Understanding Hoarding & How To Clean It Up


It is easy to judge those with a hoarding disorder and assume that they simply do not like to clean and must enjoy living in clutter. This is actually quite untrue. Many people suffering from a hoarding disorder are medically characterized as having an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and that is the reason why they hoard. Along with this OCD, they also suffer from depression or anxiety.

Hoarders can become very anxious if their belongings are threatened to be removed from their residence. Hoarders build a deep connection with each item that they collect. The reason a hoarder holds on to an object is due to the feeling it will be needed. Sometimes they intend to give the item as a gift and other times they feel as though it has sentimental value or will be useful in the future.

Hoarding occurs when items take over the entire house. Hoarders often have so many belongings that they have to work their way around things just to get to a sofa or room. In some cases, entire rooms cannot be accessed due to hoarding.

Aside from the mental ramifications of hoarding, there are some real problems that can occur in hoarding situations. These serious concerns include:

  • Fire
  • Health Conditions
  • Mold
  • Infestations
  • Safety

Fires can occur hen there are so many items that are covering a heat vent or when the clutter contains flammable materials. It can also be more difficult for first responders to reach someone inside a home if help is needed.

Health Conditions
Individuals suffering from asthma, COPD and other breathing disabilities often fall more victim to the bad air quality within homes that have been consumed by a hoarding situation. Remediation teams can mitigate the excessive items and properly clean the home to improve the air quality for the homeowner.

Mold is extremely dangerous to health and building infrastructure. It can go undetected for an extended amount of time in homes with excessive clutter. It must be properly removed and extensive sanitizing must be performed to remediate and stop its spread.

When there is a lot of clutter in a home it can easily become overrun by pests such as roaches, fleas, mice and spiders. A standard extermination will not do since there are plenty of places for these pests to hide. Professional remediation teams can come in, de-clutter and properly remediate the pests and their waste.

In extreme hoarding situations, the collected items pose an extreme safety risk. If a stack of items collapses on the homeowner they can then become trapped. It is imperative to seek help for loved ones living in these types of hoarding situations.

In the event of any of these disasters occurring, a restoration contractor must be called in to perform a hoarding cleanup. Restoration professionals understand the hazmat risk and are certified and trained to properly remediate and restore residences that fall victim to fire, mold, infestations and hoarding situations that compromise the integrity of the home and the owner’s health and safety. In hoarding situations, the restoration team can sort the non-salvageable from the salvageable and make proper donations of salvageable items upon request. Professional property restoration contractors are able to return the property back to its pre-disaster state.

For more info or to schedule a consultation contact us today at 315-507-2140