Hoarding is a mental disorder that makes a person have a misplaced attachment to certain items with no actual value. Is your house full of items that, while you may consider them valuable and irreplaceable, others find useless and basically trash? Is your living area full of items that hinder you and other people from comfortably using the space as rightfully intended? If this is the case, then it’s time to do a cleanup. Don’t just dive in though. You might want to consider hiring professional cleaners like Anita’s House Cleaning Services in San Jose to make your hoarding cleanup stress-free and successful. This is to ensure that you clear the clutter that’s in your house.
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The Safety Conditions of the Living Space
Hoarding typically renders the living space almost unusable as there may be limited usable area left owing to the clutter. This could lead to rodent infestations, mould, mildew and bacteria growth from dirty utensils and water leakages, dust accumulation and excrements from the rodents. Sounds really nasty, right? Yes, it definitely is. Exposure to such contamination could potentially put you and your crew’s health and safety in imminent danger.
Your health and safety should be your top priority before embarking on a hoarding cleanup procedure. Always check the entire living space first. This is to ascertain the extent of the damage. Then get rid of anything that might cause harm during the cleanup process. These may include:
- Structural damage
- Broken stairways
- Tripping hazards like wires
- Sharp objects like broken glass, gaping rusted metals
- Poor ventilation may lead to dangerous air quality
In cases of vermin, bacteria, moulds and insect infestation, a biohazard cleanup company can help with the cleaning process as they need a delicate and professional touch.
The Recovery Plan For Valuables You Will Find
Hoarding cleanup is not just a bag and trash process. A common misconception people have is that hoarders only pile up junk. Far from it. Underneath that pile of clutter could lie pure gold, figuratively and non-figuratively speaking, waiting for you to unearth them. Some of these hidden treasures may include jewelry, cash, record albums, legal and financial documents, keys, collectibles, among others.
Before you come up with a cleanup plan, always keep in mind that you’re in a space with a lifetime of treasures. These items may have belonged to a deceased family member or hold either sentimental or monetary value to the owner. Ensure that you always uphold empathy and check with the hoarder first before getting rid of a certain item. And not everyone might be into minimalism. Therefore, work with the hoarder to ensure the process goes smoothly and effectively.
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Where Does It Go After Hoarding Cleanup?
Well they got to go somewhere, right? The destination could be a local charity of your choice or a dumpsite in your region. You should always have clearly labelled cardboard boxes to help you sort through the clutter in an organized fashion. Trash, donate, keep and not sorted are some of the categories you can use to easily go through the hoarding cleanup process. While it is largely dependent on the situation, not everything a hoarder keeps is trash.
If items are beyond repair, they could be dangerous to the health of both you and your team. Such items should be discarded immediately. For any salvageable items and those that are still in good condition, you can either donate to charity or make repairs and store them well. You can check items like furniture, books, supplies and old clothes, which aren’t in any way contaminated. The safety of the recipient is also of utmost importance. If a hoarder insists on donating a certain item, but it’s damaged or contaminated, you should politely explain why his or her wishes can’t come true.
For an effective hoarding cleanup, you need a plethora of tools and cleaning supplies. Some of the supplies may include:
- Heavy-duty trash bags
- Empty cardboard boxes
- All-purpose cleaners and disinfectants
- Brooms, dustpans and vacuum cleaners
- Buckets, mops, sponges and cleaning cloths
- Gloves, masks and a first aid kit.
You should also put in mind that the living spaces might be infested with vermin and mold thus rendering them hazardous. Such spaces require the gifted hands of a professional to give that extra shine. You can hire the services of a biohazard cleanup company to take care of such infestations.
The Extent of Damage
When it comes to a hoarding cleanup process, you could be tackling a single room or an entire house. Knowing the full extent of the damage helps you come up with a detailed plan on how to achieve your set goals. If you are a hoarder and choose to embark on the DIY train, start with the smaller rooms like the toilet before moving on to bigger rooms. So, if you are a professional service, familiarizing yourself with the living space in question will help you decide on your team. If it’s a single room then one or two people can tackle everything, but when it’s an entire house then you probably need a cleanup crew.
A hoarding cleanup is an intricate process that when done right could be a life changing experience for both the hoarder and the cleanup crew. You must first remember that hoarding stems from different reasons therefore what works for one hoarder may not necessarily work for another one. Therefore, consider the sentimental value of an item, if it is salvageable and whether it adds any value in the life of the hoarder before casting it away. You got this!