Hoarding Cleanup FAQS

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Frequently Asked Questions About Our Hoarding Cleanup Services:

  1. How Much Does Hoarding Cleanup Service Cost?
  2. Why use a hoarding cleanup service?
  3. What is hoarding?
  4. How long does hoarding cleanup take?
  5. What if there are valuables in the hoarder's house?
  6. What are the dangers of hoarding?
  7. Why hire a hoarding cleanup company that also specializes in biohazard cleanup?
  8. What information should I have available when I call for hoarding cleanup service?
  9. How do you ensure our privacy during a hoarding cleanup?

See the answer to each question below.

1. How Much Does Hoarding Cleanup Service Cost?

The cost of hoarding cleanup services can vary dramatically from one case to the next based on several factors (see below) and cannot be accurately estimated without an in-person estimate. In-person estimates will explain in detail what services are going to be performed as well as any charges that are above and beyond the norm.

These Factors Include, But Are Not Limited to:

  • Property size
  • Location of property
  • Type of property
  • Functionality of major amenities (e.g. water, electricity, heat, plumbing)
  • Materials to be disposed of
  • Method of disposal
  • Sanitation supplies (personal protective equipment (PPE), biowashers, air scrubbers, etc.)
  • Number of crew members needed
  • Time needed to complete cleanup

2. Why Use a Hoarding Cleanup Service?

Investigate hiring a hoarding cleanup company if you would like to work with someone that has hoarding cleanup training, can organize and sort while teaching good organizing and sorting habits, has quick & efficient cleaning processes, has hoarding cleanup experience, has safety tips, and offers emotional support while working with your mental health professional, to help get the hoarder on the road to recovery. Going through belongings and organizing and sorting them with the hoarder so that the hoarder can decide what to discard and what to keep is important to the recovery process. Attempting this process alone can be too difficult, this is when a professional hoarding cleanup service can help!

3. What is Hoarding?

Hoarding disorder is defined as “a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them” (Mayo Clinic). This persistent difficulty leads to excessive collecting of possessions without being able to discard of certain items. An individual with hoarding disorder will not be able to discard of these possessions because they cannot bring themselves to discard of their possessions due to the emotional pain that it would cause.

4. How Long Does Hoarding Cleanup Take?

Most hoarding cleanup projects can be completed in a day, but some can take as much as a week to complete. Hoarding cleanup projects are usually approached with one of two strategies (see below). The length of time that it takes to complete the project is primarily affected by the number of items that must be sorted, organized, removed, sanitized, and cleaned.

Hoarding Cleanup is Usually Addressed with One of Two Strategies:

  1. Strategy 1: (Used when the home will be lived in again by the residents after the cleaning) Paying hourly to have a hoarding cleanup team clean and sanitize (as needed), and have a hoarding specialist sift through the items to organize and help bring the home back to a livable condition, donating, keeping, or throwing away items as needed.
  2. Strategy 2: (Used when the home will not be lived in again by the residents after the cleaning) Removing all items, donating, or throwing them away (as needed), from the home and then sanitizing all surfaces (as needed).

5. What if There are Valuables in the Hoarder's House?

Address Our Mess personnel are trained to put aside all valuables and any items that may have a monetary value. These items are shown to the responsible party and boxed up for further evaluation by the responsible party.

6. What are the Dangers of Hoarding?

Hoarding can be very dangerous to the structure and safety of your home, your physical and mental health, and the physical and mental health of your loved ones. Hoarding dangers can include mold growth, bug and animal infestations, structural damage to the home or building, injury hazards, mental overwhelm, stress, and anxiety. Sharp objects (knives, broken glass, hypodermic needles, and sharp objects of any kind) can also put the health of you and your loved ones in danger. You should have your hepatitis (A, B, and C) shots, tetanus shots, rabies shots, and other shots (consult your doctor) before entering or attempting to clean a hoarded home. Hiring a hoarding cleanup company to clean will bring the hoarders home back to a safe and livable condition.

7. Why Hire a Hoarding Cleanup Company that also Specializes in Biohazard Cleanup?

Many hoarding cleanup companies do not specialize in or have training to cleanup biohazards which may lead to the improper cleanup of a biohazard or the inability to finish a hoarding cleanup project if a dangerous biohazard is found. Please also be aware that mold (a biohazard), is often present in hoarded homes and if removed or even touched incorrectly, the mold can spread, adding further cost to remove more mold in the future and a health hazard. We at Address Our Mess are licensed to remove biohazard materials, including mold, so that we can make sure that the home is brought back to a safe and livable condition.

8. What Information Should I Have Available When I Call for Hoarding Cleanup Service?

Have your basic contact information and calendar ready to schedule an estimate to start the cleanup process. We also suggest that you have your mental health professional’s contact information ready so that we can work with them to put you on the path to recovery. We can also suggest a mental health professional, with specialization in hoarding disorder, for you to contact, if you do not already have a mental health professional that you can reach out too.  

9. How Do You Ensure Our Privacy During a Hoarding Cleanup?

Our case managers and technicians are National Organization for Victims Rights Association (NOVA) certified and are trained to handle the most sensitive issues with compassion and understanding during our communications and projects. During the hoarding cleanup process, we also follow a strict set of rules to ensure the nature of the project at hand is not revealed to the public.

Hoarding Cleanup Privacy Rules:

  1. Only discuss the nature of the project at hand with the hoarder and trusted family or friends (determined beforehand)
  2. Do not label company vehicles, uniforms, or other company property with language that will give away the nature of the project
  3. Do not take videos or pictures of the hoarder’s home or the cleanup
  4. Do not use untrained employees
  5. Do not speak with the hoarder about their psychological issues

How to Communicate with a Hoarder?

When starting a conversation with a hoarder about their hoarding problem, remember to let the hoarder know that no item will be thrown or given away until the hoarder gives permission. This will go a long way to earning trust which will help complete the cleaning project and set the hoarder up for long term success! Sensitivity and caring language are important considerations to bring into a conversation when addressing a hoarder about their hoarding issue. Exercise patience and avoid negative comments about the individual or their things.

When communicating with a hoarder, remember the following:

Do's of Communicating with a Hoarder:

  1. Do: Connect With The Individual
  2. Do: Seek Professional Help
  3. Do: Continue To Talk About The Situation
  4. Do: Talk About Safety
  5. Do: Agree That The Items Are Important
  6. Do: Keep Everything Confidential
  7. Do: Ask Why - In A Respectful Tone
  8. Do: Promote Donation
  9. Do: Be Patient
  10. Do: Hire A Pro Hoarding Cleanup & Organization Service

Don'ts Of Communicating With A Hoarder:

  1. Don’t: Make Fun Of The Hoarder’s Situation
  2. Don’t: Say Let’s Get Rid Of All This “Stuff”
  3. Don’t: Get Angry
  4. Don’t: Try To Reason Right Away
  5. Don’t: Touch The Hoarder’s Items
  6. Don’t: Treat The Hoarder Like A Child
  7. Don’t: Treat Hoarders Like Criminals
  8. Don’t: Make A Large Task List For The Hoarder
  9. Don’t: Ask Why – In A Disrespectful Tone
  10. Don’t: Let This Stress You Out

Please consider our company Address Our Mess for hoarding cleanup service. Call 410-589-2747, email info@addressourmess.com, or use our contact us page for more information. We are here to help!

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 10:34 by Kenneth Donnelly