It’s estimated that 1 in 20 people may be hoarders! Brought out of the dark into the light of the public eye by television shows like Hoarders, hoarding is now a well-known term. Hoarding clean up is the last piece of the mysterious (and often painful) puzzle of hoarding. At Clean Earth Restorations we provide services to clean up and restore property where hoarding has occurred. We know that hoarding is often a complicated situation — the respect and understanding we bring to our job reflects that.
What is hoarding?
The Mayo Clinic defines hoarding as the “excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them”. That sounds simple, but unfortunately it is often not as easy to deal with as it is to define. Hoarding can also include collecting large quantities of animals.
What are symptoms?
Hoarders typically have some or all of these symptoms:
- collecting large amounts of clutter in their home and other spaces, to the point where it’s hard to move around
- inability or refusal to organize or get rid of any belongings
- moving things from pile to pile without discarding anything
- the belief that everything is useful or valuable even when other people do not
- feeling responsible for items or the belief that inanimate objects have feelings
- guilt, fear, or anger when faced with getting rid of items
- denying that there is any problem even when there are clearly health or safety issues
- shame or embarassment about inviting others into the home
Why do people hoard and can it be overcome?
Hoarders keep things just like everyone else, only more. For sentimental reasons, to not be wasteful, in case they might need it again, to have control of their environment. But somehow their identity becomes tied up with the behavior and getting rid of stuff becomes unbearably painful. It is thought that hoarding is a challenge of a psychological nature and longterm counseling is considered the most successful road to overcoming it.
What should I do if someone I know is a hoarder?
Partnering with family or close friends to address the situation is the best way. Hoarding affects emotions, thoughts, and behavior. Respecting the emotional origins of the hoarder is very important. Forcing or being angry cannot unbraid the tangled situation. For a wide variety of information on hoarding, visit the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF) at www.ocfoundation.org/hoarding. It is especially important to act if you believe that the hoarding is creating a physically dangerous situation for the hoarder or the people who live around them. This includes stacks of things falling on people, rodents and bug infestations, animal feces, mold and bacteria, fire hazards and obstructions.
How can I clean up when someone has been a hoarder?
Hoarding can cause immense damage to property. Hoarding can involve stacks of objects that become fire hazards, trash that presents food for bugs, rodents, bacteria and mold, animal and human feces, dead animals, moisture damage, odors that infiltrate all interior surfaces, and the list goes on. Hoarding clean up can begin once the condition has been addressed with the hoarder and they understand and agree to the clean up. It is the last piece of the puzzle. Hiring a restoration company like Clean Earth Restorations that specializes in the clean up of such conditions, with products and techniques tailored to hoarding, is the best and most efficient solution to evaluating the problems, removing unwanted objects, cleaning and sanitizing the affected spaces, and repairing damaged structures.
At Clean Earth Restorations we can restore your property to its most livable condition. Call us today for a free consulation. We have years of experience with hoarding clean up and would be happy to help you take care of it. 1-888-471-6653