El Segundo is a beautiful beach-side town in Los Angeles County, California. Under towering palm trees and fair skies, residents can be regularly seen riding bikes around town, popping into the many local coffee shops and enjoying the sun. El Segundo is primarily known for its clear, breezy beaches, including El Segundo Beach, Dockweiller Beach and Manhattan Beach. Tourists and locals alike love to swim, scuba, jet ski or sunbathe, and with miles and miles of white sand available, you’re sure to find a little slice of paradise all to yourself. Though El Segundo has a population of 16,654 that continues to grow exponentially, the city works hard to retain its distinct small town feel and slower pace of life than nearby Los Angeles. Perhaps this is what draws many young families and retirees to this smaller, vibrant area. There’s always something to keep kids entertained, like visiting the Roundhouse Aquarium, a huge exhibit of exotic marine life. But, there’s also just as much excitement and entertainment for the parents, who love El Segundo’s top-rated restaurants and breweries all around the town center. 

But even with all of El Segundo’s beauty and bustle, some of its residents still struggle with a surprisingly common issue in the United States: property hoarding. Property hoarding isn’t always immediately noticeable, so residents may not even see an issue developing in their community. But, with more and more housing, development, growth and sprawl introduced to the city, El Segundo has seen an influx of property hoarding in its community.

What Is Hoarding?

It is important to note from the start that hoarding is usually not a conscious decision. It is a diagnosed psychological disorder, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The APA characterizes hoarding as “excessively saving items that others may view as worthless.” There is also usually a persistent difficulty or unwillingness to get rid of these possessions, leading to excessive clutter and an inability to otherwise live life as normal. Hoarding is also different than simply collecting specific items. Hoarders usually collect items at random and save them due to perceived sentimental value. Unfortunately, hoarding can have serious consequences that may even reach a life-threatening stage. Besides causing tension and strain in a hoarder’s relationships, hoarding can also lead to health and safety concerns such as fire hazards, animal infestation and other blockades within the house, making the space inhabitable. Hoarders may also completely lose their home if it does not meet the El Segundo homeowner community regulations. As a sensitive domestic situation, hoarders should be treated with compassion and understanding in order to amend the situation. 

How Does Hoarding Become Common in El Segundo, CA?

Hoarding is perhaps more common than we may think. 2 to 6 percent of the population meets the symptoms of hoarding, and it unfortunately affects the hoarder’s entire network of friends and family. Because El Segundo, CA is a populous, residential community home to thousands of people, hoarding may become more common. Though it is widely unknown what exactly causes a person to hoard, it can be due to a traumatic life event in a person’s life, like the death of a loved one, or abnormal brain functionalities. Some other symptoms include:

Lasting problems with throwing away possessions.

Items fill, block and clutter living spaces to the point of being unusable.

What Does a Hoarding Cleanup Company Do?

Helping a hoarder return their home to a usable, safe living space is no simple task. Many family members of hoarders find they cannot effectively help the person on their own, as many hoarders do not want to disclose the extent of the problem or even believe that they have a problem. Hoarding can create years and years of clutter buildup that family members are simply not equipped to clean on their own. There can also be serious biohazard concerns in the house, such as human and animal waste, that require medical grade sanitization materials. The best recommended course of action is to consult a psychologist as well as a professional hoarder property cleaning company to begin the cleanup and healing process. This company should be registered with the State of California Department of Health, as it is otherwise illegal to operate. 

A professional hoarder property cleaning company will first determine the level of hoarding, as determined by the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization’s Clutter-Hoarding scale. This scale ranges from 1 to 5, with 5 determining a house to be virtually unlivable. From there, the company will then also determine the scenario at hand and which strategy to employ. These scenarios include cleaning up the residence of the hoarder, cleaning up after a hoarder passes away and animal hoarding. If the first scenario is in play, a professional company will strive to help the hoarder remain as comfortable as possible as the cleanup begins, allowing them to be an active participant in the process.

A company will begin hoarder property cleaning by removing all biohazard materials immediately with the proper tools, such as goggles, a mask or respirator and disposable gloves and shoe covers. Biohazards pose the greatest threat and must be disposed of first, even if the hoarder objects. Animal hoarding introduces a whole new threat of biohazard material, including feces and urine and unfortunately, in many cases, the remains of dead animals. The sheer gravity of these challenges necessitates the professional assistance of a hoarder property cleanup company that is highly experienced and adequately trained to amend this unique situation. In addition, a thorough, deep cleaning will most likely prevent the hoarder from falling into the same patterns of retaining items and living in a cluttered space.