In this post, you will know where to begin in a hoarder cleanup. Read along to learn everything you need to survive.
Hoarding is a problem that affects families across the country and the New Jersey area is no different. Knowing someone with a hoarding issue and getting them help is only half of the problem. There is still the necessity of cleaning the mess left behind after years of living with this debilitating issue. So, where do you start? Follow along as we explain where to begin in a hoarder cleanup.
The Overwhelming Task
When you decide to help someone with a hoarding cleanup it may seem like there’s nowhere to begin. Hoarders are often found in their homes surrounded by clutter that has accumulated over the years, making it hard to even walk through the house let alone clean it.
The person dealing with a hoarding disorder is typically unaware of how bad their home has become, and since Hoarders usually live alone, family members do not know what to do. In fact, it can appear too overwhelming to most to even try and help.
There is hope at the end of the proverbial tunnel, however. There are steps you can take to make the process go as smooth as possible and the first step is to just start. What seems insurmountable at first will become manageable once you make the decision to do something about the stacks of material. Next, we will take you through the rest of the steps of a stress-free hoarder cleanup.
The Steps of a Hoarder Cleanup
So you have a hoarder cleanup to complete, but how do you begin? Hoarding is often a complex situation that may involve many people and sometimes even requiring a series of legal documents to force someone to have their home cleaned when they do not want to. Concentrating on the cleanup itself, however, the first steps in any hoarding clean up is usually:
Knowledge of the property
It is essential to understand the layout and the depth of the problem before beginning. If you are unfamiliar with the property, the task of a hoarder cleanup will be challenging. This can mean the difference between trying to do the job yourself or hiring a professional company that is experienced in these difficult cleanups.
Equipment Needed to Clean a Hoarder Situation
- Hoarder Dumpsters or Hoarder Trash Compactors
- Handtools: Rakes, shovels, and brooms are a must in any hoarder cleanup. With so much debris to remove, it is difficult to complete the job by hand.
- Hoarding Steam Cleaners: Once the large debris is removed, the sterilization begins. Steam cleaners are necessary for the cleanup.
- Hoarding Vacuums: These won’t be your typical home vacuums, what we mean here, is that you’ll probably need powerful shop vacs to clean with during a hoarding event, or a professional vacuum to do the job.
PPE Needed For Cleaning a Hoarding Situation
When cleaning up a hoarder’s property, it is important for the safety of the cleanup crew to be protected with each individual using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE can include:
- Eye Protection, Face Protection
- Respiratory Protection from dust and debris. This may consist of a dust mask or a respirator.
- Protection from falls and slips. This may include safety boots and hardhats
- Protection from cuts such as work gloves
- Protection from cuts, scrapes, and bites. Use heavy-duty rubber gloves for sanitation purposes as germs and disease can be rampant in a hoarder cleanup
As you can see a hoarder cleanup can be extreme and dangerous to those completing the work. Anyone leading a cleanup should investigate having it done by professionals who can completely disinfect the areas of the home.
Hoarding With Animals
Trash is and objects is not the only thing that hoarders collect. They are just as likely to have several pets in the home, which creates a large amount of waste. Of course, the waste is a biohazard and should not be taken lightly by anyone cleaning. Infectious diseases and parasites will be plentiful in a hoarder environment with pets.
Cleaning Out The Home
Move all trash out of the home and throw it away in an appropriate manner. Hoarders often need help with junk removal because they are unable to throw things away.
Anything that can be recycled should also be removed and disposed of properly. Hoarders often have a lot of junk mail, so separating the paper from the plastic, glass, and metals is important.
Plastic bags are a must as they will take up less space and hold in some of the smells that almost always come with these types of cleanouts.
Once the large items and trash are removed from the home, now is the time when decisions will be made on carpeting and furniture. It is difficult for a hoarder to part with the large items such as furniture, since many of these are heirloom items. Some of the solid furniture can be restored and reused in a cleaned-out home. There will be times however that they will not be salvageable and must be tossed out.
For carpeting, it will almost always be ruined in a hoarder clean-up, but an assessment can be taken to determine if a carpet cleaning can be used.
Hoarding cleanups can be tricky but if you follow these steps you should have no problem getting started. To minimize your risks and make the job go much more smoothly, take into account there are experts to help you. If you find yourself needing a hoarder cleanup in the New Jersey area, Cleaning World Inc. is happy to help with your needs.