Hoarding is an issue that affects a small percentage of the general population. However, in the DSM 5, published in 2013, lists hoarding as a mental disorder and a number of factors could contribute to the hoarding. Here are some ways to help a hoarder.
1. Understand that people affected by hoarding have a mental disorder
Many times people with hoarding disorders (don’t refer to a person with a hoarding disorder as a hoarder) have issues with understanding how long it takes to complete a task. Additionally, it is difficult keeping them focused on one task at a time, as people with hoarding disorders are easily distracted and frequently start many tasks before completing one. Be understanding of the issues they struggle with and do your best to help them stay on task until it is complete. For example, if your first goal is to clean up the kitchen, make sure that task is complete before starting to clean a bedroom or the living room.
2. Space is a usually a major concern when trying to help a person with a hoarding disorder.
In order to come up with a executable game plan, you must locate or create a place to stage and store items that will be retained or thrown away. Many box stores sell large bags that can be filled up and picked up by Waste Management. These bags help conceal the items removed from the home and help protect the resident from judgment from the neighbors. Another recommended method is renting a roll-off container. These containers are excellent ways to throw away large amounts of trash and debris in a short period of time. Plus, neighbors typically think there is construction going on at the house instead of the removal of a hoard. The rental of a POD is an excellent way to temporarily place large and small items from a home while the organization and reorganization process takes place. A POD can be stored either on the property or can be removed to a secured warehouse.
3. Maintence in a house occupied by a person with a hoarding disorder has been neglected
People are often reluctant to have a hoarding cleanup company /hoarder-cleaning-columbia-sc visit their house because they are embarrased of the condition of their house or lack of accessibility to the items requiring maintenance. Helping to clear a path to areas of the house requiring maintenance can be a signficant help to anyone with a hoarding disorder. Once the maintenance has been completed, such as HVAC repairs and toilets being fixed, work on the rest of the house can begin.
4. Insects and pests can be an issue when trying to help a person with a hoarding disorder
Depending on the size of the hoard, there may not be an easy way to rid the property entirely of insects and pests. Foggers are typically used because the fog can reach places that sprays cannot reach, but many times the fog cannot reach under large stacks of debris. Removing the debris reduces the breeding grounds for pests and insects. Once the debris is removed, the areas can be properly cleaned and disinfected and hiring a pest control company will produce better results.
5. Many houses have items in them that are no longer being used but can be reused by someone else
Rather than throwing away or storing these items, they can typically be donated. Non-profit organizations, such as Goodwill, can schedule pickups of resellable, reuseable items and will give out receipts, which can be used as tax donations each year. Having an organization pick up donations, such as furniture, televisions, clothes, electronics, books, etc, can help rid the property of unused items and prevent these items from going to a landfill. These are just a few ways how to help a hoarder clean.