A Woking man’s hoarding became so bad that he was barely able to move in his home and says he could never walk past a skip without taking something with him.

Paul Salt, 64, admits that what started as a love for upcycling turned into an obsession that wrecked his life until a council officer cleared the clutter and brought his "glow" back.

The retired school caretaker, who was nicknamed “Skip Man” for never being able to walk past a skip, says living alone allowed his collection to get out of control.

Paul said: “I kept thinking ‘I will keep that’ or ‘that bit might come in handy’ and when I started living on my own, I started putting stuff everywhere.

Paul Salt's cluttered house
Paul finally took action after falling over the piles of stuff in his house (Submitted)

“It didn't matter where it was because there was nobody nagging me about getting rid of anything.”

He was prompted to take action after he fell over the clutter one night while going to bed.

“I started getting a bit scared,” Paul said.

He contacted his local council for help and official Lee Jolliffe was sent to help him.

Paul says the process started around February last year and was finally cleared in June after doing two hours of work a week.

Since the big clear-out his quality of life has greatly improved, and he was finally able to get some pride in his home back, inviting round guests who couldn't believe their eyes.

 Paul said: “Lee made me feel comfortable and never pushed me to do anything.

 “He actually spoke to me like a human being. It made it a little bit easier.

“Don’t give up on yourself. Always try and talk to other people who have been through the same problem.”

Mr Jolliffe has worked for Spelthorne Borough Council for years, with plenty of experience with people who have mental health issues, which he believes helped prepare him for his role as a dedicated hoarding and de-cluttering officer.

 He says that after talking with Paul about his hoarding struggles, the pair worked through the house room by room starting with the bedroom.

The officer, whose work covers parts of Woking, said: “It is a very rewarding job. Everywhere you go the client is at a crisis point and there is a lot you can put in place to make their lives better.

 “Paul’s house was a level six or seven on the hoarding scale, so quite high.

 “He didn’t want to get rid of anything particularly, but he was very happy to donate things.

 “He really engaged with it because he could see that he was helping other people. He wants to help people that are in his situation too.”

 Paul says another hoarder has already reached out to him for advice.

Mr Jolliffe said: “Paul is a changed man. He really is glowing now compared to before where he was a little bit down.

 “It proves that the service does work and there is a lot of people out there that need the help but don't know where to go.”