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How to Approach Deep Cleaning in a Hoarded Home

How to Approach Deep Cleaning in a Hoarded Home

The aftermath of a hoarding environment is usually filled with unexpected challenges and a massive amount of clutter. Whether you are facing the daunting task of deep cleaning your own home or helping a loved one recovering from hoarding, it's important to have a clear plan and approach to tackle the situation effectively. If you ever wondered 'Can hoarding be cured?'  the answer is yes, but it requires a lot of effort and patience. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Disclaimer: Please note that while we provide this information as a service to the community, we operate as a professional hoarding cleanup company. Our aim is to educate and inform readers about the potential dangers and health risks associated with hoarded homes. Our expertise and experience in this field guide our insights and recommendations throughout this guide.

Before the Cleanup: Assess the Situation

Before diving into the cleaning process, it's important to take a step back and assess the situation.  This will not only help you plan accordingly, but it will also give you a better understanding of the level of hoarding and potential hazards present in the home. Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Level of Hoarding: The first step is to determine the level of hoarding in the home. Is it mild, moderate, or severe? This will help you understand the scope of the cleanup and how much time and resources will be needed.
  • Safety Hazards: Take note of any potential safety hazards such as blocked pathways, unstable piles, mold growth, or pest infestations. These hazards should be addressed immediately before starting the cleaning process.
  • Biohazards: In extreme hoarding cases, there may be biohazards present such as animal waste, rotting food, or human waste. These should be handled by professionals with the proper equipment and training.
hoarding kitchen example
  • Emotional Support: Hoarding can often be linked to underlying mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. It's important to have a support system in place for the hoarder during the cleanup process.
  • Legal Considerations: In some cases, hoarding can lead to legal issues such as code violations or eviction. It's important to consult with a lawyer to understand any legal implications before starting the cleanup.

Hoarding is often a coping mechanism for individuals who are struggling with mental health issues or traumatic events in their lives. It's important to remember that the hoarder may feel a strong attachment to their possessions and may have difficulty letting go.

cleaning a hoarded home bio-one example

Deep Cleaning a Hoarded Home: Essential Steps

1. Sorting and Organizing

Begin with one room or a specific area, sorting items into previously determined categories. This phase is often the most time-consuming but is critical for a thorough clean-up. Use labeling systems and keep an inventory if necessary to track progress and facilitate decision-making.

2. Cleaning Strategies

Once items have been sorted, the actual cleaning can commence. This involves dusting, vacuuming, and decontaminating surfaces that may have been untouched for years. For professional organizers, investing in high-quality cleaning supplies and equipment can significantly expedite this process.

3. Addressing Repairs

In many hoarded homes, the accumulation of items can conceal damage to the property. Assess for any needed repairs and address these issues promptly to prevent further deterioration of the home environment.

Feel free to review an effective guide on how to clean up a hoarder's house, by our friends at Bio-One of Pittsburgh.

How Bio-One of Sacramento Can Help

Whether you're a professional organizer, a mental health advocate, or a homeowner looking to support a loved one, your efforts can make a significant difference in someone's life.  Bio-One of Sacramento offers compassionate hoarding cleanup services and supports everyone throughout the entire process. 

bio-one cleaning technician

If you live in Sacramento County and the surrounding areas, give us a call for a free, no-obligation estimate. If you live in a different area, you can still contact us to connect you with a Bio-One location near you!