Incidences of hoarding are on the rise. According to UCSD's Department of Psychiatry, over a million people in the U.S. may suffer from compulsive hoarding. As public awareness rises, more people are emboldened to seek help with the psychological problems that lie beneath the hoarding lifestyle. Once the psychological problems are helped by therapy and/or medication, family members and friends often ask themselves where they can turn for hoarding help to restore living spaces to clean and original conditions. Clean Earth Restorations is one of San Diego's only specialized hoarding remediation companies and we offer comprehensive hoarding cleanup services.
Hoarding is a complicated problem. When faced with a hoarding situation, having professional help is often the key to success. When officials are involved, it's important to follow the requirements outlined and get the property back to livable condition.
Our Hoarding Cleanup Services include:
- Free estimate and on site evaluation
- Pack rat/trash/ clutter cleanouts
- Animal feces/urine cleanup and disinfection
- Odor removal
- Search and recovery of valuables
- Packaging and storage or personal belongings
- Hypodermic needle/syringe recovery and disposal
- Restoration services to repair damage to the property
We understand it's a delicate situation. You may not know how to help your family member, but we do. Signs of Hoarding include:
- Watch for stacks of newspapers or mail that have been sitting around for long periods of time
- Compulsive shopping with lots of unused new items still in bags
- Inability to throw anything away, including trash
- Collection of animals
- Keeping clothes that are never worn
- Keeping broken electronics and appliances
- Rooms in the home are just places for storage
- Living space is impacted – no place to eat or sleep
- Person no longer allows visitors into the home
Hoarding vs. Collecting
"Am I a hoarder or a collector?" That's a question we probably all might ask ourselves at some point in our lives. As we accumulate belongings over the years we might have trouble getting rid of the old to make space for the new, often times for valid reasons -- "I might need it again some day, it's too valuable to give away and I don't have time to sell it, my children will want it", etc. Collections -- vases, postcards, vintage trains -- are sources of joy and passion. At some point though there may be a time when you, or someone you love, finds that your home has too much stuff in it, and it's time to de-clutter.
Not all hoarding situations require professional hoarding cleanup services. Depending on the amount of belongings and the presence (or lack thereof) of biohazards, you may decide to do the cleanup yourself. We wrote a blog with a few helpful tips for do-it-yourself cleanup.
If you are looking for resources regarding tidying and organizing, have a look at the short list of helpful publications and resources that Clean Earth Restorations has put together for you.
What's the Smell?
Have you ever wondered what a smell is? It's a collection of microscopic "stuff" (well, molecules) floating through the air, that enter your nose, hit your olfactory neurons in your nasal passages and transmit a message to your brain, which you perceive as "smell". These molecules come from the things around you. What if the things around you are remnants of a hoarding situation? In essence, little pieces of those elements or impurities are getting inside of you.
"Smell pollution" is not a trending concept but one which we suggest can have an affect, whether psychological or physical, on your daily life.
Properties that have had hoarding situations often have strong odors due to rotting food particles, insect and/or rodent infestations and carcasses, and animal urine/feces. No amount of airing out can completely remove the embedded molecules and odors.
Other more banal sources of odors -- daily carpet wear, pets, cigarette smoke -- can create a "smell backdrop" to your day and affect the way you feel and approach your daily life.
The Scientific American reports about how closely smells are linked to our emotions:
The olfactory bulbs are part of the limbic system and directly connect with limbic structures that process emotion (the amygdala) and associative learning (the hippocampus). No other sensory system has this type of intimate link with the neural areas of emotion and associative learning, therefore there is a strong neurological basis for why odors trigger emotional connections. (Do Scents Affect People's Mood or Work Performance?)
The article also states:
When people were exposed to an odor they liked, creative problem solving was better than it was when they were exposed to an unpleasant odor condition. For health, mood, and even productivity, investing in the air quality of your home or business makes sense.
Removing odors from materials such as walls, flooring, and furniture takes professional equipment and products, and in some cases (biohazards) professional handling is a MUST to ensure disinfection. Neutralizing odors at the molecular level is the most effective way to eliminate odors, and may involve "fogging" a room with ozone or other deodorants, using industrial fans and air filters, and removing or replacing damaged materials.
Clean Earth Restorations provides all of these services and more as part of our professional remediation and cleanup services in San Diego County. We are also a licensed general contractor and can follow up cleanup and remediation with complete restoration to original conditions. Contact us today for any questions you have about odor removal and hoarding clean up. We are also one of San Diego's best professional carpet cleaning providers!
Call us today for a free consultation at 888-471-6653. We are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.