Cleaning a hoarder’s house may seem like a daunting task. Whether you are helping for general health or safety concerns, or if an eviction is pending, the task itself can seem overwhelming. Here are some tips to help start (and hopefully complete) cleaning a hoarder’s house.
1. Identify Safety and Health Issues
Regardless of the size of the hoard, identifying safety and health concerns is critical. Many times, there are fire hazards throughout the house, whether they exist with excessive paperwork on or around the stove, entry and exit doors being blocked, extension cords being frayed, overuse of wall outlets, lamps in use without lamp shades and/or lamps being used with light bulbs whose wattage is too much for the lamp. Tripping hazards are very common as well as stacks of boxes over 6′, which present toppling issues. Pests also present a significant health risk, especially pest urine and feces. Identifying and addressing these issues first will certainly improve the health and safety issues when cleaning a hoarder’s house.
2. Trash and Debris Removal
After addressing the health and safety issues, identifying and removing the trash and debris will help identifying salvageable items. A great way to accomplish this is to take part in the 40 bags in 40 days challenge. Purchase 40 household trash bags and fill one bag each day for 40 days. This is an excellent way to make a big dent in the hoard over a relatively short period of time.
Resueable items that a person has no use for can be donated. In addition to reducing the amount of items to take to a landfill, donations can also earn an individual a tax donation. Make sure the donated items are in decent shape or the donation center may turn them down.
4. Additional Storage
The availability of stoarage areas is rare in a hoarder’s house. Buying a shed for the house is an excellent option when available. Temporary storare devices, such as renting ais a POD great way to remove much or all of the hoard from the home until it can be properly inspected. Additionally, a POD can remain on the property or can be staged in a warehouse away from the property depending upon the needs of the client.
5. Cleaning and Sanitation
After the home (or room) has been cleared of most or all of the items, the home can be cleaned. Many times the areas haven’t been cleaned in years, so use a medical grade disinfectant to kills the germs and viruses that may be present. Clean the walls, doors, door handles, light switch covers, interior windows, window sills, and baseboards throughout each room, including each closet. Make sure that the inside and outside of cabinets are included in each cleaning. You can always hire a hoarding cleanup company /hoarder-cleaning-columbia-sc. Duct cleaning and carpet cleaning should be considered as well when properly cleaning a hoarder’s house.