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Hoarder Cleanup: Where to Start When Decluttering

Decluttering a home is never easy. This is made more overwhelming when your property is crammed with possessions. Here's where to start with hoarder cleanup.

Currently, 1 in every 50 people in the US is dealing with compulsive hoarding. Research has shown that those numbers may be far more significant in recent years, with as many as 1 in every 20 adults.

Yet, hoarding doesn't just affect the person doing it; it can have a significant effect on the loved ones of a hoarder. 

If you're facing the daunting task of decluttering a hoarder's home, you might not know where to start. It's essential to be patient, methodical, and have a plan. Hoarder cleanup doesn't have to be an impossible project to manage. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Start Small

One of the first things to do in a hoarder cleanup task is to start with small areas. Don't try to tackle the entire house at once. Break it down into small, manageable tasks. You can start with one room or even one area of a room. For example, you might start by decluttering the coffee table in the living room.

Work Together

When dealing with a compulsive hoarder, it's best to work with them. If possible, try getting the hoarder to help with decluttering. They may be resistant initially but explaining that you're trying to help them and not taking anything away from them is essential.

Let them know that they can still keep their possessions, but they need to be organized in a safe and functional way. After all, this is the start of the process to begin decluttering your home. 

Eliminate Hazards

Another tip for tackling a hoarder cleanup project is to get rid of the hazardous materials first. Any hazardous materials in the home, such as mold or rotting food, need to be removed immediately.

There may also be areas where the hoarder has urine or fecal matter, and these hazards can pose serious health risks. So, taking care of them immediately is critical.

Create a System

As you continue decluttering your home, create a system for organizing possessions. Once you've removed the hazardous materials and started decluttering small areas, you'll need to create a system for managing the remaining possessions.

This will vary depending on the type of items and the preferences of the hoarder. However, some common methods include categorizing by type (e.g., clothes, books, dishes) or by function (e.g., winter clothes, everyday dishes).

Look for Hoarding Services 

If you are responsible for hoarder cleanup and you're overwhelmed by the task, you may want to outsource the work using hoarder cleanup services.

They will come into your home and remove your loved one's belongings while taking care of all necessary steps involved with cleaning up due to hoarding behaviors.

These professionals have been trained in how to manage hoarding situations safely and efficiently. They will also have experience working with clients with hoarding disorders, so they know how to communicate with them effectively without further upsetting them or exacerbating their anxiety or depression.

Ready to Tackle a Hoarder Cleanup?

Hoarder cleanup is never easy, but it's incredibly daunting when there's more stuff than space. Remember to start small, work together, eliminate hazards, and create a system. If you're dealing with a hoarder, know you are not alone.

Contact us today for professional hoarding cleanup and help get started on the road to recovery.