“Hoarding: Buried Alive” returns with new episodes tonight on TLC

There is always a lot at stake on each episode of TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive, but tonight it goes way beyond just someone trying to get their house clean. In suburban New Jersey, single mom Karen is in serious danger of losing her children — 14-year-old Joseph and 12-year-old David — if she cannot make their home livable in 48 hours.

Like most shows about hoarders, it’s natural to get a look at Karen’s filthy house — which is overrun with electrical wires, garbage and mountains of clutter — and get angry, wondering how she could have let this happen. The mess even extends into her children’s rooms, and none of the bedrooms or bathrooms in the house have functioning electricity. But of course there is a reason behind why the hoarding started, and its roots lie in tragedy. Turns out she has lost two husbands and a child. So with the help of a licensed psychologist, and a dedicated team of cleaners that include members of the community, Karen must overcome her traumas and fight to save her home and her family.

Hoarding: Buried Alive airs at 9pm ET on TLC.

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