Hoarding Cleaning Tips
Going through a hoarder’s stuff is somewhat similar to a scavenger hunt, only without the fun usually involved in the game. You may find some valuable items in the hoard but instead of being thrilled you will be sad and sorry for the person suffering from a severe anxiety disorder that prevents him/her from assessing the true value of his/her possessions, making informed decisions, and having a normal lifestyle. The affected individual will be most probably a friend or relative of yours, so the cleaning process will not only be very time-consuming and exhausting, but also rather emotional and difficult for you to deal with.
Get hold of disposable gloves, dust masks, and goggles to avoid exposure to mold, parasites, and other health concerns that may be present in a hoarder's home. Wear sturdy shoes and a hard hat when you enter the house.
You are recommended to start with the bathroom, as you will need free access to clean running water and soap. Besides, you can finish the task really quickly.
Get rid of all the trash in a room first (not only obvious garbage but also items that are too damaged or too filthy to be used again)
When you have disposed of all the useless stuff, it’s time to address the piles of items that might be used again. Separate them in groups of similar items and decide which of them you’d like to keep and which ones you are going to donate.
When the house is free of trash and clutter, you can finally begin the intensive cleaning. This will be a very time-consuming and laborious process.
If the hoarder will be moving back to his/her home after the cleanup help the affected person maintain a clean and clutter-free living space – create an easy-to follow maintenance plan, visit often, and provide further assistance if necessary.