Bio-One of Poway decontamination and biohazard cleaning services

Are you just disorganized, or is it something more? Understanding the hoarding spectrum.

The word “hoarding” probably evokes a particular image, made more common by shows like Hoarders that highlight extreme examples. In reality, not all hoarders have rooms full of items piled high to the ceiling.

The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (now, there’s a relatable title!) has classified hoarding behavior into five levels on their Clutter-Hoarding Scale.Level 1 Hoarding

At Level 1, a home is not pristine, but the space is still easily accessible and sanitary. There is clutter, but no concern for safety. Most, if not all of us, have been in Level 1. Many people spend most of their time in this stage.

Here are the defining characteristics of this level:

  • All stairways, doors, and windows are accessible, not blocked by clutter.
  • The home has good ventilation and is free of bad odors.
  • The number of pets in the home is appropriate and compliant with zoning regulations.
  • Pet hair and waste is cleaned up and disposed of properly.
  • There are no visible pests like insects or rodents.
  • Appropriate alarms like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed.

At Level 2, the home is still very livable, but there’s more evidence of disarray. The home is in need of cleaning and may be starting to overwhelm the residents. The hygiene level isn’t optimal.

Most of us bounce between Level 1 and Level 2. However, here are the more defining characteristics of Level 2:

  • One important exit is blocked with clutter.
  • Pet waste and hair can be found in the home.
  • Electrical and/or plumbing issues are present. There may be a major appliance that has been broken for more than one season.
  • Garbage containers are overflowing.
  • Some mild odors are present, related to overflowing dishes, laundry, uncleaned bathrooms, etc.
  • Occasional presence of household pests in the home are quickly dealt with

Level 3 is considered the turning point between manageable household disorganization and a more serious issue. Level 3 homes show extreme disorganization and indicate hoarding behavior.

Here are the defining characteristics of this level:

  • Mild insect infestations from pests like lice, cockroaches, ants, or bedbugs are present.
  • Piles of objects are obstructing key living areas.
  • Multiple appliances in the home are broken and unusable.
  • Spills may be left uncleaned for several days. Food preparation and eating areas are left visibly dirty.
  • One room is no longer being used for its intended purpose, like bedrooms being used exclusively for storage.
  • Noticeable unpleasant odors are present in the home.
  • Dirty laundry is left throughout the home.

Level 3 households should consider hiring outside help. Although, it’s still possible to get it under control with a concerted effort from the whole family

At Level 4, the home shows excessive clutter.Those living in Level 4 conditions need professional help. At this level, part of getting help includes professional cleaning to transform the house into a safe, hygienic space where people can thrive. Mental health counselors and social workers may also step in to help residents change their habits.

Here are the defining characteristics of this level:

  • Structural damage is present, such as water damage, broken doors, and plumbing issues.
  • Excessive pets and pet waste may be present.
  • Clutter is blocking access to stairs, rooms, and exits.
  • Expired and rotting food is present in the home and contributes to odors.
  • Multiple rooms are cluttered to the extent that they cannot be used for their intended purposes.
  • A medium level of insect infestation is present. There may be bats, squirrels, and/ or rodents in the attic or
  • basement.
  • Sewage is backed up

Level 5 is the highest level of hoarding behavior. Level 5 homes are alarmingly hazardous.

They require professionals with safety equipment and training to clean.

Here are the defining characteristics of this level:

  • Extreme indoor clutter makes important living spaces unusable.
  • There is no ventilation in the home.
  • Structural damage is irreparable.
  • Water and/or electrical services have been disconnected.
  • Pets living in the home are at risk due to living conditions.
  • Occupants of the home in danger due to pet behaviors, numbers, and/or health conditions.
  • Household appliances are unusable due to disrepair or being blocked by clutter.

If you or someone you know is struggling with these levels of hoarding we are here to help. 

You can find more information at or contact us at (858) 261-4527

Hoarding and Collecting - Main Differences and Ways to Help - Bio-One of Poway

Some people enjoy collecting things as a hobby. This can be a fun and rewarding activity, providing a sense of satisfaction from acquiring interesting or valuable items for the collector. 

However, collecting goes beyond being a hobby for some people and becomes a compulsion. These individuals may feel an irresistible urge to acquire certain items and may be unable to control their impulses, even when the collection is causing problems in their life.

At this point, one could say that the person is dealing with hoarding tendencies. It can lead to several difficulties, both for the individual and family member and the people around them. Hoarders may have difficulty keeping their living space clean and organized as it becomes cluttered with their possessions. The result is a dangerous environment filled with multiple health and safety hazards.

What does being a collector mean?

Collecting refers to acquiring items that are of interest or value to the individual, typically for personal enjoyment or as an investment. Collecting can be a rewarding activity, providing a sense of satisfaction from acquiring items with a special meaning for the collector and those who share the same interest in these things.

