Hoarder Cleaning Services in New York City: What You Need to KnowGary Shif
If you or a family member have started hoarding, you’re far from alone. The Cleveland Clinic estimates that 2 to 6% of Americans have hoarding disorder. It often starts when we’re young and can become more serious by our mid-30s and beyond.
Hoarding also creates issues in the home, such as mold and odors. It can allow germs to accumulate to unhealthy levels. Also, it doesn’t create a relaxing environment where the family can enjoy life.
Hoarder cleaning is about giving you back control, not getting rid of all of your stuff. Let’s take a deep dive into what hoarder cleanup involves.
What Is Hoarding?
Right away, it’s important to acknowledge that hoarder cleaning is a sensitive matter. It needs to be handled with kindness, tact, and awareness of the feelings of the person who is hoarding.
Typically, people hoard possessions because they feel:
- The item has value
- It will be useful at a later date
- It’s a link to an important person or time in their life
It is also linked with other symptoms, including anxiety and certain mental health conditions. People who hoard possessions typically have a very hard time trusting others to touch their things. That’s why hiring a hoarder cleanup crew is different from hiring other types of residential cleaning services.
What’s the Difference Between Clutter and Hoarding?
Most of us would admit to having more possessions than we really need. We may be reluctant to get rid of clutter or donate items that we no longer need. Professional clutter cleanup can help, because an outsider comes in and sorts through our things.
But hoarding goes a step further. The transition from clutter to hoarding occurs when your possessions stop you from using your home. You may have piles of items that block access to seating areas and appliances and even make it hard to walk through the corridors.
Even the stairs become a storage place, with piles of mail, papers, and other items making them narrow and dangerous.
At this point, it’s pretty much impossible to keep your home clean. If you are also hoarding spoiled food, your home will become a magnet for vermin and other pests. At this stage, you badly need a hoarder cleaning service to come in and clean up the clutter.
Choosing a Hoarder Cleanup Company
There are a lot of cleaning companies out there, but not all are qualified to handle hoarder cleanup.
Do your research and only investigate companies that offer hoarder cleaning as a specific service. They will understand the delicate nature of this cleaning and know how to work with clients successfully.
Then check out their online reviews. Only choose companies with a high level of customer service.
What Hoarder Cleaning Services Do
A hoarding cleaning service is about far more than removing clutter from people’s homes. It’s a collaborative and compassionate process that involves the homeowner and their family. Everybody needs to buy into the process for it to succeed.
The cleanup service will take the time to get to know the homeowner and understand their individual needs. They’ll agree on a plan of action with them. They’ll make the day as comfortable for them as possible.
In a hoarder’s home, there will be items that have genuine value to them. But it can be hard to find them among the trash. That’s why a professional clutter cleanup crew will take their time and use an organized approach.
One Room at a Time
Tackling the whole house will be overwhelming for the person and for the hoarding cleaning service!
Instead, they’ll take it one room at a time. The professional clutter cleanup crew don’t know what they’re going to find and they need to protect their own health first. So don’t be surprised if they arrive wearing gloves, masks, and other protective clothing.
They’ll remove the items from the room and then start to sort them. Trash, such as old junk mail, rotten food, or items that are beyond repair will be thrown away.
Other items can be kept. The hoarder cleanup service will clean these items and sort them. They’ll then be ready to either be stored at a storage facility or returned to the home in an organized way.
It’s usually best practice to empty and sort through all the rooms before the cleaning process begins. This will ensure that the homeowners knows where everything is before the cleaning begins. Only items that have been cleaned and sorted will go back into the house.
Once the room has been cleared of hoarded items, it will be possible to see what type of cleaning is needed.
It’s common to find mold and mildew, especially if the hoarding has been going on for some time. This needs to be thoroughly cleaned to prevent damage to health and the fabric of the house.
If the shower, sink, bathtub, and toilet have not been easily accessible for some time, they will need to be thoroughly cleaned. They’ll then be sanitized to completely remove any germs that are lurking.
Steam cleaning can help to penetrate severely soiled surfaces and restore them to the best possible standard.
When the room is empty, the cleanup service may discover that there is damage to:
- Hardwood floors
- Other flooring materials
- Kitchen and bathroom fixtures
- Lighting fixtures
The clutter cleaning crew may be able to make minor repairs and carry out repainting if you like. They will talk to you about what’s needed and gain your approval before carrying out any work.
It’s likely that the home’s HVAC system has not had a lot of maintenance in recent years. Air ducts can become clogged with dust. If this becomes moist, it can become a breeding ground for mold.
Air duct cleaning can help fresh air to flow through the home once again. This can help to reduce the likelihood of problems with mold in the future.
Maintaining a Clutter-Free Home
When the clean up is finished, you’ll be delighted with your newly clean home. But keeping it that way can be a challenge.
To avoid repeating the cycle of hoarding and decluttering, you may need to seek help from a medical professional. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) can help. This is a type of talking therapy that helps you to adjust your feelings and behavior.
It’s also helpful to create a schedule for cleaning your home. Having small cleaning jobs that you do each day is more manageable than cleaning the whole house occasionally.
Choose Clutter-Free for Hoarder Cleaning with Compassion
At Clutter Free Cleanup Pros, we understand that hoarder cleaning is a sensitive process. That’s why the business owners, Bonni and Raul get personally involved with every hoarder cleaning project. We believe in treating people with compassion and dignity while helping them enjoy their homes once again.
Click here to learn more about our hoarder home cleaning services. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to request a free quote today!