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Simple Hoarder Cleaning Checklist: Key Areas to Focus On

example of hoarded property - garage

Hoarder disorders can be challenging to deal with, particularly when it comes to cleaning up the mess. It requires patience, effort, and an understanding of the struggles a person with hoarding disorder goes through. Our cleaning services at Bio-One can come in handy. We have a team of qualified, professional technicians who specialize in hoarder cleaning. In this blog post, we’ll provide a simple hoarder cleaning checklist, highlighting key areas to focus on when it comes to cleaning up these types of scenarios.

Begin with a single room and work your way up

The thought of cleaning an entire hoarder's home can seem overwhelming. Therefore, it's essential to start small. Begin with one room and gradually work your way up to the entire home. This allows you to make progress without feeling overwhelmed or exhausted. In a hoarded home, the areas that typically require more focus include:

  • Kitchens and bathrooms: These are the areas that tend to accumulate clutter quickly. Make sure you use appropriate cleaning products on various surfaces and floors.
  • Bedrooms: The bedroom should be a place of relaxation. Focus on removing any clutter that has the potential to create a hazardous environment.
  • Common areas: Living rooms, hallways, and stairwells tend to accumulate more items than other parts of the home. Make sure you are thorough when it comes to these areas as well.

Differentiate between trash and treasures

hoarded living room

When cleaning any hoarder's home, sorting through the items is one of the most important steps. The idea here is to differentiate between trash and recyclables, and which items should be discarded right away, and treasures, which may need further inspection or consideration before being thrown away or recycled. A few tips for sorting through these items include:

  • Make sure you have plenty of time on your hands. This way you can avoid feeling rushed and can make the most conscious decisions possible.
  • Look through all of the items with an open mind. You may find something that you or someone else might need, or even cherish.
  • Have a designated area for recycling and donating any usable items. Make sure to separate these particular items from those that will be thrown away.

Organize items by category

Once cleaning has begun, it's important to sort all the items found in a hoarder's home into categories that make sense. This way, everything can be placed back into its proper place within the home and further organization can take place. For example, if there are items found in the kitchen, sort them by type – food items, cooking utensils and equipment, cleaning products, etc.

Address the Filth

Since many hoarders struggle with cleanliness, their homes tend to be dirty and riddled with germs. Therefore, it's crucial to disinfect and sanitize the areas most affected by hoarding disorders. From scrubbing floors, countertops, and bathrooms to taking out the garbage and wiping down walls and surfaces, they all serve to eliminate dirt and bacteria.

Address the Emotional Toll of Hoarding Disorder

Dealing with hoarding disorder isn't just about removing clutter but also about addressing the emotional and mental toll it has taken on the hoarder's life. At Bio-One of Poway, once we have cleared the clutter, we also offer support to the individual. This includes offering resources and psychological support when necessary.

people support elderly individual

Seeking Professional Help for Hoarding

Mental health professionals play a vital role in treating hoarding disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly effective, as it helps individuals understand why they are compelled to hoard and teaches them not to attach excessive value to possessions.

Moreover, CBT can provide strategies for de-cluttering, decision-making, and resisting the urge to hoard. In some cases, psychiatric medications may be used in conjunction with therapy. Mental health professionals can also guide individuals to self-help resources and support groups, where they can share experiences and coping strategies with others dealing with similar challenges. The treatment process can be a long one, requiring patience and understanding from both the individual and their support network.

Apply this Hoarder Cleaning Checklist and call Bio-One for help!

At the end of the day, hoarder disorder cleanup is more than just tackling the mess; it's about offering support, understanding, and knowing how to approach the various materials and hazards involved safely. Contact us, and trust our team to help you overcome hoarding challenges, no matter how complex they may be. Our cleaning services are available 24/7, offering a discrete and efficient service to help you restore your home to the sanctuary it once was.