If you want to deep clean a hoarder’s home and help them recover, you need a plan for success.
Deep cleaning a hoarder’s home is not something that you’ll know how to do right away.
When you first realize that someone you know is struggling with hoarding, it can be overwhelming. You may want to help, but it can feel like too much to take on by yourself.
Working with a hoarding cleaning service can help you determine your next steps.
Cleaning a hoarder’s home is much more complicated than just throwing things away and wiping down your surfaces. It takes a lot of time and resources.
You need to be prepared for massive clutter, strong odors, pest infestations, and sometimes even structural damage. There are also mental health issues you need to address.
Before you start deep cleaning, make sure you learn everything you can about hoarding.
Educating yourself on hoarding disorder: what are its causes and how can you help?
The first step in deep cleaning a hoarder’s home is to educate yourself on the condition.
Hoarding disorder is a mental health condition that affects people in many different ways. It’s not just about collecting things or being messy.
It affects their lives, relationships, and ability to function at work or school.
Hoarding is a mental illness on its own. But other mental health issues can contribute to its symptoms:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Depressive and anxiety disorders
- Schizophrenia and dementia
The main symptom of hoarding is extreme difficulty getting rid of possessions. Hoarders often become emotionally attached to their belongings, regardless of their value.
People who hoard typically have piles of clutter throughout their homes that overwhelm them with anxiety when they try to clean them up — even though these items are useless.
Someone may begin hoarding for a variety of reasons. Usually, it’s caused by experiencing a deeply traumatic event.
Before you start deep cleaning, you need to address the causes of hoarding.
The person you are trying to help must stop collecting things for the cleanup to be effective.
Setting Boundaries with Hoarders
In order to clean a hoarder’s home, it is essential to establish boundaries. You must establish trust and communication with the person you are trying to help. Do not pass judgment or try to force them to clean up before they are ready.
Involving the hoarder in the decision-making process shows them that you respect them as a person. It also helps them learn the skills they need to lead healthier lives.
Just make sure you have a plan to keep everyone on track.
You can do this by setting up a cleaning schedule and checklist.
Don’t allow the person you are trying to help to take too long to figure out what to do with their belongings. Instead, help them work through deciding whether or not holding onto something is a healthy or practical choice. Then, support them as they learn to let go.
Making a hoarder cleanup manageable.
As you begin cleaning and sorting through all your things, it’s important to create a staging area.
You will need a place where you can store everything as you declutter. The easiest way to clean up is to empty an area completely. Then you can sort through everything in your staging area—deciding what to keep, donate, or discard.
This will help keep clutter from spreading throughout the home as well as allow for easier coordination of cleaning supplies and equipment.
Items should not sit in the staging area for too long. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the hoarder will try to keep something they don’t need.
Clean one room at a time instead of trying to do everything in one day.
Start with the space that needs the most clutter cleaning first and work your way out from there.
If possible, plan breaks during this process so you don’t get exhausted too quickly or hurt yourself while lifting heavy objects and climbing over piles of stuff.
Don’t try to tackle this alone. Get help.
Professional Help for Hoarders
It’s important to seek professional help when cleaning up a home with hoarding issues.
You’ll usually be dealing with very messy and unsafe conditions, so it’s best to leave this task in the hands of a professional who knows what they’re doing. The benefits of hiring a hoarding cleanup service are twofold:
First, having professionals on hand will save you time and stress.
Second, we have 30 years of experience helping hoarders recover.
No matter what challenges you face, Home Clean Home has a solution—from decluttering and heavy-duty cleaning to pest control and mold remediation. We also have experience helping hoarders get through their mental health struggles as we work together to clean up the home.
Our discreet junk removal services are available 24/7. We pack everything up and carry it out in one swift motion, never leaving any trash piled up outside your home.
For a hoarder’s cleaning service with results that last, you need Home Clean Home!
Call today: (718) 627-5781