Get to Know the A&E “Hoarders” Experts

Have you always wondered about the organizing and hoarding experts you see on A&E’s “Hoarders” every week – what they’re like when they’re not on camera?

This week Cory Chalmers, Dr. Darnita Payden, Standolyn Robertson and I answer some of the questions we often receive from viewers.

What is one memento that you are saving?

Cory: My father’s Washington Redskins jacket. He passed away 10 years ago and this was the only item I kept of his.

Darnita: Easy Bake Oven

Standolyn: The outfit I wore on the first date with my husband.

What is the most fun shoot you’ve ever been on?

Cory: Fun? I can’t recall one that was truly fun. The best one for me was actually Roy in Northern California. He was the inventor with all the cars on his property. He was an incredibly kind man, extremely brilliant, and we were able to crush many cars with the big excavator.

Darnita: Hawaii

Standolyn: I can make any shoot fun, I always manage to have a good time with the team and the families.

What do you wish you had known when you started your company?

Cory: How hard it is to grow a business in California! 2012 will be 17 years and I finally feel like we are a well-rounded company.

Darnita: More about marketing.

Standolyn: I wish I had started my newsletter earlier instead of eight years later. Hire a bookkeeper right away!

Geralin: I wish I knew (then) that talent whispers not shouts.  If I were starting over, I’d look for ‘potential’ instead of ‘instant-blow-my-socks-off’ types.

What is one thing about the show you’d like to change?

Cory: I wish we could have one hour shows on just one story. I think so much is lost when it is edited down to just 21 minutes of air time. Some really great moments are not shown because they really don’t fit into the story.

Darnita: Getting thrown off property!!

Standolyn: I’d like to extend the clean-up by one day.

Geralin:  I’d like a list of facts at the end of each show. Number of organizers, number of 1-800-Got-Junk crew, number of housekeepers, number of trash bags, number of trucks filled; that sort of stuff.

Who would you like to “LIKE” you on Facebook?

Cory: Anyone and everyone. I love talking with people, especially fans of the show. I just want the negative Nellies to stay away. We don’t need to hear about how you think that hoarders are just lazy slobs. We appreciate your opinion, but we know otherwise!

Darnita: President Barack Obama

Standolyn: It’s always nice to get a nod from family and friends.

What is the weirdest thing in your office?

Cory: That would have to be me :)

Standolyn: A paint-by-number kit of two cats given to me by a friend so I could paint and display it in my 1960’s vintage camper.

Geralin:  My first iPod; It’s now used as a paperweight because I like the way it looks + feels.

What business idea do you wish you had come up with?

Cory: Honestly, I am perfectly happy with the one I did come up with.

Standolyn: Anything that Apple makes.

Geralin:  mobile-device charging stations

Name one thing that will surprise viewers about you.

Cory: Every taping of the show I fly to, I have to take one Xanax and 3 or 4 shots of tequila in order to get on the plane. I have always been scared to death of flying and actually went 13 years without ever getting on a plane. Thanks to “Hoarders”, I am flying all the time now… and I can remember almost all of it. J

Standolyn: My hobbies. I love Zydeco and Cajun music; I spend many weekends in my vintage camper at music festivals living the Bohemian life. I was a competitive curler and made it to Nationals twice.

Geralin:  I’m a PADI certified SCUBA diver.

What do you think viewers like best about you?

Cory: I wonder this all the time. Maybe they can fill me in on that. I have been called a rockabilly and many people ask if I am gay, not sure why, but they do. I even searched my own name on Google the other day and it auto filled several options and the second one was Cory Chalmers Gay. Sorry guys, I am happily married… to a beautiful woman and my best friend in life, Kathryn Chalmers!

Standolyn: I’m firm but fair and I don’t mind challenging the client to get out of their comfort zone.

Wasn’t that fun?

If there’s a question you’d like to ask about any of us, about the show, or about hoarding, don’t be shy – please leave a comment!

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  1. Scott says

    Cory, I think the sideburns are what people respond to. I would shorten them, but that’s just my opinion. Great show this week, very powerful. It’s encouraging to see all you do to help people.

    • says

      Hi SCott,
      Thank you for the feedback. I just cut all my hair including my sideburns :). This weeks episode was extremely difficult to watch and even more difficult to work in for two days. We don’t always have to love our customers, but we do have to appreciate the power of mental illness. I think it is extremely important for all of us to remember that when we help hoarders, sometimes we are really their to try and help their loved ones as the hoarder can’t be “fixed”.

      Cory Chalmers