Collectors often pride themselves on the things they acquire because, most of the time, it's about things that have a special value or were highly valuable during history.

Crossing a fine line: When hoarding and collecting collide

Hoarding is a mental disorder characterized by the inability to let go of belongings, even when they are no longer needed or wanted. The hoarder may feel a need to save these items and may be unable to throw them away or give them away.

Many people wonder if collecting is the same as hoarding or if collecting inevitably leads to hoarding tendencies. The answer: hoarding is different from collecting. Collecting is a hobby that can provide satisfaction, whereas hoarding is a compulsion that can cause problems as people have lost control over their lives. 

Hoarding can also strain relationships, as it may be difficult for family and friends.

How Can You Help Someone Who Is Hoarding?

If you know someone who is hoarding, there are many ways you can help them. Before anything, you need to educate yourself about hoarding and how it may affect their lives. Try to talk to them about their behavior and how it affects you and other people in their lives. It is important to be understanding and non-judgmental when talking to the hoarder.

Part of helping someone make their way into a better life is helping them get the professional help they need. Offer to help them find resources and professional help if they are willing to seek treatment for their disorder.

You can also offer to help them clean up their living space and get rid of some of their things. This can be difficult, so it is important to be patient and understand that the hoarder may be unable to part with certain things.

Bio-One  - Professional Hoarding Cleanup Service

Bio-One is a professional cleaning company specializing in hoarder and biohazardous cleaning. We understand the challenges associated with hoarder cleanup and can help to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.

Our team of experienced and compassionate professionals will work with you to develop a customized plan for a successful hoarding cleanup. We will also provide support and resources throughout the process to help you or your loved one get the treatment they need.

We are focused on helping people get their lives back on track

Whenever Bio-One is called for a hoarding cleaning service, it's our utmost importance to make the individual and their family members as comfortable and safe as possible. A hoarding situation is a tough job, emotionally and physically.

Hoarders tend to save all kinds of items. In the process of losing control, they begin facing many unexpected hazards like rotten food, dead animals, mold growth, rodents, and other pests infestations. Our job is to tackle the clutter removal while keeping all of their personal belongings safe.

We tend to deploy 2-3 professional cleaners/technicians during the cleanup process, as we know it can be difficult to let strangers into their personal struggles. Our specialists are trained to carry out the hoarding cleanup as efficiently as possible.

Lastly, we always want to make sure everyone is satisfied and happy with our job. We always keep up with the victims and at least one family member to make sure they're moving forward with the recovery process.

If you, someone you know, or a member of your community is dealing with hoarding, do not hesitate to call Bio-One. Our hoarding cleanup services are available 24/7/365. Schedule a call with us to get a free estimate of the situation and trust us to take care of the situation.

Professional hoarding cleaning - Before and after - Bio-One of Poway.
Professional hoarding cleaning - Before and after - Bio-One of Poway.

Help First, Business Second! 

Bio-One is always ready to react to unanticipated events like death, significant accidents, and hazardous situations. In the following areas of San Diego County, we provide cleaning and restoration services:

Recovery Services 

  • Crime and trauma scene cleanup
  • Blood and bodily fluids cleanup
  • Suicide cleanup
  • Homicide cleanup
  • Unattended death cleanup
  • Biohazard cleanup
  • Feces and bodily fluids cleanup
  • Mold Remediation
  • Odor removal
  • Virus Disinfection
  • Fentanyl cleanup
  • Emergency vehicle decontamination
  • Sewage backup cleanup
  • Medical Waste disposal

Hoarding Cleanup Services

  • Hoarding cleanup services
  • Animal hoarding cleanup
  • Junk removal
  • Deep cleaning 
  • Gross filth cleanup
  • Hazardous waste removal
  • Homeless encampment cleanup

Your Local Last Responder for Life's Most Difficult Situations

Bio-One is the finest choice for assisting victims and their families if a suicide, homicide, unattended death, crime scene, or traumatic situation occurs. In addition to emergency services, Bio-One, a locally-owned company, also offers biohazard cleanup services for commercial and residential properties.

We understand that biohazardous material can be a great source of stress for property owners, so we work quickly and efficiently to minimize the disruption it causes.

We collaborate with local law enforcement, neighborhoods, emergency services personnel, victim support organizations, hoarding task forces, apartment complexes, insurance company carriers, and others to provide the best service possible. 

Proudly Serving San Diego County & Surrounding Communities

We proudly serve the following San Diego County, CA cities and surrounding communities: Cardiff, Del Mar, Descanso, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Julian, La Jolla, Lakeside, Mount Laguna, Poway, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, Santee, and Solana Beach.

Bio-One of Poway is a proud member of the Poway Chamber of Commerce. Our cleaning services are available 24/7, 365 days a year. We have the expertise to remove and safely dispose of clutter and debris from your home or office. Give us a call at 858-261-4527.