Are you ready to step into a world of mystery, wonder, and maybe even a little bit of horror? Because today, we’re going to explore the enigmatic world of hoarders houses. These homes are shrouded in secrecy, with mountains of clutter, forgotten treasures, and maybe even a few skeletons in the closet (metaphorically speaking, of course).
But fear not, for we are about to embark on a journey to demystify the hoarders house and show you how to do a deep cleaning it up like a pro. From dealing with sentimental attachments to tackling the physical mess, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your flashlight and your cleaning gloves, and let’s venture into the mysterious and fascinating world of hoarders’ houses!
What is Hoarding?
Newspapers piled up to the ceiling, trash bags overflowing with discarded odds and ends, and closets bursting at the seams with clothing that hadn’t seen the light of day in years. This is the world of hoarding disorder, where possessions become a prison rather than a pleasure. Hoarders feel a deep and persistent need to save every little thing, no matter how trivial it may seem to others. Unlike typical collectors who take pride in their curated displays, hoarders are overwhelmed by their possessions and unable to discard them. The result is a chaotic and disorganized living space, where piles of clutter make it impossible to navigate freely.
Must-Have Tools for Tackling a Hoarders House
The Sorting Squad — Boxes, Bins, and Bags
When you’re on a mission to clean a hoarders house, the first thing you need to do is sort through the clutter. But where do you put everything? That’s where the sorting squad comes in! Boxes, bins, and bags are your trusty sidekicks that will help you keep things organized and under control. Use boxes and bins to store items that you’ll be keeping and garbage bags for managing discarded items, junk, and rags.
The Grime Fighters — Surface Cleaners, Rags, and Paper Towels
Underneath all that clutter lies a world of forgotten surfaces that haven’t been tended to in a long time. You’ll need a range of cleaning solutions to tackle all that dirt and grime. All-purpose cleaners, glass cleaners, and heavy-duty cleaners are a great start. Don’t forget about rags and paper towels – you’ll need plenty of those to wipe down surfaces and keep things clean.
The Hand Protectors — Gloves
When it comes to cleaning a hoarders house, protecting your hands is key. You never know what you might come across in all that clutter! That’s why you need the hand protectors – a good pair of gloves that will keep your hands safe from injury and the spread of germs. Trust us; you’ll thank yourself later for investing in a good pair of gloves!
The Pest Control Posse — Non-Toxic Sprays
It might come as a surprise, but pest control is a big part of hoarding cleaning. There are bound to be some unwanted pests living among all that clutter. That’s where the pest control posse comes to the rescue! Invest in a good non-toxic spray to eradicate bed bugs, dust mites, and other pests on the spot.
Hoarder House Cleaning Checklist
Crafting the Battle Strategy
In the realm of hoarders houses, the challenge isn’t just the mountain of junk but the enigmatic hoarder themselves. Conquering this chaotic territory requires a well-thought-out plan. However, handling the hoarder’s emotions and negotiating their participation is where the real battle begins!
Ideally, the fastest way to clean a hoarders house is if the hoarder isn’t present. Yet, let’s face it, that’s often not the case. So, buckle up, brave soul, for the biggest and most time-consuming challenge lies in gaining the hoarder’s agreement to declutter and clean in the first place.
Excessive hoarding can be a reflection of underlying mental health conditions like hoarding disorder, depression, or OCD. Thus, we must approach the hoarder’s feelings with care, respecting their emotional landscape. It’s crucial to establish an understanding and agreement with the hoarder, crafting a battle plan that works for them. But be warned: hoarders often have a strong attachment to their belongings, so convincing them to let go of things can be a slow and challenging process. A bit of communication skills will do the trick!
Divide and Conquer
When embarking on the daunting task of cleaning a hoarders house, you’ll encounter a major obstacle right from the start: limited space. That’s why meticulous organization is key before you dive into the cleanup process. By creating distinct storage areas, you can tackle deep cleaning with efficiency.
Begin by scouting out suitable spaces to accommodate the various categories of items you’ll encounter. Allocate an area for the junk that’s destined for disposal, ensuring it’s safely tucked away. Another space should be dedicated to items that will be donated to charity or sent for recycling. Remember, items for charity must be free from contamination.
