Ever find yourself in the small, cluttered apartment of a hoarder. It can be a depressing sight. But you don’t have to be a specialist to realize compelling public health and safety reasons for helping hoarding cleanup efforts. With this post, we’ll introduce you to some basic principles for doing just that: making a plan, recruiting people who can help, and knowing what not to do!
The best way to think about getting started with a hoarding cleanup project in your community is to start with a strategy grounded in behavioral science and public health. This is due to the likelihood that you will run into situations that are emotionally charged and potentially very dangerous. You’ll need to make an action plan as soon as possible. Jiffy Junk’s team is perfect for handling such situations.
To understand the problem of hoarding cleanup, it is important to know what hoarding and compulsive collecting mean. Thus, hoarding has been defined as behavior characterized by excessive accumulation of things with limited regular use.
This condition is often seen as a symptom of another mental health issue like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). People who hoard usually have difficulty discarding unnecessary items because they believe they may need them in the future.
Hoarders suffer from anger management issues, depression, and anxiety. Hoarding disorder is a mental illness characterized by the compulsive accumulation of clutter. So, the disorder typically manifests in a specific area for many hours each day.
Hoarders have an obsession with order and cleanliness, which they think will keep them safe from the chaos of life. This compulsion to control the world around them not only impacts their health but also leads to
Poverty is a major cause of hoarding. It can be difficult to find a job that pays well; many people have unstable housing and live paycheck to paycheck. The scarcity of resources can sometimes trigger hoarding.
Get help! To start, you need to get help. You may not be able to go it alone. If you are in denial or feel embarrassed about your situation, it may be hard for you to ask for the help of family and friends. It can be hard for loved ones to offer assistance when they are hurt or angry at you. Take a step back and calm down. The thing that will make cleaning up easier is having a team of people behind you who are willing to help out.
Remove the danger. If you have any animals in your home, make sure they have proper food and water and that there is nothing in the environment that can pose a danger to them. If you are feeling at all overwhelmed or unsafe, ask for professional assistance. There is no shame in calling the professionals. Once you receive help for yourself, you should have a better idea of how to proceed.
Assess your situation. Spend some time observing your situation. Most people with hoarding problems have difficulty organizing and formulating a plan for cleaning and clearing things out. Spend some time observing the area and taking notes or photos of what you see.
Get rid of it! Some people find it easier to work in stages, while others can get overwhelmed by the enormity of their unwanted belongings. When deciding how to begin cleaning up your space, the first step is to pick an area of clutter that you can focus on for now. Make a list of all of the items that you plan to take with you.
Leave the area clean! When you finish clearing items out of a common area, they should be empty. If you are working with a professional hoarding cleanup service, they will generally do this for you. Also, take all of the items to another part of your home or office (the garage or yard if possible), and sort through them there.
Organize each room. Have everyone helping out in the process come into the common area and begin putting belongings that can go into bins. Moreover, have them put books, magazines, and newspapers in one bin. Prepare separate bins for household items like dishes and laundry baskets, which can be taken later.
Stay on track! If you begin to feel overwhelmed in any way, take a break. When you return to the cleanup project, it should feel easier than before. So, remember that this is a long-term process. Thus before you know it, your hard work will pay off, and you will be able to enjoy your space again!
Learn from your mistakes! After the cleanup is complete, keep an eye out for how you can do certain things differently next time.
Finally, never underestimate the emotional toll hoarding can take on family members. If you are doing a cleanup by yourself, everything can be overwhelming, and hoarders often agree that they have difficulty controlling feelings. Thus, the best way to recover from hoarding is with the help of a therapist or counselor in a controlled environment where you feel safe.
It is critically important to set up your home or office as an outpatient facility that professionals will use to treat people in need of recovery.