How to Clean up a Former Hoarder’s House

According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the definition of “hoarding” is “the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value.” This definition fails to convey the emotional ups and downs that it takes before a hoarder is ready to face change. Hoarding cleanup is a complex task due to the potential hazards involved. The steps to hoarding cleanup include clearing the clutter, addressing safety concerns, and finishing with sanitation.

Hoarding cleanup starts with clutter

As you know, hoarding is the mass accumulation of clutter. Therefore, removing clutter from the home is a necessary first step in cleaning it; however, this can be difficult on the hoarder. As a support system, you can help bolster resolve and help with the actual labor. Finding a sensitive cleaning company or restoration service also makes hoarding cleanup easier. The presence of nonjudgmental professionals speeds the process of clutter-busting. The sooner this painful part of cleanup is over, the better.

Assess safety hazards within the home

Once the clutter is gone, your attention should turn to making sure the home is safe and habitable. Hoarding makes household maintenance difficult, which lets small problems grow.  Returning a hoarder to a stressful home full of health hazards will not support their new life. However, addressing safety issues with the house along with making it welcoming will do much more.

The most common issue in former hoarder homes is an insect or rodent infestation. Plenty of clutter means plenty of room for vermin to hide and make a home. Additional concerns involve mold, water damage, and cracks in the walls or foundation.

Professional restoration companies work quickly to deal with the health and safety hazards commonly present in homes of this nature. Professional quality safety equipment is also essential for navigating the home. Severe mold infestations, insect bombing, or the removal of stagnant water and refuse all pose severe health concerns that professionals can handle more easily.

Sanitize, deodorize, and make inviting

The final step in hoarding cleanup is sanitation. Sanitation turns the house back into a home. Take the time to deep clean everything that wasn’t taken care of during the first or second pass. Without the right tools this becomes a labor-intensive process.

A professional cleaning service is useful during every step of the sanitation process. A professional cleaning service uses steam cleaners on carpets and scrubs out stains on walls or grout. Bacteria and mold spores may still be a concern even after the initial safety check. Additionally, professional quality equipment is perfect for handling the final sprucing up and deodorizing. When cleanup is complete, no one would suspect that hoarding had taken place. With that done, final decisions can be made regarding inviting touches to make it a home again.

Hoarding cleanup is a complex process that needs to feature compassion as much as cleanliness. Eliminating clutter is extremely distressing. Addressing pressing safety concerns about the house, along with sanitizing and deodorizing restore a hoarder’s house to an inviting home. Professional, nonjudgmental, efficient assistance helps speed this difficult process. Once the painful cleanup is complete, the next chapter of life can begin.

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