You may find yourself with the responsibility of clearing out a house that is packed full of things for a number of reasons. A loved one might pass away, leaving behind all of their belongings in their home. A friend might finally ask for help, hoping for a fresh start.
Whatever the case, a hoarding clean out is a big job, and can feel overwhelming to take on alone.
How To Know If Its Hoarding
Hoarding behavior ranges from mild to severe. Some hoarding is a mere inconvenience (there is a difference between clutter and hoarding, though), while other hoarding behavior severely impacts the quality of life and function of the person hoarding items.
If you’re not sure whether you’re dealing with an actual hoarder cleanup or not, here are a few key signs:
- The resident has been diagnosed with a hoarding disorder.
- All surfaces have piles of items on them, organized or not. Countertops, sinks, stoves, desks, stairways and virtually all other surfaces are usually piled with stuff.
- Cramped living conditions. The home has been filled to capacity with narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter.
- The accumulation of stuff has interrupted the ability to live life normally or use important areas of the home (bathroom, kitchen, fire hazards, mold, etc).
- Finally, the resident has extreme difficulty getting rid of items because of a perceived need to save them. A person with a hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items.
Levels of Hoarding
According to National Study Group on Compulsive Disorganization, hoarding is often classified in five levels, or stages, depending on how extreme it is.
Being able to identify the level of hoarding disorder can help people understand how to help those affected by the condition.
Hoarding Cleanout Steps
There are several crucial steps to take when cleaning a hoarder’s home in order to achieve a favorable outcome of such an overwhelming task. To clean a hoarder’s home, make sure you focus on these key points:
1. Assess the situation and form a cleaning strategy
- Get permission from the homeowner.
- Consider how much man power you will need.
- How long will the cleanout take?
- What supplies will you need and what will you do with the garbage?
2. Gather needed supplies
- Tools for disassembling or repairing certain items.
- Lots of heavy-duty trash bags.
- Empty boxes.
- Universal cleaning agents and disinfectants.
- Masks & Gloves
- Steel Toe Boots/Long Sleeve Shirts
3. Sort hoarded items
- Donations (items must not be dirty, covered in mold, or animal feces)
- Items to sell
- Items to keep
4. Clean one room at a time
- Start with one small space or room at a time.
5. Take proper precautions if you find mold or house damage
- Make sure all people are wearing ventilator masks so that they don’t breathe in any air contamination.
- Call in a professional mold restoration company if needed
6. Deep clean once everything is out of the room
- Focus on removing objects until rooms are in a reasonably empty state and can be cleaned
- Clean the rooms yourself or hire a cleaning professional to come in at this stage. Start cleaning by dusting ceilings and lights and move down to walls and floors.
It’s important to keep in mind that you won’t be able to clean a hoarder’s house within a day; this is a process that will take time. This process can be emotionally draining for the person with hoarding tendencies, so keep this in mind when communicating with them.
Hiring A Professional Hoarding Cleanout Specialist
Large cleanups can be difficult for friends and family as well as the hoarder, and you may be shocked to discover how bad things have gotten. It can be time consuming, mentally depleting, and cause anxiety for all those involved in the process.
Instead of tackling the clean-up alone, consider hiring a Bay Area hoarding clean-up specialist.
Professional hoarding specialists understand and are sympathetic to the physical and mental aspects of these types of cleanups and know how to handle them.
The company should carry the proper insurance as there are often many unknown’s in a hoarding clean up situation. Depending on the amount of work you have to do, hiring professional hoarding cleaners is often a good investment for your overall well being.
How Much Do Hoarding Cleanout Services Cost?
The cost for professional hoarding help will depend on the size of the property, the extent of the hoarding, and the type of materials the company will have to remove. Expect to pay more for hazardous waste, including mold, fungi, feces, drug homes, and rotten food.
Prices of hoarding cleanouts can range depending on the severity of the property and what is required. Because of this, it’s hard to put a ballpark figure on the cost of a hoarder cleanout in the Bay Area.
To get an estimate on your cleanout, contact a Bay Area professional hoarder cleanout specialist, like Nixxit to do an on-site estimate. Most reputable companies will offer free estimates so they can properly assess the scope of work.
Nixxit Junk Removal: Professional Hoarder Cleanout Services in the Bay Area, CA.
Hoarding is a delicate situation, and you and your loved one deserve the utmost respect throughout the process.
Our highly-trained hoarding cleanup specialists at Nixxit adopt a considerate and compassionate approach, show respect for the affected individuals, and seek to make the cleanup process more comfortable for everyone.
Using this approach, the hoarder is put in charge of the cleanup process to ensure that nothing is disposed of without their approval.
Get Started On Your Hoarder Cleanout Today!
Our experienced hoarding cleanout professionals will work with you to assess the scope of your project, and get you an on-site no-obligation estimate on your hoarder cleanout.
Whenever possible, items are disposed of in an eco-friendly way, either through recycling, rehoming, or donating. Ready to start your hoarder cleanout? Contact our team today.