Hoarding disorder is a mental health disorder that is characterized by a compulsion to acquire more items, even items that aren’t useful, clean or appealing. At the same time as a person feels compelled to gather more items and bring them into their home, they’re unable to get rid of things. People with hoarding disorder feel intense distress at just the idea of letting go of a broken or damaged item. About 2% to 5% of people have hoarding disorder. If hoarding disorder isn’t treated, it causes severe consequences on a person’s finances, health, safety and home. Eco Bear is an experienced hoarder property cleaning company serving Aliso Viejo, CA. As a women- and veteran-led company, we work as efficiently as possible to clear hoarded properties so that you can enjoy a safe, comfortable and sanitary home.

What Hoarding Disorder Is

Hoarding used to be classified as part of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but now it’s listed as a separate mental health condition in the International Classification of Diseases Diagnostic Manual. There are three components of hoarding disorder, and they are:

  • Compulsion to bring more items into the home
  • Inability to get rid of old items
  • Fear or anxiety when removing items from the home

Symptoms of hoarding disorder usually start when you’re a teenager or young adult. They get worse as you get older. By the age of 50, your symptoms could be severe.

Who Has Hoarding Disorder

People from all walks of live develop hoarding disorder. This condition crosses educational, economic and geographic backgrounds. Men and women are equally likely to develop hoarding disorder. There’s a strong genetic component to hoarding behavior. Many people with hoarding disorder remark that their parent, sibling or grandparent has the same problem. Although trauma isn’t a direct cause of hoarding disorder, it can trigger the behavior or make it worse. Loss and grief are also associated with hoarding behaviors. Although each person’s experience with hoarding disorder is different, there are some common characteristics of people who develop the condition. They include:

  • Over the age of 50
  • Live alone
  • Co-existing mental health condition, such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or depression
  • Difficulty with making or frequently putting off decisions
  • Perfectionism

How Hoarding Disorder Impacts a Person’s Life

By the time a person has hoarded for several years, the behavior affects every part of their life. If you’re living with hoarding disorder, you may feel embarrassed to invite people into your home. This impacts your relationships with friends and family. If something in your home breaks or needs maintenance or repairs, you may forego it. This results in a loss of comfort and safety. Many people with hoarding disorder spend their life savings or their entire paycheck acquiring more items. This results in serious financial consequences. Some other ways hoarding could affect your life:

  • Difficulty with self-care
  • Falling or tripping over the hoard
  • Child or Adult Protective Services investigations
  • Removal of hoarded pets

What Happens to a Hoarded Home

When you’ve hoarded for many years, your home’s safety and functionality are compromised. In the early stages of hoarding, your cabinets, shelves and closets are stuffed. As the condition progresses, you may pile items on the floor, tables, countertops and hallways, making it difficult to sit down and eat a meal or prepare food without having to move something out of the way. In severe cases of hoarding, items may be piled in and on the kitchen sink, bathtub and oven. Rooms may be full and blocked, so you can’t access them. Stairs and hallways may be impassable. Your front or back door might be partly or fully blocked, making it next to impossible for you leave in an emergency. A firefighter or emergency medical technician may not be able to enter your home if you need emergency assistance. Some other consequences of hoarding on a home include:

  • Pest infestations
  • Water and mold damage
  • Structural damage from the hoard’s weight
  • Complaints from neighbors
  • Fines related to violations of health or building codes
  • Eviction
  • Condemnation

Why Professional Cleaning Is Needed for Hoarded Properties

Hoards don’t happen overnight, and you can’t expect to get it clean by yourself overnight. You may be facing a crisis situation, especially if Child or Adult Protective Services, animal control or code enforcement are involved. You could be racking up large fines related to the condition of your property. If you’re a renter, you could be evicted and end up homeless if the hoard isn’t quickly and thoroughly cleaned. Eco Bear’s expert cleaners know how to safely handle any type or size of hoard. We wear personal protective equipment and work as efficiently as possible to clear the hoard and completely remediate your home.

How Eco Bear Cleans Hoarded Properties in Aliso Viejo

Our cleaning process begins with a site evaluation. We investigate to see how big the hoard is and what it includes. We check the home from basement to attic. This process allows us to plan the necessary number of dumpsters and cleaners for the hoarder property cleaning in Aliso Viejo. We handle hoards that include:

  • Trash, rotted or contaminated items
  • Animal, human or medical waste
  • Paper, books and boxes
  • Vehicles and large items
  • Salvageable goods

What Makes Eco Bear the Right Choice for Hoarder Property Cleaning

Our skilled cleaners have the experience necessary to clear any hoarded property in Aliso Viejo. We work quickly and handle every detail of the cleanup. Our team treats you with compassion and respect during every interaction.