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How To Clean Up After a Hoarder Dies

How To Clean Up After a Hoarder Dies 1

When a loved one passes away, there are always practical things that need to be addressed, such as funeral arrangements. However, when your loved one is also a hoarder, there can be added stress as hoarders typically have excessive belongings in their house – maybe even infestations – which now fall to you to clean.

While some people find focusing on practical solutions a method to keep their minds occupied following a loved one’s death, the thought of having to clean a hoarder’s house yourself might prove too much.

At Nixxit, we understand. Read on to discover what you should do following the passing of a hoarder.

What To Do When a Hoarder Passes Away?

1. Consult The Will

Before you dive into trying to clean and sort their house, it’s crucial that you read the hoarder’s will. While a lot of their belonging might be considered unimportant, there will be items of value – sentimental or otherwise – that have been left to family and friends. While you might want to throw away as much as possible, it’s important to honor their wishes and ensure you know what items are being gifted to others before accidentally throwing them away!

Once you know what items you’re looking for, compile a list so you don’t forget. Remember, cleaning a hoarder’s home can be overwhelming, so don’t assume you’ll remember.

2. Formulate a Cleaning Strategy

Now that you know the items you’re looking for, you’re ready to prepare a cleaning strategy. No one hoarder’s habits will be the same. Hoarding is a complicated disorder, and while some hoarding will be so excessive that hygiene is a concern, other hoarding habits might not be as bad.

Assessing the hoarder’s house and understanding the problem’s size is essential. Depending on the hoarding stage, if hygiene isn’t a significant problem, consider cleaning the home yourself. If you choose this option, you must first gather the necessary cleaning supplies. Then, you’ll need to organize the belongings one room at a time and clean each room at a time. If you try to tackle the house without a room-by-room strategy, it’ll be easy to become deflated when you don’t see evident changes.

However, it’s important to remember that the cleaning process will be hard work, and should items be piled high, it will be potentially dangerous. Even if you think the hoarder’s house was generally hygienic, possession might cover unseen issues like mold, which can cause negative upper respiratory symptoms. The more you expose yourself to mold, the worse you could feel, so it’s crucial to consider this in your strategy.

3. Consult Professionals

Whether you want to clean the house yourself or not, it’s worth consulting cleaning professionals to understand how long this could take you and how they can help you. Especially when your hoarder’s home is heavily cluttered, it’s essential to know when to hand the responsibility on to avoid hazards.

Understanding whether you’re dealing with clutter or hoarding is essential, but professionals can advise you well. Alternatively, if your loved one was never diagnosed but you have a strong suspicion they were a hoarder, understanding the condition can help you determine the kind of help you might need.

Need Help with a Hoarder Cleanout in the Bay Area, CA?

Nixxit Junk Removal can help with your hoarder cleanout needs in the Bay Area.

  • 10+ Years of Experience Working with Hoarders
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Sensitive and Discreet Approach
  • Full-Service Removal and Sorting
  • Donation and Recycling
Get Started

4. Limit the Items You Want To Keep

Once you or a professional have cleaned the house, it’s time to consider the items you want to keep. This is a usual process when going through belongings following the death of a loved one. However, unlike normal circumstances, you might find the belongings’ volume much higher. There can often be a guilt associated with discarding the belongings of a loved one; it can feel like giving a part of them away. Rest assured that this is a normal feeling.

Before you sort through belongings, it can be helpful to limit how many items you’re willing to keep; think about your own space – you don’t want that to become unnecessarily cluttered, too. Whether it’s five, ten, twenty, or more items, set a limit and tell family and friends so that they can hold you accountable to it.

5. Get A Good Support Network Around You

It’s always crucial to have a good support network around you in difficult times, and this is no different whether your loved one was a hoarder or not. But if they were, the chances are the initial practical elements will be more stressful due to there being far more to do.

If you don’t have a good support network, try to contact a friend or family member to explain what you have to deal with. Alternatively, organizations like the International OCD Foundation offer advice and support.

Why You Should Hire Nixxit To Clean a Hoarder House in the Bay Area

Your standard cleaning service may not know how to deal with a hoarder’s home. After all, it’s a large amount of work and is an overwhelming task to complete, so taking a standard approach is unlikely to work. Nixxit is an excellent solution if you want a sensitive and considered approach to a hoarder cleanout. With a history of working with over 60 extreme hoarding cases, we understand that not every case is identical.

Unlike other companies, we ensure that we donate unwanted items where possible and recycle any others, so your loved one’s items won’t be wasted if they can be saved.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens When I Inherit a Hoarder’s House?

It’s crucial that you first understand the scale of the hoarding you’re dealing with so you know if you can attempt to clean it yourself or need professional assistance. Regardless, it’s essential that you also read your loved one’s will to ensure that you don’t accidentally throw something away.

Need Help Clearing Out a Hoarder Property in the Bay Area? Nixxit’s Here!

No matter if your loved one was a hoarder or not, their passing will no doubt be upsetting, and grief will look different for everyone. When grieving the loss of a hoarder, there are no doubt more practical issues that need addressing regarding their homes. If you inherit a hoarder’s home, it’s important not to panic.

Rather than trying to tackle it all yourself, it’s best to consult leading professionals and use Nixxit’s hoarder cleanout services. With an empathetic ear and sensitivity, you can rest assured that the hoarder’s home will be cared for, eliminating upsetting stress.

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nixxitjunk · Jul 15