Here’s where things can get a little trickier. Hoarder homes can sometimes harbor a buildup of extreme grime or even animal feces. It’s important to identify and separate these items for proper disposal, as charities cannot accept them.
Conquer the Cluttered Pathways
Think of your hallways and walkways as the arteries of your home – when they’re clogged, the entire house can feel sluggish and suffocating. But by sweeping away the debris and creating a clear path, you’re making way for a fresh flow of energy and movement. It’s a satisfying feeling to watch as your space goes from cluttered chaos to an organized oasis.
Not only will a clear pathway make it easier to walk around without risking a sprained ankle, but it will also make the rest of your cleaning process much smoother. With a clear path, you’ll have the freedom to tackle messes with ease, and you won’t have to worry about knocking over a pile of shoes in the process!
Believe in Progress
Now that the pathways are cleared out, you can roll up your sleeves and get behind the true cleaning! You can go ahead and start from small and achievable places around the house, like the bathroom. Starting small gives you a sense of progress which is a great confidence booster. Besides, bathrooms are hotspots for germs and bacterial growth, making it all the more crucial to tackle them as soon as possible!
Bathrooms usually don’t have many valuables or sentimental items, so there isn’t much discussion about discarding them. Scrub the toilet, shower, bathtub, and walls and clean the surfaces with good quality tile cleaning products that get rid of the accumulated grime. Once that is spic and span, you will be proud to cross the first task off of the checklist, which will give you the confidence to conquer bigger parts around the house!
Finding Gold in the Clutter
Believe it or not, not all the items that hoarders keep around the house are meant to be thrown away! The task of finding needles(valuable items) from the haystack (hoarded pile) does not sound fun, but it’s a necessary step in giving some closure to the owner of the hoarded items.
Try designating everything: keep, toss, recycle, or donate. Now, if you’re tackling the challenge of decluttering with a hoarder, the stakes get even higher. You’ll need to create some rules to help your friend or family member let go of items they don’t truly need. For example, if they haven’t used or read something in the last year, it can be cast aside into the donation or trash piles.
Of course, there’s always the “not sure” pile for indecisive objects, but remember – the adventurer’s code of limited resources applies! This way, your hoarder friend can only put a limited number of items in that pile per room. Challenging them to scrutinize their belongings and keep only what truly sparks good memories will help clean their house!
Take the Floors from Dingy to Dazzling
Once you’ve cleaned the smaller sections around the house, it’s time to get out the big guns for the ultimate hoarding spot: the floors!
- Step 1: Scrub and Shine — Say goodbye to dirt, grime, and years of neglect with heavy-duty tile and floorboard cleaners. Mop every inch of the hard flooring in your home, and repeat the process a few times for optimal results.
- Step 2: Steam Dream — Don’t forget about the carpets! With all the clutter sitting on top of them for years, it’s likely that dust, debris, and who-knows-what-else have worked their way down into the fibers. Take care of them with a powerful professional-grade steamer that will lift away all the dirt and odor for a fresh new look and scent.
- Step 3: Replace or Renew — Unfortunately, there may be cases where the damage is too severe for mere cleaning to save the day. Warped floorboards and moldy carpets can be beyond repair, but don’t lose your sanity just yet! Consider replacing the floors altogether or getting brand-new carpeting for a fresh start.
Cleaning a hoarder’s house is truly an act of kindness, and it takes a lot of courage, empathy, and endurance. It’s not just about removing unwanted items but also about offering hope, support, and a new beginning. Booking cleaning services online has never been easier.
However, when you undertake the responsibility to clean a hoarder’s house, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and even scared by the magnitude of clutter, dust, and dirt. If you ever feel that the cleaning process is too emotionally challenging for you, don’t hesitate to call help from My Cleaning Angel! Our cleaning professionals understand the complexity of hoarding behaviors and have the knowledge, experience, and tools to handle the situation with sensitivity and expertise. Now you can rest easy knowing that the hoarder’s house is clean and organized without having any effect on your physical or mental health!