Hoarding has become a more recognizable issue in recent years, thanks in part to the TV shows Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive. Cleaning up a hoarded home isn’t an easy for quick task. Here are some hoarding cleanup tips, especially when working in kitchens.
hoarding cleanup tips
Many injuries that occur in hoarded homes are from the resident slipping and falling. A person cleaning a hoarded home should wear adequate protective clothing, including slip resistant shoes (preferably steel-toed boots). They should also consider wearing a biohazard suit, preferably with a built-in hood and booties. The suit helps protect the uses from splashes from the trash/debris, bugs from getting on the user, and indoor allergens from getting on the user’s clothing. The suits should be baggy on the person, generally a size or two large than the user’s normal shirt size. Wearing an undersized suit will generally result in the seams under the arms and in the crotch area being ripped.
More hoarding cleanup tips include starting to cleanout the kitchen from the easiest entryway to access. If the kitchen is full of unwanted trash and debris, use a 45 – 55 gallon trash bag to place the trash inside. Start from top to bottom and only fill the bags 3/4 full. Leaving room at the top of the bag will allow a cleaner to properly tie and carry the bag. Work on an area until the floor below it is completely free from debris. In many cases, there will be a liquid residue on the floor. You will need to dry to floor before working on an additional area.
Once the floors are completely free from debris, remove all unwanted trash and debris from the top of the stove. The stove is a key safety issue inside the home, especially if there is anything flammable on it. Remove each item, piece by piece, being careful not to turn on the eyes of the stove. Have a fire extinguisher available when performing this step, in case of an accident. This is one of the most important hoarding cleanup tips, as being prepared for emergencies can minimize damage.
After the debris is removed, place the dirty dishes in the dishwasher (if available). Run as many cycles as necessary to clean and dry the dishes. Put them away if possible. Once this step is complete, begin cleaning the kitchen. Start with the tops of the walls and work your way down. Clean the blinds, interior windows, molding, exterior of the cabinets and everything above the countertop. The countertops will generally have a lot of buildup, so significant scrubbing may be required. Continue to clean the rest of the kitchen, finishing with the floors. These hoarding cleanup tips should help the cleaner stay focused on finishing one task at a time.