportunity for positive change?

The first of 13 episodes airs Aug. 30 on HGTV. But producers are still actively looking for new participants – families who will agree to a de-cluttering intervention, all while the cameras are rolling.

“The people who are on the show are just at the point where they know something has to be done,” says Marni Segal, one of the program’s producers.

“They’re ready, or at least one family member is ready.”

Turns out it’s usually one family member who gets the ball rolling while the others are dragged reluctantly along.

The folks featured in Consumed aren’t exactly average when it comes to accumulating too much stuff, but they’re certainly not hoarders.

“It’s just people who are overwhelmed and consumed,” Segal says. “They’re just consumed by their stuff and they’re beyond the point of knowing what to do.”

So far, every episode has been different, with each family reacting in different – and unpredictable – ways.

Some people find it really difficult to live without all their stuff. “Some people go into total withdrawal, depression. Other people, as soon as their stuff is gone, they feel so liberated, and so free. It’s really remarkable.”

At the end of 30 days, people are re-united with their stuff, only to have to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.

“They’re either totally ready to let stuff go or they’re hanging on tooth and nail,” Segal says. “It’s emotional and overwhelming. The end result is worth it, though.”

In return, participants “get their life back. They’re not tied down by their stuff. These families feel a real sense of freedom because they’re not bound by this stuff that was dictating their lives and they didn’t even know it.”

To find out more, contact Rachel at consumedtv@gmail.com or call 604-873-9777, ext. 251.