Hoarding Cleanup Tips

Hoarding Cleanup Tips

Some people find it very difficult to dispose of things that have no value. Statistics show that many Australians suffer from compulsive hoarding, a psychological disorder that is characterised by the inability to dispose of items that do not have worth. Hoarders find it very difficult to discard items like newspapers, junk mail, garbage, consumer goods, and other materials. When piled up, these materials can cause unsanitary and dangerous conditions.

If your family, friend, or a loved one is a hoarder, you may find it very difficult to clean their home. It is important that you plan before you even start to perform a hoarding cleanup. Below are some tips for if you find yourself in a position where you are doing a cleanup to help someone you know who suffers from hoarding.

Some helpful tips for cleanup of a hoarding house

  1. Prepare yourself. Expect to see items that you would not usually find to see in someone’s house. For example, spoiled food, animal waste, harmful chemicals, and even dead pets.
  2. Ask for help. It is important that you are prepared to ask for help from other people as you may not be able to tackle the problem alone. This is both a physical and emotional consideration.
  3. Consider the hoarder. Cleaning out a hoarders home will be extremely upsetting to them. They will need emotional and mental support, perhaps even to a professional standard. Treat the person/people in involved with respect and dignity at every stage of the process.
  4. Make a plan. Itemise the tasks that you need to do. Tackle everything in an orderly and efficient manner.
  5. Organise your space. Prepare a staging area that you can use to sort things out. You also need to prepare an area where you can take trash and debris.
  6. Use protective equipment. Since there are typically unsanitary items in a hoarder’s home, make sure you are fully protected with the right gear such as rubber gloves, breathing masks, and goggles.
  7. Move slowly. It is better to use a ‘slowly but surely’ approach in hoarding clean-up. If you do not have the patience to sift through the contents with care then, you may cause distress to the occupant and undue physical strain to yourself. Where possible, include the owner in the discussion. Encourage them decide what is to be donated to charity and what will stay at home. This is not always practical and you may need to arrange for a therapist or councilor to be present.
  8. Take nothing for granted. Ensure that you inspect any items that might have expired, like food.
  9. Be thorough. Treat everything as suspect. This includes cleaning and sterilising dishware and flatware. Even inspect paper products as they may also be contaminated with mould or other mess.
  10. Organise transport and the tip. You will likely be doing lots of tip runs. Make sure you know where your closest tip is, what kind of waste they accept, and their charges. You will also need a reliable vehicle, preferably something that can carry a large load.

At AllAces Cleaning & Restoration we take pride in our hoarding clean up procedure. It includes decontaminating hazardous chemicals and materials, deodorising of foul smell, proper disposal in accordance with local ordinances, and discretion since we know that hoarding can be a sensitive condition that calls for proper attention and care. If you are in need of help with hoarding cleanup, look no further. Call us on 1800 00 1010.

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