Helping hoarders clean up their home with a customized plan by a hoarding specialist
When a person finds themselves or a loved one trapped in a hoarding condition, it may seem overwhelmingly difficult to find help. At Address Our Mess, our hoarding specialists have devoted their careers to training and researching about the hoarding condition in order to provide hoarders with the information and help they so desperately desire.
Help for hoarders starts with one simple step: admission that there is an issue that needs to be resolved. Once the hoarder and their family are able to come to grips with the fact that help is needed, starting on the path to a happier, healthier lifestyle will be much easier.
Helping a hoarder begins with understanding the condition. It was once believed that hoarding and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) belonged to the same family of mental condition. Thanks to tireless research across the psychiatric community, it has been determined that hoarding is a different condition altogether. As of May 2013, hoarding is now considered as its own category in the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V.
Now that hoarding has been identified as its own condition, let’s explore some of the details that will help hoarders and their families understand how to solve their issues faster and more efficiently. Hoarding is simply an act of treasuring items that others would never treasure. Collecting eventually turns to clutter and clutter turns to hoarding. Items like boxes, newspapers, old clothing, knickknacks, toys and food are all common object found in a hoard. Collecting these items in excess becomes dangerous when a hoarder’s quality of life becomes hindered by their presence.
Hoarding can directly impact several key factors in someone’s life:
- Physical health
- Mental health
- Friendships and relationships with family
- Devaluing property
- Devaluing of the neighborhood and community
Deterioration of someone’s physical health occurs when indoor air quality becomes an issue (pet dander, dust, dirt, mold, etc.) A hoarder may experience lapses or absence of running water, heat and air conditioning causing major health risks. Infections and disease can occur due to exposure of rodent or animal droppings or if there is a major human sewage backup. The risk of being caught in a fire is ever present when a hoard grows out of control. Finally, the most shocking physical health risk a hoarder may face, is actually being trapped and buried alive under collapsing piles of their hoard.
A person’s mental health can be negatively affected by hoarding as well. Depression is the most common symptom hoarders suffer. Also, indecisiveness, avoidance, procrastination, and alienation of family and friends can be experienced by a hoarder. An initial deep cleaning will not cure all of these ailments. However, cleaning a hoarder’s home is the first step in the healing process. Address Our Mess hoarding specialists can provide information on how to take a hoarder’s mental healing one step further upon completion of the project.
Hoarders can also unknowingly lower the value of not only their property and the items contained within, but the can also lower the value of the homes within their neighborhood and community. Hoarded homes often have many unattended structural issues like collapsing walls, faulty pipes, hazardous electrical hookups, and other dangerous issues. The will all significantly lower the value of the home, causing property values in the neighborhood to drop as well. Also, all of the contents contained within the home will also lose value. Though hoarders may treasure their collections more than anything, those collectibles and objects will inherently decrease in worth due to being buried, mishandled, stepped on or neglected.
Helping a hoarder may not seem easy. But taking the first step on the path of help is. By contacting Address Our Mess, a hoarding specialist will be in contact with you immediately, giving you peace of mind and confidence about the decision you have just made. After estimating the severity of the project, our highly-trained, certified technicians will be dispatched to your home, devoting their time to bringing it back to its former glory and beauty. Help doesn’t step when the cleanup project is finished, either. Our staff will perform regular check-ins and give invaluable tips on life after hoarding cleanup at the request of the home owner.
Taking the first step has never been easier. Contact Address Our Mess now to start your journey to a healthier living.