A Guide To Dealing With A Hoarder’s House Part 1
Many people don’t understand what hoarding really is. They believe that someone makes a conscious decision to keep their belongings rather than throw them out. However, much like you can’t choose whether or not you are depressed, you can’t choose whether or not you are a hoarder. It is a mental illness; typically, it starts when the sufferer is young and gets worse over time. Often, there is a trigger event that starts the hoarding; it is often a serious event, like a death in the family or being the victim of abuse. Hoarding is the sufferer’s way of coping.
Why Is Hoarding Dangerous?
Hoarding is not just about the accumulation of stuff. Hoarding is a hazard; typically, there are sanitary issues associated with the mess. For example, there may be mice or rats living among all the items. Mold and mildew can form. It is important to be aware of what you might be facing.
What Do Animals Have To Do With It?
While it is unusual, there are people that hoard animals. If you find a lot of animals at a property, call animal control to help you. They will assist in getting the animals into cages and transporting them to a safer location. There will also likely be a mess left behind from the animals; call someone to deal with the waste. You do not want to be responsible for all of the issues on your own, because they could be a health hazard.
Do you know the hoarder? Is the person someone that you love or loved? Do your best to reduce your own stress level when dealing with the situation. If it all seems too overwhelming, call in the experts. If the hoarder is no longer alive, you may not have a barrier to the cleanup. However, if the hoarder is still part of the process, you may have difficulty getting him or her to part with their belongings.
Bring In The Experts
There are people that clean up these types of “messes” for a living. Sometimes, it is best to bring one of these individuals in and let them run the show. They will have all the tools they need to get the job done right. You simply oversee the process or even just come back when it is all over. There are many companies that perform these types of services.
If you are working to clean up a hoarder’s home, there are several essential items that you need. In certain circumstances, you should bring in the experts. For example, if animals are involved, or if there are biohazards, do not do it yourself.
Gather trash bags, protective masks, and gloves. When it comes to the masks, look into a safety mask that is a little more sophisticated than the average painting mask. Leather will help you grab on to items and rubber will help you with things that could harm you. Also, get some protective coveralls that will keep you safe from contaminants.
Rakes, shovels and trash cans are all important. You also need a dumpster; there will likely be a significant amount of trash that you are taking away. Get some good disinfectant spray and a variety of different cleansers. In addition, make sure you have buckets, mops and carpet cleaner. Gather glass cleaner, paper towels, cloths, and ladders. A wet-dry vacuum is also an essential tool that will assist you in this process.
Flashlights definitely come in handy in this type of situation. A fire extinguisher is also a necessity; if a fire starts, you must have a way to put it out. Keep bug spray handy, gather together a first aid kit and make sure you are current on all your vaccinations. You never know what you may run into!