Compulsive hoarding affects 5 to 14 million people in the US and is described as an excessive accumulation of items and the refusal to get rid of them. Hoarding cleanup services are available for those who need help with de-cluttering their homes or the homes of loved ones. Professional cleaners are trained to safely and efficiently remove hazardous materials and know how to navigate challenging situations. The length and cost of cleanup vary depending on factors such as the size of the home, the amount of hoarding, and the presence of hazardous materials. DIY cleanup is not recommended due to the potential risks involved. Spaulding Decon offers thorough, safe, and efficient cleaning services for hoarding situations and other biohazards. Resources for hoarding clean up and hoarder mental health are also available.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Below are several more resources regarding hoarding clean up and hoarder mental health.
For landlords, maneuvering around the complex issues concerning hoarding and tenant rights can be tricky. Because of the connection between hoarding and mental illness, your tenant, by law, is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One wrong move, and you could face a lawsuit.
As a landlord, everything and anything that happens on your property becomes your problem. Hoarding affects over one million people in the US in some capacity, which means that as a landlord there is a high likelihood that one of your tenants may hoard. Due to hoarding being recognized as a mental disability, hoarders are protected under the Fair Housing Act and cannot be evicted for the act of hoarding. Though they do have rights as a tenant, if the hoarding causes a breach in the lease, that may be grounds for eviction. Many times, hoarding may cause emergency exits to be blocked, old food to attract rodents, and cause damage to the apartment or home – this would be a breach of the lease.
Hoarding is a severe problem for a large amount of people around the world. It tends to be first-world nations like the United States that have greater incidences of hoarding. This is likely because people here have acquired disposable income. The more you learn about hoarding, the more you realize that you do not have to have disposable income to become a hoarder. People often collect free and found items as part of their hoard. Over the past 50 years, the number of people who are hoarding has increased exponentially.