Last updated on June 15th, 2024 at 02:26 pm

Quick Facts

  • Hoarder houses are characterized by rooms filled with an overwhelming amount of clutter, which often includes a wide array of random items that may hold little to no value.

Imagine a home cluttered with things, where navigating through the pathways in the home is the journey through mountains of clothes, papers and the forgotten treasures.

That’s the real life of many who are suffering from a mental disorder known as hoarding; that is when a person collects and cannot get rid of stuff.

Many investors target hoarder houses that are a mess that no regular buyer would ever touch. This is a gold mine for cash buyers who put in the time to fix and flip the home.

How Does Hoarding Affect People and Spaces

Home hoarding has severe consequences on the affected persons and functionality of the living space.

The volume of unwanted possessions generates very serious health and safety risks, including fire hazards, loss of mobility, and unsanitary conditions that harbor bacteria and other life-endangering microorganisms.

Clean a Hoarder House: Why Is It Crucial

Restoration of Safe Living Space: With hoarding, professional cleaning of the house is very importantl for the well-being and safety of the occupants.

Clean and organized living space gets rid of the obstruction on the floor, hence reducing fire hazards in the house and air quality in general. 

Promoting good mental health: Relying on clean and hygienic surroundings improves your mental health and good being. 

Reducing daily hassle: Excessive clutter makes everyday daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, or even sleeping challenging .

How do you clean a hoarder’s house

Create a Staging Area: “A staging area in the household can be created through which items can be sorted into piles, such as keep, donate, and throw away. 

Make a Road to Recovery Plan: Work with a professional. A recovery plan could be drawn out that not only discusses the deep seeded issues related to hoarding but also lists out specific cleaning goals, deadlines etc.”.

Clean in Small Chunks: Begin the cleaning process by tackling one room or a small section at a time.

hoarder home exterior

Planning and Preparation

Asses the situation: The first thing to do is to assess the hoarder house and identify the areas that require immediate attention.

Document any hazards: You need to identify any possible hazards like blocked exits, piles of junk, or unsanitary conditions. 

Gather equipment and supplies: In cleaning a hoarder’s house, you need cleaning equipment and supplies. 

Heavy-duty gloves: These are excellent; protecting your hands from sharp objects, mold, and other hazardous substances.

Face masks: Protect yourself from inhaling dust, mold spores, or any airborne contaminants.

Safety goggles: Keep your eyes protected, especially in cluttered and dusty areas.

Cleaning solutions: Have the right disinfectants and cleaning products to sanitize effectively.

Trash bags: Have enough  garbage bags on hand to get rid of all that clutter and debris.

Broom, Brushes and Mops: Buy some brooms, brushes, and mops for cleaning different surfaces and materials

Storage Containers: Buy a bunch of containers to sort the things that can be saved.

Sorting and Organizing

This is a very patience-consuming, sensitive, and systematic process to allow the occupants to reclaim their home.

Establish a Sorting or Staging Area: The staging area will be the workspace and create a more organized sorting process.

Select an easily accessible space with adequate room to handle the volume of belongings.

Sort Items: Begin by separating items, such as clothes, books, etc. electronics and sentimental items. 

Make Decisions: Get the hoarder to begin to make some decisions about the items as they come up.

Some questions to be asked are, “When was the last time you used this?” or “Does this hold significant sentimental value?” 

Set Realistic Goals: Set realistic expectations on the process of sorting.

This can be completed by breaking this task up into manageable chunks-medium-sized tasks, such as one room or category at a time-to give one a sense of accomplishment and become overwhelmed in the process.

Address Needed Repairs: When items are sorted, make note of any repairs or continued maintenance which needs to be done on the home.

Examples of needed repairs include but are not limited to: appliances that are broken, structural damage, mold, and pests.

Cleaning Tips During Sorting and Organizing

Wear protective gear like gloves and masks to avoid dust inhalation, allergic reactions, and other harm possibilities.

