For someone who hoards items or animals, the fear of losing or discarding of the things they love can be truly terrifying. But those close to them know that the ramifications of letting a hoarding situation go on unaddressed can be equally terrifying, and sometimes, even life-threatening.
In the U.S., hoarding has been labeled as a mental health disorder by which 2-6% of the population has been diagnosed. Not every situation requires a formal diagnosis, however. A person with a hoarder’s mentality can be quickly assessed and identified by friends and family, once discovered. With stacks of mail, trash, and an insurmountable amount of items or animals scattered about the home, this sort of living arrangement can quickly become hazardous. For this reason, it is important to contact a hoarder property cleaning company in Blythe, California once permission from the hoarder in question has been obtained.
How Can Hoarding Be Identified?
Generally speaking, hoarding behavior often goes on silently until it reaches the point where friends and family take note. It is defined by Mayo Clinic as being a “a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them”. It often starts small and then builds, over time.
The person who is hoarding items in their home may have tendencies towards procrastination, avoidance and even perfectionism. Often times, if the hoarding behavior is in its earliest stages, one might find that the hoarding will first begin in the kitchen or bathroom and will progress from there. It can manifest itself in multiple ways, most commonly through object hoarding, animal hoarding or both.
Typical warning signs of hoarding behavior include showing frustration, anger or anxiety when others touch their possessions, an unwillingness to part with items, an abundance of animals or items, improper hygiene, improper care of the environment, stacks of mail, secrecy, compulsive spending and more.
Why Is a Professional Required?
If you or a loved one needs help regarding a hoarding situation, it is important to reach out to a professional.
In some cases, hoarding progresses to an unsanitary level in which one many find rodent droppings, blood or other bodily excrement that cause the immediate living situation to become inhabitable. Because of this reality, it is wise to enlist the assistance of a professional hoarder property cleaning company in Blythe, California to safely handle any bacteria, waste and contaminants that are potentially affecting the area.
Other risks posed to the hoarder and those living with the hoarder include:
- Fire Hazards
- Legal Ramifications
- Injuries, Including Falls
- Social Alienation
What Are the Common Causes of Hoarding?
Hoarding activities occur at varying levels, and for differing reasons. Some common reasons for hoarding behaviors include underlying anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, traumatic life events, family history and personality types. Hoarding can start early on or can crop up later in life, depending on the root cause. It tends to worsen with age.
The Common Professional Clean Up Process
Once a hoarding situation has been identified and permission has been obtained from the hoarder, one may then move forward with contacting a professional hoarder property cleaning company in Blythe, California.
When the cleaning company arrives, each room will be tackled strategically and in sections with special sensitivity, care and regard for its possessor while also setting the stage for a clean, hygienic and safe environment for the benefit of everyone involved.
Proper planning when setting out to remediate a hoarding situation is crucial to a successful clean up. Before any cleaning begins, the situation will need to be assessed. Questions like, “To what level of severity is the situation?” and “What type of hoarding situation is this?” help guide cleaners towards the most effective strategy and cleaning approach.
Once a plan is devised, the process can begin. It can be helpful to start with things that would be considered trash to most. Items like old newspaper articles, old mail, garbage and more are great places to begin.
After trash and other unused items are removed, the sorting, organizing and deep cleaning process can ensue, as the residence is slowly, but surely, made habitable again.
What Can Be Done to Help
Hoarders often mean well, but they are typically unable to see the situation for what it really is. Many hoarders struggle to see any reason to dispose of their possessions, and may become uncomfortable, overwhelmed or even grieved at the thought of losing the things they love.
Unless the hoarder is deceased, the clean up process for a hoarder will likely be a very emotional one. It is important that you take on a caring and compassionate approach when addressing the issue of hoarding with a loved one, while also remaining firm about the dangerous consequences that can result from living in such deplorable conditions.
All in all, if someone you know suffers from hoarding disorder, don’t delay. Reach out for help for the betterment of the hoarder, visitors, animals and the community at large.