Bio-One of Marion County decontamination and biohazard cleaning services

Healing Begins with a Cleanup! Restoring a House after Hoarding

Healing Begins with a Cleanup! Restoring a House after Hoarding

For those entrenched in the battle against hoarding, the overwhelming clutter is more than a mere mess. It can be a barricade between them and safety, and even the paths to their doorways. From health hazards to emotional hurdles, the road to recovery for a hoarder's home is fraught with challenges. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the minefield of cleaning after hoarding, providing you with the strategies, compassion, and support necessary for this sensitive yet essential task.

The Impact of Hoarding on Homes

Hoarding is inherently a dangerous and hazardous environment. The sheer volume of items accumulated can compromise the structural integrity of a building, not to mention the threats posed by unsanitary living conditions.

From overladen floors to blocked passages that hinder emergency egress, hoarding can jeopardize the safety and livability of a home. Foundation stress, excessive weight on upper floors, and the blockage of heating and electrical systems top the list of structural risks.

cleaning after hoarding before and after example

Health Hazards Found in Hoarded Homes

A hoarder's dwelling is a breeding ground for pests, disease, mold, and more. Respiratory problems, infection, and allergies are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential health issues affected individuals may encounter.

Learn more: Health Risks Associated with Hoarding | Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

The First Step: Recognizing the Signs

Before cleanup can commence,  it's crucial to recognize the signs of hoarding and take steps toward intervention. While each situation is unique, some common indicators include:

  • Difficulty discarding items
  • Extreme clutter and disorganization
  • Social isolation and avoidance of visitors
  • Emotional attachment to possessions

Once hoarding behavior is acknowledged, a thorough inspection of the home and its contents is necessary to determine the extent of damage. This assessment will also help determine what restoration and cleaning services are needed.

example of hoarded apartment

Cleaning After Hoarding: Tips for a Safe, Systematic Approach

Develop a Plan of Action: Before beginning any cleaning or restoration, it's essential to create a plan. This plan should include specific goals, prioritization of areas to be cleaned, and a timeline for completion.

Start Small: It's important to start with small, manageable tasks rather than attempting to tackle the entire home at once. This will help prevent feelings of being overwhelmed and increase motivation as progress is made.

Sort Items into Categories: As items are being sorted through, it's helpful to create categories such as keep, donate, sell, or discard. This will aid in the decision-making process and help prevent items from being kept unnecessarily.

Use Protective Gear: Hoarding can expose individuals to potential hazards such as mold, bacteria, and pests. It's important to wear protective gear, including gloves and masks, to minimize exposure and prevent the spread of contaminants.

Proper Disposal: Items that are no longer needed or wanted should be properly disposed of. This may include arranging for a bulk pickup service, renting a dumpster, or making trips to a local landfill.

Seek Professional Help: Hoarding can be overwhelming and potentially dangerous, so it's important to seek the help of a professional cleanup and restoration company experienced in hoarding situations.

Supporting the Hoarder: Aftercare and Preventing Relapse

After the initial cleanup process, it's important to continue providing emotional support for the hoarder. It's common for individuals with hoarding disorder to experience relapse, especially during times of stress or major life changes. It's important to continue monitoring the hoarder and providing support as needed. Encouraging healthy coping mechanisms and helping the hoarder develop organization and decluttering skills can also aid in preventing relapse.

support group for hoarding

Success Stories: Real-Life Examples of Homes Restored After Hoarding

Despite the challenges of hoarding disorder, many individuals have successfully overcome their hoarding behaviors and restored their homes to safe and functional homes. These success stories serve as inspiration for others struggling with hoarding, showing that recovery is possible:

Bio-One of Marion County Can Help

Hoarding requires specialized care and understanding. At Bio-One of Marion County, we have a dedicated team of professionals trained in hoarding cleanup who can safely and compassionately restore homes affected by hoarding. Our services go beyond just removing clutter! We also provide emotional support and resources for aftercare to help prevent relapse. If you or a loved one needs help with cleaning after hoarding, don't hesitate to reach out to us!

Bio-One specializes in blood and bodily fluids, decomposition/undiscovered death, crime scene, suicide cleanup, tear gas, feces/urine, sewage backups, and odor removal. Helping people get their lives back in order is our #1 priority. 

Bio-One of Marion County is here to help you 24/7, 365 days a year! Call (317) 499-0614, and you'll speak directly to one of us when you call; there is never an answering service.  We'll treat you like a person with the compassion and respect that you deserve.