When to Consider Hoarding Cleanup Services
Having a house full of clutter can be overwhelming. But life can become significantly more difficult when clutter turns into hoarding. In the U.S., between five and 14 million people are compulsive hoarders. This negatively impacts every aspect of a person’s life and can seem impossible to get under control. This disorder has its own set of symptoms and risk factors that often needs to be addressed with a mental health specialist. You can learn more about compulsive hoarding by searching online.
Hoarding is a spectrum, so you might be unsure whether it’s time to seek help from a cleaning company. Search online to see what services are available and where your level of cleanliness falls.
What Is Hoarding?
Hoarding is a mental illness that has a great impact on a person’s everyday life. Mayo Clinic explains it as a “persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.” It can be distressing for a person to even think about getting rid of their items, which leads to an overrun household that can become unlivable.
This disorder is more than just a person who collects items or has lots of items in their home. It’s a behavior that has its own symptoms that can impact someone’s emotional, physical, social and financial state.
The Anxiety & Depression Association of America say the key symptoms of hoarding disorder are:
- Inability to throw away possessions;
- Severe anxiety when attempting to discard items;
- Great difficulty organizing possessions;
- Indecision about what to keep or where to put things;
- Distress, overwhelmed, or embarrassed by possessions;
- Suspicion of other people touching items;
- Obsessive thoughts and actions, and;
- Functional impairments such as loss of living space, social isolation, and health hazards
Hoarding Clean-Ups Services
Hoarding is not a one-size-fits-all kind of disorder. There are different levels of hoarding. By assigning a hoarder to a level, it can help the cleaning crew decide what professionals and tools are necessary to clear the space.
Here’s a breakdown of the five hoarding levels:
- Level 1: Minor clutter with no issues of functionality.
- Level 2: Home is still usable with open floor spaces, but horizontal surfaces are covered.
- Level 3: Surfaces and perimeters of room are filling up.
- Level 4: Floors are starting to fill up and functionality is almost non-existent.
- Level 5: Rooms cannot be entered, doorways are completely blocked, there are structural dangers to the home, and many other hazards and odors.
Companies will come up with a cleaning plan depending on the materials, items, and hazards overrunning the house. Some of the services typically included in a cleanup are:
- Free photo estimates;
- Triage and sorting of contents;
- Cleanup and disposal of waste;
- Discreetly marked vehicles;
- Recovery of valuables and sentimental items;
- Deep cleaning, and;
- Home repair referrals.
Types of Hoarders
All hoarders are different. Some homes are flooded with collections and personal items, while others are filled with garbage and unsanitary living conditions. The type of hoarder a person is will determine how a cleaning crew will tackle the job.
Here’s a rundown of the different types of hoarders.
This hoarder is a shopaholic that will buy things even if they serve no purpose. The shopping can include anything from food to clothing to antiques. These items will often remain in the home unused with the price tags still on.
A person who hoards paper has stacks of papers all over the house. This can include magazines, books, invoices, coupons, and anything else that comes their way.
Garbage hoarding can make a home unhygienic. It can attract rodents, vermin, and pests that can ruin the home and create health hazards for those living in it.
Some people may hoard animals in large quantities. This leaves the owner overwhelmed with responsibility. The house becomes rampant with urine and feces, which can result in numerous health hazards and property damages.
Find a Cleaning Company Online
Cleaning up a hoarder’s home is a big job, so it’s difficult to give an accurate estimate of what the service will cost. An article on Yahoo News says the average fee of cleaning per square foot is $10, and that number is likely higher due to the conditions of a hoarder’s home.
The cost will depend on several factors. Some of them include the:
- Property size;
- Functionality of major amenities;
- Materials being disposed of;
- Number of crew members needed, and;
- Amount of time the cleaning crew spends on a home.
While a hoarding clean-up will cost a decent amount of money, it will ultimately be worth it. Services can include helpful things like containers removal, itemized inventory, and recovery of valuables. Most of all, it will give people the fresh start they need to reclaim their home and live in a healthier environment.