If you have a family member who struggles with hoarding, you know how difficult it can be to keep your home safe and clean. It can be tempting just to give up and let the hoarder live in their mess, but that's not the best solution. With a little knowledge and effort, you can create a safe and clean space for your loved one - and you don't have to go alone. Here are some pro tips for cleaning for a hoarder:
Understand the psychology behind Hoarding Disorder.
Hoarding Disorder is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. It’s a disorder characterized by difficulty discarding possessions, even items of little value, and clutter accumulation leading to limited living spaces. Symptoms can vary from person to person, but it is believed to be rooted in psychological trauma such as bereavement and loss.
Understanding the psychology behind Hoarding Disorder can be a way for individuals with this condition to take control back and reflect on underlying issues driving their behavior. Hoarders often feel an attachment towards objects as a form of self-soothing against their emotional pain. They can become overwhelmed when deciding how to declutter their living space.
With help from trusted friends and family, understanding what emotions are connected to their possessions, and taking small incremental steps forward have all shown promise in reducing conditions associated with hoarding disorder.
Establish ground rules with the hoarder.
When embarking on hoarding cleanup with a customer or a loved one, establish ground rules to ensure success. One effective way to do this is by carving out dedicated blocks of cleaning time that is agreed upon in advance by both parties.
During these times, distractions should be avoided as much as possible. It can also be helpful to set small goals during each session; for example, remove all items from one room or sort belongings into four categories: keep, donate, recycle/trash, and undecided. Having an open discussion about hoarding behavior can also help create real-world solutions for the problem and motivate the hoarding individual to make more meaningful progress over the long term. Always remember to approach the situation in a non-judgmental way!
Create a cleaning schedule that everyone can agree to.
Creating a schedule that everyone can agree to is paramount in cleaning for a hoarder. Most people have very different ideas on how often specific tasks should be performed. However, by having an honest discussion about each individual's views, then agreeing on what needs to be done when it is possible to establish a cleaning schedule that everyone can live with.
A good tip is breaking large tasks into smaller, manageable ones helps alleviate overwhelming feelings of completion and makes the task seem more achievable. It also allows for the potential to incorporate rewards and incentives into the plan to motivate those family members further help out with the cleanup.
After creating a well-thought-out plan that includes regular check-ins and clear expectations, together, everyone can tackle the situation effectively.
Don't try to clean everything at once!
Trying to tackle a cleaning task all at once can be overwhelming, tempting us down the path of procrastination. Instead, it's best to focus on one area at a time. This will help you break down the job into manageable chunks and develop strategies that make it easier to complete each individual task until the job is done.
Not only does this approach save you time and energy in the long run, but it also helps your brain stay focused and increases your chances of success in getting everything cleaned. So don't forget: when tackling that big cleaning project, take it one step at a time, and you'll be successful!
Be respectful of the hoarder's belongings, even if you don't understand why they're important to them.
Hoarding can cause physical, psychological, and environmental risks. Though it may be hard for some to understand why somebody would hold onto so much, it is important to remember that these items likely mean something special to the hoarder that we may not be aware of.
Cut from the outside looking in, it may look like clutter, but hoarded items represent more than that – they are intimately tied with memories and personal values that often make getting rid of them difficult. As such, when cleaning for a hoarder, it is necessary to treat them with respect and try to understand why the person has kept them.
Keep an open mind and be patient.
Everyone has struggles, and hoarding can be especially daunting. It's more than just cleaning up; it requires help to completely transform living conditions in a safe, healthy way. For help with this difficult task, the best approach is to keep an open mind and be patient throughout the process.
Trying to rush will only lead to frustration, and it may even affect progress negatively. The important part is to remember that while these steps require effort and will take time, it is sure to lead to positive results in the end. After all, cleaning for a hoarder isn’t just about adapting certain routines - it’s about creating a lasting impact beyond those practical changes.
How Bio-One can help you with cleaning for a hoarder
Hoarding always must be approached with understanding, patience, and respect. If you have a loved one struggling with hoarding, remember that they are not their condition. They are still the same person you've always known, they're just dealing with something very difficult. Call Bio-One for help getting started on the road to recovery.
Answering the call.
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:
Crime Scene Cleanup and Biohazard Decontamination
- Crime 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
- Tear gas cleanup
- Emergency vehicle decontamination
- Sewage backup cleanup
- Medical Waste disposal
Hoarding Cleaning Services
- Hoarding cleanup
- 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 best choice for helping and supporting victims and their families if a suicide, homicide, unattended death, crime scene, or trauma takes place. 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, Mount Laguna, Poway, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, Santee, and Solana Beach, among others.