Murrieta is a beautiful city in southwestern California, nestled in the Los-Angles-San Diego mega region. Murrieta is typically regarded as a suburban community, with many residents commuting to jobs in the greater Orange County and Los Angeles areas and returning to their quiet homes at night. Murrieta is also known as “Gem of the Valley,” and small diamond icons appear on the official city seal and throughout the entire area. And, it certainly lives up to its moniker, with beautiful, sparkling scenery. Copper Canyon Park is an expansive, well-loved nature area located in Murrieta, filled with green, grassy knolls and nature trails. The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve is another nature area spanning 9,000 acres and lush woodlands. In addition, Murrieta also boasts the lowest crime rate in Riverside County, and of the lowest in the United States. For all these reasons, Murrieta has seen increased tourism over the past decade.

Murrieta also experienced a major population boom of 133.7% between 2000 and 2010, landing at around 103,466 people in 2010. This was an unprecedented amount that led Murrieta to become one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. And, with more and more housing, development, growth and sprawl introduced to the city, Murrieta has also 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.

How Does Hoarding Become Common in Murrieta, 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 Murrieta, 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 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.

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. 

What Do I Do If a Loved One Is Struggling With Hoarding?

It is important to approach each potential hoarding situation with sensitivity. Those suffering from hoarding disorder may also be suffering from anxiety and depression, and there may be several underlying root causes that induce them to hold onto their possessions. If you or a loved one is suffering from hoarding disorder and are ready to seek help, consider reaching out to a professional therapist in Murrietta, CA.