Restoring Order: 7 Steps For Cleaning a Hoarder House
A hoarder house is defined as a dwelling that has been overwhelmed by personal items. This scenario typically results from a condition where the owner feels an obsessive need to collect these items, even though they may pose a risk to their health and safety. However, despite the imminent dangers of hoarding, a systematic approach paired with the right restoration services provider can revert a once chaotic space into a clean, healthy and organized environment once again.
Here are seven essential steps to effectively clean a hoarder house.
Step 1: Come Up With a Plan
As a hoarder home poses many safety risks, it’s crucial to thoroughly assess the situation before diving in. Start by identifying potential hazards such as blocked pathways, unstable piles, or mold growth. Next, create a detailed plan that considers the scale of the hoarding situation, the resources required and a realistic timeline for completion. Remember that a reputable Edmonton restoration services company can help you draft the right plan for any hoarding cleanup.
Step 2: Be Supportive
Cleaning a hoarder house isn’t just about clearing and decluttering – it’s also essential to approach the task with empathy and sensitivity. As hoarding is a mental condition, it’s important to work closely with the hoarder, their family and support network to safeguard their emotional wellbeing. Whether you’re tackling a hoarding situation on your own or enlisting outside help, you’ll need to maintain trust, open communication and provide reassurance as you help the hoarder navigate this difficult journey.
Step 3: Start By Sorting
First, you’ll want to organize the clutter. This begins by encouraging the hoarder to sort items into three categories: keep, donate, and discard. This step will require patience and understanding, as hoarders naturally experience anxiety about parting with their possessions. Even the most minor decisions can be overwhelming and should be encouraged throughout the decision-making process.
Step 4: Partner With the Professionals
Here again, severe hoarding situations can pose a hazard to your health and safety. For this reason, it’s recommended that you enlist the help of a reputable restoration services company. Not only do the experienced professionals at First General have the expertise and equipment necessary to handle any situation, but they also come armed with compassion and understanding. Their knowledge of cleaning techniques, such as odour removal and mold remediation, ensures a thorough restoration process.
Step 5: Deep Cleaning and Sanitization
Once the sorting process is complete, it’s time to deep clean. Remove dirt, dust, and cobwebs using appropriate cleaning tools and chemicals while paying particular attention to high-touch surfaces, such as countertops, door handles, and light switches. Additionally, prioritize sanitization by using disinfectants to eliminate bacteria and allergens that may have accumulated over time.
Step 6: Structural Repairs and Restoration
In severe cases, hoarding can lead to structural damage as a result of water damage, pest infestations and/or electrical issues. If you encounter these issues during the cleaning process, enlist the help of professionals who can conduct the necessary rebuild and repair services. These repairs may range from minor fixes to major renovations, depending on the extent of the damage.
Step 7: Post-Restoration Support
After the hoarder’s house has been cleaned and restored, it’s essential to establish a maintenance plan to prevent a relapse. Work with the hoarder and their support network to develop strategies to prevent clutter from accumulating again and provide them with information on local resources, support groups, or therapists specializing in hoarding disorder. Regular check-ins will also help keep their progress on track and provide ongoing support.
Cleaning a hoarder’s house is a large undertaking that requires patience, empathy, and expertise. With professional restoration services such as those provided by First General Edmonton and a supportive network, a hoarder house can once again be transformed into a safe and healthy place to call home.