The best way to start cleaning a hoarder’s house is not by throwing things away. Here’s what you really need to do.
It can be tough to know how to start cleaning a hoarder’s house if you’ve never done it before.
At first glance, the clutter can overwhelm you. You may want to just throw everything away and start over, but that can have the opposite impact to the one you’re intending.
Hoarders are people who have a compulsive need to acquire and keep items, even if they don’t have any practical use. They develop an extreme attachment to their belongings that makes it very hard to encourage them to get rid of things.
Forcing a hoarder to clean can lead to an even more intense hoarding behavior after you leave.
Always exercise caution whenever confronting a hoarder about their situation.
The unsanitary conditions in a hoarder’s home can lead to many health issues, including mental illness, respiratory problems, and pest infestations. When cleaning a hoarder’s home, it’s best to work with a professional to ensure everyone’s safety and sanity.
Don't try to force a hoarder to clean. Be gentle and exercise patience.
You may not understand what causes someone to hoard right away, but it’s important that you try. Hoarding disorder is a complex mental health issue that has a severe impact on people’s lives. Being too harsh or judgemental will only yield negative results.
It’s important to be gentle and understanding when helping a hoarder clean their house, as this can make all the difference in getting them motivated to declutter.
Be patient; don’t get discouraged if someone is resistant to your help at first.
Encouraging a hoarder to clean their home takes time. But it’s the only way to ensure they go on to live healthier lives.
The clutter in a hoarder’s home can be dangerous. Make sure the home is safe to enter before you start cleaning.
- Before you begin cleaning, it is important to make sure that your client’s home is safe.
- Remove any clutter blocking the windows and door so you can access the exits.
- Ensure that there are no life-threatening structural damage or fire hazards.
- Make sure you have a clear path to navigate throughout the house.
- Inspect each room and ensure that it is safe to clean.
Start small and work your way up.
You can’t tackle everything at once, so start small.
Choose an area where you can easily sort through things as you clean or arrange them into piles (clothes to donate, papers to shred).
Then set goals for each task; for example: “I’ll sort through two bags of clothes today.” This will help give you something to look forward to—as well as track your progress.
Clean room by room instead of trying to tackle the entire house at once. This will keep your tasks manageable and prevent you from getting overwhelmed.
Get Professional Help for Hoarding
Never start cleaning a hoarder’s home without speaking to a professional. Hoarding is a mental illness and should be treated as such.
It can be dangerous to your health and the health of those around you.
If you need help cleaning out a hoarder’s home, talk to a hoarding cleaning professional.
Hoarders911 will help determine the best way to start cleaning safely. With guidance from our expert team, you can create a plan for how to proceed without getting hurt.
We provide personalized solutions for any and every situation.
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