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How Hoarding Cleanup Works

How Hoarding Cleanup Works

Here at Warren Restoration, we know that there are many occasions when you might need the help of a professional cleanup crew, such as after a storm, flood, or fire. While these types of natural disasters can and do cause extensive damage to a home, damage can also come from inside the home in the form of hoarding. If someone you love has struggled with hoarding, then you know that cleaning and organizing their space is no easy task. Fortunately, you can turn to our team for professional hoarding cleanup services, and you can read on to learn more about how the process works.

  • Preparation- Before the actual cleanup can start, we at Warren Restoration make sure to prepare ourselves and our clients. Hoarding environments can often contain biohazards such as Staph, E. coli, hantavirus, and more, so we make sure to equip ourselves with masks, gloves, and plenty of cleaning solutions. These environments are also often infested with roaches, mice, or other pests, so we bring the appropriate tools to deal with those hazards, as well.
  • Sorting- The next part of hoarding cleanup is similar to less extreme forms of house cleaning, as it involves the same basic principle of sorting the items into categories: things to keep, things to donate, and things to trash. Of course, this part of the process is much more emotionally fraught for hoarders, as hoarding behavior is a symptom of underlying mental conditions such as OCD or depression. We encourage those suffering from this behavior to seek out professional counselling in order to better cope with letting go of their items.
  • Cleanup- Once the items have been sorted, our team at Warren Restoration will clean the home itself. We’ll get rid of any underlying dirt, grime, mold, animal droppings, or other biohazards. We have the right equipment and training to deal with these substances safely and effectively, and we’ll make sure that the house is clean and safe to live in once again.
Hoarding Cleanup Photo by Onur Bahçıvancılar on Unsplash

Hoarding cleanup is a difficult subject for many reasons. For one, when a hoarder seeks help, they are especially vulnerable. Cleanup should happen quickly and painlessly, but that’s not always possible for hoarders to accomplish on their own. Friends and family can band together, but this can be embarrassing for the hoarder and dangerous for the volunteers. Alternatively, professionals can work efficiently, compassionately, and have the ability to clean up any biohazards they encounter in the cleanup process.

Potential Biohazards May Lurk

One of the greatest risks with hoarding cleanup is that you never know what you’re going to find. The piles are often undisturbed for years or decades. As a result, hoarding often leads to significant mold growth. The untouched piles also provide the perfect place for pests to make their home. Reaching blindly into stacks can be a dangerous proposition. Thankfully, professional cleaners possess the gear to make hoarding cleanup safe. From face masks to the right kind of gloves for the right kind of mess, professionals are in a better position to safely clean up anything they encounter.

Efficiency is Key

As you can clearly see, hoarding cleanup is a massive undertaking. Whether you’re dealing with a large estate or a small apartment, the amount of work that is needed feels overwhelming. That’s part of the reason that hoarders don’t reach out for help, Cleaning up in one fell swoop is the best way to deal with hoarding cleanup, but even the most dedicated friends and family can get burned out trying to get it done.

Professionals know how to work quickly. They also know how to clean efficiently, so that things are taken care of with as little conflict as possible. Meaning that cleanup includes sanitizing areas immediately after removing the hoarded items. The work doesn’t stop at taking out the trash. Hoarding cleanup also involves shampooing carpets and eliminating odors. When you work with professionals, they handle the whole job, from item collection to rug cleaning.

Compassionate but Impersonal Care is Best

Hoarders may be distressed by the prospect of cleaning. In addition to their own emotions related to letting go of items they’ve protected, they also suffer from a fear of judgment. For many hoarders, it’s easier to have a professional clean their home because the work completed is impartial. While professionals should be compassionate and understanding towards the hoarder, ultimately their opinion won’t matter to the hoarder the same way a family member’s or a friend’s opinion would. Distance is sometimes the best thing.

Hoarding cleanup can be very demanding. You never know what biohazards may be lurking inside a formerly safe pile. However, professionals possess the tools to handle all parts of hoarding cleanup. They tackle everything from item removal to cleaning the rugs and eliminating odors. Best of all, some hoarders find the impersonal professionalism much easier to bear than the caring of friends and family who would otherwise have to do the cleaning with them.