Use marked bins or boxes to segregate items that can be kept ready for a final decision, easily identifiable while taking a decision later on.

One room at at time: It helps in staying organized and focused without getting overwhelmed by the amount of clutter that needs to be worked on.

Seeking Professional Help with hazardous materials

Hoarders generate a good deal of garbage, rubbish and stuff that can actually pose health hazards, including mold and mildew, bacteria and other pests, chemicals, and even biohazards.

Consequently, such an cleanup requires professional expertise and special precautions for the safety of all concerned.

A professional cleaner can actually comment on the extent of the cleanup, if that cleaner has experience with hoarding situations.

They can identify where special attention is wanted and plan详 in advance how to address them.

Hiring Professional Cleaning Services: If hazardous materials are involved, hiring the services of professional cleaning companies experienced in hoarding cleanup is a good idea.

They have the capability and means to remove or dispose of any item containing any harmful substance in a healthy manner for all concerned.

Involving Other Specialists: In certain situations, it may be necessary to involve other specialists addition to professional cleaners.

This could include mental health professionals who specialize in hoarding disorder, mold remediation experts, or biohazard disposal teams.

Maintaining a Clutter-Free Environment

If the house is not maintained, then it can gradually revert back to its original condition.

Daily Routine: Take some time every day to tidy and organize.

Items should go back in their places where they once were after they have been used.

Develop a routine for tasks like doing the dishes, laundry, and cleaning.

Storage Solutions: The hoarder needs to make a decision on using certain rooms or areas for new items.

Buy Storage Containers, Bins, and Shelves to keep stuff in.

Regularly Declutter: Set aside time periodically to assess and declutter your belongings.

Give away anything that is no longer serving you or have no purpose.

Make the “rule of thumb” after not using something for one year condition to let go.

Seek Professional Help if Needed: If cleaning up the mess is just too much, then it is time to hire a professional cleaning service or an organizing service.

Therapists or other forms of mental health professionals who specialize in hoarding disorders can help.

Stay Mindful of Your Surroundings: Regularly inspect your living space to identify potential areas of clutter accumulation.

As soon as you discover any mess, do something about it!

Cleanliness and tidiness promote safety and a healthy lifestyle.

interior of hoarder home

Safety Considerations

 Hoarding situations can present numerous hazards, both physical and environmental, which need to be addressed in order to create a safe and healthy living environment.

Assess the Risks:  Look for potential safety risks such as unstable piles of items, mold growth, blocked exits or pathways, biohazards, and structural damage. 

Protective Gear: It is essential to wear appropriate protective gear to minimize potential health risks.

This includes disposable gloves, masks, goggles, coveralls, and sturdy footwear. 

Handling Biohazards: In some hoarder houses, there may be biohazardous waste, such as bodily fluids, animal waste, or expired food.

Consider hiring a professional cleaning company experienced in dealing with biohazardous waste to ensure its safe removal.

Ventilation: In a hoarder house, the air quality can be compromised due to mold, dust, and other pollutants.

Make sure to provide adequate ventilation during the cleaning process by opening windows and using fans or air purifiers. 

Electrical Safety: Hoarder houses often have electrical hazards, such as overloaded power outlets, damaged wiring, or exposed cables.

If there are extensive electrical repairs needed, it is advisable to consult a licensed electrician.

Structural Stability: Hoarder houses may have structural damage caused by the weight and accumulation of items over time.

Be cautious of weakened floors, walls, or ceilings that could pose a risk of collapse. 

Emotional Support: Cleaning a hoarder house can be emotionally challenging for both the occupants and the cleanup crew.

It may be helpful to involve a mental health professional who can provide guidance and support throughout the process. 

Bottom Line

Addressing the chaos of a hoarder house is crucial for the well-being of its occupants and the restoration of a safe and functional living environment.

Hoarding can have significant impacts on individuals and their living spaces, leading to a decline in physical and mental health.

Do you own a hoarder home and you want a cash offer for and don’t want to deal with cleaning or staying the home. Give us a call TODAY.