If you know of a hoarder and he has changed his ways, then you have to immediately schedule for a hoarding clean up so, there will be no turning back. While you can personally help him get rid of the unnecessary stuff around the house, there are professionals who can help. As a matter of fact, there’s a better process in doing these things.
There’s no doubt that the mess left by a hoarder is too big to handle by just one person alone. It’s not just a huge job, but it can also be a dangerous one as well. You don’t know what’s lying under that pile of mess so it’s better to be prepared for the worst. To better handle a hoarder cleanup process, here are some useful tips to follow:
1. Wear face masks and gloves.
You don’t know how long the mess has been sitting there and as such, there might be a lot of germs, bacteria, and biohazards thriving in the area. Cleaning up after a hoarder exposes you to all sorts of microorganisms that could penetrate your body through your hands and nose. Wearing protective gear will ensure your safety throughout the process.
2. Separate items properly.
When sorting through the items of a hoarder, be sure that you have at least three boxes nearby. Toss each item in the box that’s meant for keeping, for donation, or for throwing away. All items that haven’t been used for a long time have to be thrown away, along with all the items that are broken.
3. Understand the situation.
Hoarding is considered a mental health condition. It is usually a symptom of another mental disorder so these people really need your help. Some hoarding tendencies are associated with OCPD, OCD, and ADHD.
4. Seek help if needed.
You don’t have to deal with a hoarder’s mess or issues on your own. There are a lot of companies and organizations that are willing to help. Seek help if you need it, especially when it comes to hoarder cleanup. Individual who consider themselves as hoarders can’t stand losing the items that they have been keeping for a year. For such situations, it is best that you schedule them for counseling.
5. Understand what you’re up against.
It’s not a good idea to enter a hoarder’s home without first knowing what he or she tends to hoard. Some people are animal hoarders, which mean you’re going to deal with living things. If you don’t have any experience with dealing with biohazards, it is highly encouraged that you hire a company that can better deal with that instead.
Hoarding is something that has to be handled professionally in every level. While you think that it’s not a major concern, it can really be a dangerous situation for you and for the hoarder himself. There are people who are more than willing to reach out to you to provide assistance. Keep in touch with them as they are the ones that have many years of experience in dealing with such a situation.
Believe or not, hoarding is considered as a mental state that exposes people to hazardous. Hoarding has grave mental health implications, such as social isolation and derision of family members and friends. Around 5% of the people in the world hoards and only 15% of them realize that they have such irrational behavior. You cannot force a hoarder to change but you can make them change their views about it and possibly recovery by providing them with support and assistance.
If you know somebody who is a hoarder and you would like to help him out, below are some tips that can be very useful. Everybody should know how to help a hoarder in many ways so that they can fully recover from their condition.
1. Never remove their possessions.
Some people think that taking the items that a person hoards help him or her but that is not the case. Sadly, this won’t solve the fundamental issue, and it can only ruin your connection to that person. Furthermore, if their belongings are taken, hoarders experience severe emotional trauma. In the end, your intentions will only harm the person.
2. Don’t tolerate the behavior.
You can’t stop somebody from hoarding but you do something to keep them from doing so. For example, you should never take hoarder close to antique shops if he or she hoards those items. If somebody is regarded as a compulsive collector, stop adding to their collection by giving them gifts related to it. Don’t try to keep the items of a hoarder and don’t allow them to use your home to pursue their love for hoarding things.
3. Learn about hoarding.
Hoarding doesn’t make sense to anybody who doesn’t hoard. You can best help a hoarder by learning about his condition. Read websites, consult mental health experts, and attend the meetings of support groups that are designed to help them. Be prepared to show empathy and give assistance the moment that you begin to understand their fear, of solitude, and the anxiety connected with hoarding.
4. Celebrate small victories.
It may take a hoarder many weeks or even years to get let go of hoarded belongings, especially if they’ve been doing it for a long time. Celebrate small progress when you see it to encourage the change. Give your love some incentives for achieving those small victories so he or she will be motivated to continue. Simple praise whenever they throw away something or if they keep themselves from purchasing new items will go a long way.
5. Help them with their belonging.
Hoarders will eventually fill their entire house of useless stuff. Even after he or she stops the habit, his or her home will still be full of those hoarded items. If the person is willing to change, help him or her to sort through those items so the home gets clean in no time. There are some companies that even specialize in this particular task. If you can’t help them personally, you can at least connect them to organization and companies that can.