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How to Help with Cleaning a Hoarded House: Dos and Don'ts

How to Help with Cleaning a Hoarded House: Dos and Don'ts - Bio-One of South OC

Watching someone you love struggle with Hoarding Disorder can be hard. Furthermore, cleaning up a hoarded house is a process that demands attention to safety, health, and privacy. Before taking any action, it's essential to know the dos and don'ts of cleaning up a home that's been impacted by hoarding. In this blog post, we’ll give you some valuable tips on how to help with cleaning a hoarded house and provide you with some insight into the process involved in the remediation process.

Help With Cleaning a Hoarded House - Dos

  1. Seek Professional Help - Hoarding affects individuals physically, emotionally, and psychologically. They may experience anxiety, depression, stress, and grief when trying to part with their belongings. Contacting professionals like Bio-One can help ensure the cleaning process goes smoothly and safely.
  2. Promote Safety - Wear protective gear when cleaning a hoarded home. Gloves, masks, and goggles are essential in preventing exposure to biohazardous materials. Ensure that appropriate safety measures are followed.
  3. Show Empathy and Treat the Homeowner with Respect - Cleaning up a hoarded home is highly personal and emotional. Always show compassion, empathy, and respect when dealing with someone who sees value in their possessions. Remember to involve the homeowner in the process as much as possible.
  4. Plan Ahead - Cleaning up a hoarded house on your own is not a one-day job. Create a schedule, and determine the level of clutter before starting the cleaning process. Set achievable goals and break down the cleaning process into small, manageable tasks to keep everyone on track.
  5. Recycle and Donate - A hoarded home is usually full of clutter which can be overwhelming when cleaning. Sorting items and determining what to keep, recycle, or donate is a critical step. If some items are still in good condition, involve the homeowner in donating them to local charities.
hoarded kitchen cleanup before and after

Help With Cleaning a Hoarded House - Don'ts

  1. Do not Force the Homeowner to Discard Everything - Hoarded homes are filled with sentimental items. Pushing the homeowner to throw everything away can cause them further stress and anxiety.
  2. Avoid judgment and criticism - People living in hoarded homes do not choose to live in these conditions. Struggling with this mental health condition may cause stress, anxiety, and guilt, thereby causing them to isolate. Avoid criticism or derogatory comments, which can trigger negative responses from the homeowner.
  3. Do not Rush - Cleaning a hoarded home is a process that demands patience. Don't rush the process to avoid any accidents and ensure thorough cleaning.
  4. Don't Handle Hazardous Materials without Professional Help - Hoarded homes contain biohazardous materials such as animal and human waste, mold, and mildew. Handling these materials without the proper equipment can lead to hazardous exposure.
  5. Don't Ignore Your Safety - As earlier mentioned, hoarded homes contain needles, animal waste,  chemicals, and sharp objects. Protecting yourself is essential, and always use appropriate personal protective equipment before starting the cleaning process.
hoarded dining room before and after

Bio-One of South OC is Ready to Help

When cleaning a hoarder's home, remember to respect the homeowner's belongings, promote privacy, plan, set achievable goals, and always seek professional help. Our technicians at Bio-One of South OC specialize in hoarded home cleaning and remediation. Contact us today to get reliable and professional help.