Cleaning out a hoarder’s home is not for the faint of heart. If you’re responsible for cleaning out a deceased relative’s home and getting it ready for sale, you might as well know that now rather than after venturing into the nausea-inducing mess that a hoarder’s home often is.
The smart thing to do in this situation is to hire someone to take care of the mess for you. Action Junk Removal does hoarder clean up in Seattle. We’re experienced, we’re professionals, and we’re ready to take anything on.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to tackle a hoarder’s home cleanup project.
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What Is A Hoarder?
The term is defined as “a person who hoards things”. It’s pretty self-explanatory, really.
People sometimes confuse clutter with hoarding. The difference between the two is, while clutter is an involuntary result of disorganization, hoarding is a deliberate act. The hoarder is usually emotionally attached to the items he/she collects, even if they have no monetary value.
Hoarding can differ in severity from light or ‘normal’ (your mom hoarding plastic bags in a little drawer) to severe (a house packed full of rubbish). Most hoarders realize that what they are doing isn’t normal, and that there’s a sort of shame associated with it in society. Keep that in mind while talking to the hoarder. Obsessive hoarding is a mental disorder, so it needs a careful approach.
Can It Be Dangerous?
It may sound silly to some people, but cleaning a hoarder’s home can actually be quite dangerous – which is why many people opt for hoarding junk removal in Seattle.
Hoarders’ homes are often dirty, because the large number of items makes cleaning and maintaining personal hygiene impossible. In addition, if there are decomposing items in the mess, they can be the perfect breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria and germs.
Bad Air Quality
If the home isn’t properly ventilated (due to closed windows or blocked air vents/airways), the air quality inside could be harmful to your health. The stale air may carry disease-causing bacteria, and the oxygen level may be lower than is necessary for breathing. If the carbon dioxide level is higher than normal, it could be dangerous for you.
Pests And Mold
In a home with poor sanitation and stale air, pests and mold are almost certain to be found. Vermin such as rats and cockroaches carry diseases, and mold can trigger allergies, cause breathing problems, etc.
Increased Risk Of Falling
In severe cases, homes are packed from end to end with very little space for moving about. This can be a tripping and falling hazard, and lead to injuries.
All those things lying around are a huge fire hazard. Most of them are likely to be flammable, and in the average home there are numerous appliances (stoves, heaters, light bulbs) that can start a fire.
Structural Damage To The Home
With the hoarder incapable of doing necessary repairs, and vermin and mold deteriorating the home’s structural integrity, you may find that the home has a lot of structural damage which makes moving about inside a risk.
The solution? Get hoarding cleanout service. Seattle has several companies which offer these services, but if you want customer-focused, timely and professional services, choose Action Junk Removal. You can get a quote by filling a short form on our website. Let’s get the home cleaned up and ready for sale!
Tips for Cleaning a Hoarder’s Home
If for some reason you can’t get hoarding cleanout services (if you can’t afford it, or if the hoarder is still living in the home, for instance), here’s how you should approach the process:
Talk To The Hoarder And Earn Their Trust
Talk to the hoarder and slowly try to gain their trust. Don’t take an aggressive attitude or try to shame them about their disorder. Once they begin to trust you, try and bring up the subject of hoarding – always making sure to be carefully neutral. Find out why they feel the need to hoard certain items. It may be the result of a personal tragedy or loss, and talking about it may help them understand that hoarding is not the solution.
Planning The Cleanout Process
Make a step-by-step plan for cleaning, so you aren’t just going in and lugging everything out. Tackle heavy items first, with a group, and save the dirty or potentially germ-ridden items for last, when you have more open space and a chance to take a better look. Have someone in place to sort the garbage into different piles as they come out.
Make sure you wear gloves, a dust mask, and proper clothing. If there’s a pest infestation you’ll also need good boots, and pest-repellent sprays. Carrying a fire extinguisher is always a good idea as well.
Sorting Through The Garbage
Some of the garbage may be recyclable or reusable, in which case you should take them to the appropriate places. You can sell or donate usable items, recycle metals, paper, plastics and other materials, and a large portion of it will be garbage that needs to go straight to the dump. Action Junk Removal can help you – from providing hoarder clean up services in Seattle, to sorting through and getting rid of rubbish.
Organizing The Home And Arranging For Repairs And Maintenance
If the hoarding was severe and the home had structural problems or pests and/or mold, you will need to arrange to have those taken care of. You may also need to organize the hoarder’s actual belongings, because they may not have been kept properly due to the junk.
Affordable Hoarding Cleanout Service In Seattle
For a quick and efficient solution, contact Action Junk Removal. You can call us at (206) 800-7198 or fill a short form on our website for a quote. We provide affordable services and dispose of the junk in an environmentally-friendly way. If something can be recycled or donated, we’ll make sure to take it to the right place. All of this – from the cleaning to the hauling and disposal – is included in the fee we’ll quote to you.