It’s time to address that clutter mess! Follow this helpful list of do’s and don’ts for an efficient hoarding cleanup.
- Build that connection – It is important to be mindful and empathetic towards the hoarder in order to let them know you’re here to help.
- Ask the professionals – Hoarding is a mental condition that may need professional assistance. There are therapists and counselors available that specialize in hoarding.
- Keep on talking – Hoarding is not a temporary occurrence. It is important to continue talking with the hoarder to ensure the clutter is addressed.
- Safety first – Safety is key. It is important to identify and discuss safety concerns in order to properly handle the situation.
- Know the value – The hoarder views value in his/her possessions. Recognize that “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” and approach the clutter with that thought in mind.
- Silence is golden – Respect the privacy of the hoarder and keep your discussions and the situation confidential and discreet. A professional hoarding clean up company is trained to handle hoarding situations in this manner.
- Know the reason – Talk to the individual about why the keep each belonging. There could be a deeper reason to his/her hoarding habits, such as a traumatic experience.
- Donation time – Let the hoarder know they can donate items to someone in need. It’s good to know the item will be used by someone rather than thrown away.
- Patience please – It is difficult for the hoarder to come to terms with his/her situation and even more so to address the situation. It will take time and patience to move forward.
- Professionals at your service – Professional hoarding clean up services are certified and trained to tackle these situations. Hiring professional assistance will help make the organization and cleanup process easier for you and the hoarder.
- Poke fun – Harsh words and impolite comments will only lead to embarrassment and seclusion. Hoarding is a serious mental issue that needs to be attended with openness and empathy.
- Trash this “stuff” – Though the clutter may appear as trash to outside eyes, this clutter is gold to the hoarder. There may be a deeper meaning to these possessions such as a memory, so realize that to the hoarder it’s not just “stuff.”
- Red with rage – An emotional response like anger will only push the hoarder away. Avoid judging and please be compassionate.
- Reason right away – Realize the individual has lived in these conditions for some time, so attempting to reason with him/her right away won’t be productive.
- Quick to touch – Make sure the hoarder gives you approval before you dive into the clutter to avoid conflict. Let that individual lead the way.
- Belittle – Treat the individual like the adult they are rather than a child. They are intelligent human beings, so do not patronize them.
- Clutter criminal – Try to improve the situation before involving authorities, if possible. Authority organizations will just add to the anxiety and stress of the hoarder, so evaluate the situation before being too quick to call upon authorities for back up.
- List it – Lists are great for organizing a plan but being too quick to jump for the chance to create that plan can lead to an inefficient clean up. Take time to separate and discuss each task to ensure a smoother cleanup process.
- Ask why – It may be difficult for the hoarder to even identify why he/she hoards. Refer to books, articles, and other sources to learn more about hoarding.
- Stressed out – Excessive clutter can be overwhelming but don’t let it completely stress you out. Work together to clean up the clutter and bring about a sense of peace.