If you are faced with the task of cleaning up a hoarding situation, the sheer volume of objects in the home can be overwhelming. The good news is help is available to you. Below, we discuss six things you can get help with when cleaning up hoarding.
One thing that’s important to recognize is that people who hoard are suffering from a recognized mental disorder. As such, getting appropriate therapy is crucial. Simply removing all their possessions will not fix the problem and may subject them to a great deal of emotional stress.
Here at ECOS, we work with the family and the therapist to ensure people are treated with respect throughout the process of returning their home to a healthy environment. If you or someone you love suffers from hoarding, reach out to a licensed therapist for help.
2. Cleaning Up With Respect To Feelings
When cleanup begins, it’s important to remember that the person suffering from hoarding experiences anxiety over parting with their possessions, even things that seem meaningless or like trash to others. Cleaning up after hoarding requires a specific process that respects that anxiety yet still restores the home to cleanliness.
At ECOS, we have over 12 years of experience cleaning up hoarding. We work with professionals and ensure that everyone is treated with respect and sensitivity throughout the process.
While someone from outside the situation may look at a hoarded home as a giant pile of trash, for the person who hoards, it is all valuable in some way. As a result, necessary documentation, family heirlooms, and the like can be mixed in with other items or even trash.
Sorting through the items in the home is important so that items that are truly valuable are saved. Additionally, remember that the person who has hoarded must be involved in the process and able to make decisions. Forcefully removing a person’s possessions will cause emotional distress.
When you are ready to begin the process, having a professional cleaning company help will ease the burden and speed up the process of restoring the home.
An important consideration of cleaning up hoarding is the safety of everyone involved. Hoarding may mask structural problems, leaks, or dangerous mold. Additionally, there can be pathogens from large amounts of bacteria in the home.
A professional cleaning company has the equipment to handle the job safely. They will also recognize any problems that need to be addressed. Once the home is clean, any necessary repairs can be made by appropriate professionals.
5. Trash Removal
Often, there is a huge amount of trash in a home that has been hoarded. It’s far beyond what you can set out on the curb for pickup.
Getting help from a cleaning company keeps you from being overwhelmed with all the trash that has to be thrown away. A cleaning company can bag, remove, and haul all the trash away for you.
Heavy furniture, piles of books, magazines, etc. can weaken a home’s structural integrity. Spills and leaks may cause beams and floors to rot. There can be pest invasions, as well. These are things beyond the average homeowner’s experience.
After cleaning, it’s important to restore the home to safety. For structural repairs, call a licensed contractor. If pests are a problem, reach out to a pest removal company for assistance.
Hoarding creates a daunting situation for both the people who hoard and their loved ones. Embarrassment may prevent people from calling for help, but help is available. If you or your loved one need help cleaning up after hoarding, consider giving ECOS a call.
You can learn more about our hoarding cleanup service here. Rest assured we will treat you and your loved ones with dignity.