Hoarding: What You Need to Know & How a Hoarding Clean Works

Living in a tidy clutter-free home doesn’t mean getting rid of possessions that remind us of old memories. Even our cleaning professionals at Effly have a box or two of old photos, greeting cards, and tiny trinkets.

The collecting only becomes a problem when the box of old stuff becomes a house full of unnecessary things, in short, a hoarder house. Hoarding is a disorder where people have difficulty discarding items they require, even when there’s no more space at home and the item is already broken.

Signs of hoarding clean can range from severe to mild, and a typical hoarder house can look like a huge stockpile of things and junk that’s covered with years of dust and grime.

Living in a hoarder house isn’t healthy because a house overfilled with random stuff is prone to infestation. All that stockpile of junk will eventually become home to rodents, cockroaches, and flies. The house is also more likely to stink due to the spoiled food on the kitchen counters and sink. In worse cases, hoarders won’t even have a bed or a couch to sit on because it’s all full of stuff.

If you or your loved one is showing signs of hoarding disorder, it’s better to get professional help as early as possible, then clean up the home before things get worse. In extreme cases of hoarding, specialized hoarding clean-up services might be needed, but in milder instances, doing it by yourself will do.Hoarding: What You Need to Know & How a Hoarding Clean Works

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do a hoarding clean:

Assess the situation.

Before starting the clean-up, it’s best to inspect the house first to see how bad the situation is. Is the whole house affected, or just a few rooms? If the whole home is crowded, it’s best to start clearing the hallways and entryways first so that you can move easier around the home.

Planning out how you’ll go about the hoarding clean-up is important. We suggest you start with smaller rooms like the bathroom since it’s faster to clean and less likely that sentimental items will be stored in those rooms. Like any other cleaning task, you should start cleaning from top to bottom.

Gear up and prepare your cleaning supplies.

You wouldn’t want to go back and forth inside a messy home just because you forgot to bring the cloth, nor accidentally step on broken glass. Wear rubber gloves, boots, and a dust mask, then prepare these cleaning supplies in advance:

Hoarding: What You Need to Know & How a Hoarding Clean Works

  1. Boxes, markers, and trash bags (lots of them)
  2. Microfiber cloth, brush, sponge
  3. Disinfectants (we suggest using a commercial-grade one for this situation)
  4. Buckets and mops
  5. Vacuum
  6. Categorize items

Not everything in a hoarder house needs to be thrown out. While you will indeed be disposing of half or three-fourths of all the stuff, there will be things that can be sold, donated, or kept (the truly sentimental and useful items).

As you clean each room, classify the things into five: trash, keep, donate, sell, and unsure. For the ‘unsure’ category, we suggest putting it in storage and revisiting the items in six months. If you still won’t use the items by then, then it’s best to let them go.Do a deep cleaning of the home

Do a deep cleaning of the home.

Regular cleaning just won’t do. At the very least, you’d have to wipe and disinfect all surfaces, vacuum the whole house, and eliminate any infestations to ensure the home is safe and livable again.

Read our previous blog on spring cleaning for helpful tips, or better yet, let our spring cleaning professionals do the job for you, so you can rest after all your efforts of clearing out the home.

Doing a hoarding clean-up is just part of the solution. Preventive measures need to be implemented to stop the hoarding from happening again. Seek help if you or your loved one needs to, and clean the house regularly to prevent clutter from piling up.

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