DIY Or Hire A Hoarding Clean Up Service?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, hoarding is “[the] persistent difficulty getting rid of or parting with possessions due to a perceived need to save the items”. It affects approximately 2.6% of the population, especially people over the age of 60 years old.
If you’ve ever seen the show Hoarders on A&E you likely have a vivid picture of the extremities of hoarding.
There are several common signs of hoarding. However, just because you or someone you know meets some of the marks, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a clinical “hoarder”. Here are some common signs of hoarding:
Just like addiction, hoarding can be triggered by certain life events, a family history of hoarding, or simply a personality trait.
Everyone copes with difficult life events in their own way. Some people turn to drugs or alcohol, some turn to food and excessive eating, and others may turn to hoarding. As with addiction, hoarding can serve as a coping mechanism for such difficulties. Here are some life events that may trigger hoarding:
Most people resort to what is familiar. If you live in a household where hoarding is the norm, you’re bound to pick up the tendencies and habits of the hoarder.
Complacency with clutter, trash, and overall disorganization is likely to seem normal to someone living with a hoarder. If you’re not attentive, it's easy to begin picking up some of these habits and making them your own.
Aside from the usually overwhelming sense of disorganization in your physical surroundings, hoarding can pose serious health and legal risks.
Hoarding is not something that happens overnight. It's a problem that builds and gets progressively worse over time. As things pile up around the house and the years go by, things like food, pet feces, bug infestations, and garbage accumulate amongst the clutter.
Mold and infestations can build up over time, resulting in respiratory problems leading to serious health complications.
Hoarding is illegal in most residential buildings and cities. If your landlord takes action, they can notify the Department of Public health to have you removed from the building for violations of your lease.
According to Mass.gov website, many homeless shelters are “known to bar individuals whose hoarding puts other shelter guests at risk.”
Although they might not see it the same way, hoarders have a tendency of holding on to trash. Whether it's food waste, empty boxes, cardboard, or old appliances that no longer function, a great place to start is by getting rid of all the trash.
Things you’ll want to consider:
Go room by room and start to organize the items you plan on saving, and the items you’ll be throwing away, selling, or donating.
Once you’ve decided what you’ll keep, you can start to neatly organize the items into their respective places. As the saying goes, “a place for everything and everything in its place”.
There are several methods for organizing items and rooms in your house.
Here are a few you can try:
These are just some ideas to get you started. Depending on the severity of the situation, you may consider hiring a professional cleaning service to steam clean furniture and carpets to ensure they are fully disinfected.
The system might look different for everyone, but you can start with the basics:
Obviously, there’s a lot that goes into cleaning up a hoarder’s home. If the job seems too tough to tackle with friends and family, you can always hire a professional hoarder cleanup service.
As you probably know by now, hoarder cleanup is not just throwing away junk and getting organized. There’s a deep psychological component that requires empathy as you work alongside people who hoard.
That’s why in some instances it makes sense to hire a professional hoarder clean-up service to address both the process of cleaning up as well as the emotional aspects.
Here are a few hoarder clean-up services you can hire to help do the job for you:
There are a number of factors that come into play when it comes to pricing and hiring a professional service. For example, the square footage of the house, the amount of debris, location, etc.
According to Fixr the average price of cleaning up a hoarder's house can vary anywhere from $1,500 all the way up to $25,000. On average you can expect to pay about $2/sqft to hire a hoarding clean-up service.