Compulsive hoarding is more common than many people, including researchers, ever realized. In the US, there are anywhere from 5 to 14 million people diagnosed as compulsive hoarders. That’s actually double the number of people diagnosed with OCD.
Why does this matter?
Because if you or a loved one have accumulated clutter—enough to warrant the label of ‘hoarding’—it helps to know you’re not alone. Compulsive hoarding, described as an excessive accumulation of items and the refusal to get rid of them, is something that affects many individuals, which means there are resources available for you, including hoarding cleanup services.
Whether it’s your home that needs a de-cluttering or that of a loved one, keep reading. We discuss topics like what hoarding cleanup is, how long it takes, and how much it costs—as well as why that’s a job best left for a professional cleaning company.
What Is a Hoarding Cleanup Service?
Hoarding is an umbrella term that describes the accumulation of objects or clutter. The scope of hoarding is large, and people can collect all types of things.
Some of the more commonly hoarded items include:
- Papers, such as newspapers, receipts, or mail
- Containers, such as paper or plastic bags, boxes, etc.
- Clothing items
- Garbage, like rotten food, food wrappers, etc.
- In rare cases—animals or even waste products
In certain instances, it’s just finally time for a hoarding cleanup plan. There are several reasons to seek hoarding cleanup—perhaps you’ve been hoarding items to be thrifty and finally need to get rid of them, or the same applies to your loved one. Maybe your friend or family member who recently passed was a hoarder and you need help dealing with what’s left.
In those instances (and others on an as-needed basis), hiring a hoarding cleanup company means they’ll come to the site of the hoarding and clean it up—safely, efficiently, and hygienically. In some cases, cleaning can be dangerous, and even when it’s not, it’s still challenging.
Cleanup is a large undertaking. Depending on the size of the home, it can be an incredible burden on you or your loved one’s shoulders. It might be hard to know where to begin, how to begin, or how to stay safe while you’re doing so.
Professional cleaners are trained for this. They’ll know small tips (like cleaning top to bottom) and large tips (like how to remove hazardous material like mold, rodent droppings, etc). In short, they’re the ones for the job.
How Long Does Cleanup Take?
In all honesty, the length of the cleanup process varies.
What does it depend on?
Well, several factors. Cleanup might take longer for several reasons—the home is very large and every room is full; the hoarding collection is massive and/or dangerous; there are hazardous materials involved—among other things. The situation might even take longer if the homeowner is occupying the home at the time of the cleanup.
Cleanup won’t be as long when it’s a smaller space, a less massive accumulation of items, or the person hoarding is compliant with decluttering the space.
Just as the timeline is ambiguous, so is the cost, and it’s for the same reasons you’d expect. Keep reading for more insight.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Hoarding Cleanup Company?
It’s hard to gauge a hoarding situation until you’re in front of it. A professional cleaning team can better estimate things like time and cost when they analyze the circumstances first.
Just like the process is flexible, so is the price. The cost of hoarding cleanup can go up drastically depending on things like how long it takes, how big the property is, how many staff members need to do the job, how severe the hoarding is. The more dangerous or unhygienic, the more safety measures a company will have to take, promoting a higher bill.
Because of the drastic differences between each case, it’s hard to assess a situation until a crew is in person and can judge the extent of the work before them, how many crew members they’ll need, and what tools or equipment is required. Often, phone conversations work as consultations to communicate this information early on.
The Reason You Shouldn’t DIY
As you’ve learned by now, hoarding cleanup can be a dangerous job. That’s not always the case—but it’s not really worth the risk, either. Because even when the job is relatively “safe,” that doesn’t mean it’s easy, convenient, or even manageable for the average person.
In specific hoarding situations, saving certain items can even be hazardous—like the accumulation of bodily fluids. Or, saving things like food wrappers and other garbage might lead to pest or bug infestations, and even a build-up of animal droppings. It’s absolutely crucial to handle these hazardous materials in a way that’s safe and informed.
In general, houses where hoarding takes place can prove to be unsafe during emergencies like fires, too. Crowded rooms, doorways, and hallways make it hard to navigate the home safely.
Call Us for Cleaning Services
Hoarding cleanup isn’t easy, no matter the scale of the project.
It becomes an especially harder job depending on the size of the home, the extent of the hoarding, and the types of items being hoarded. It’s also difficult to do when someone is still living on the premises.
Luckily, you don’t have to undergo the stress of the job by yourself.
Click here to contact us at Spaulding Decon for thorough, safe, and efficient cleaning services, no matter the project scope. We look forward to speaking with you.
More Hoarding Information:
Below are several more resources regarding hoarding clean up and hoarder mental health.