A hoarder’s situation can be stressful for everyone concerned. Many hoarders are unable to distinguish between an item’s real worth and its perceived value. Therefore, they accumulate a vast number of objects.
Then, as their possessions grow, hoarders are hesitant to get rid of the things they no longer use because they’re afraid of losing something important. However, the more the items keep piling up in their space, the more they normally build up quickly to large portions.
As a result, this makes going about the normal routines such as cleaning and cooking impossible. But the pile-up isn’t the only thing that becomes a menace, as it also comes with mould and the growth of bacteria.
In addition, the enormous items might also provide shelter for pests that can be harmful to the hoarder. And the worst-case scenario tends to be that it poses fire hazards, which is even worse. But once a hoarder realizes it’s a problem and wants change, the right step must be to help clean up their living space.
On the other hand, cleaning a hoarder’s home can be overwhelming and hard if you aren’t sure where to start. So, to avoid feeling overwhelmed, discussed in this article are steps you can take when cleaning up a hoarder’s house.
Gather All Supplies
Hoarders tend to hold on to different items, and it’s hard to know what you’ll find buried underneath the mess. To tackle the mess, you need disposable gloves to keep you out of contact with allergens. Other important supplies are an eye protection mask, a dust mask, sturdy shoes, and a hard hat that’ll keep you safe from anything you may encounter.
Most people have encountered flammable materials, insects, and broken glass that can cause disturbances. Also, you need to look for biohazardous materials that require the services of a professional restoration company.
In addition to key supplies, you’ll need empty boxes, sponges, a vacuum cleaner, buckets, mops, durable trash bags, broom, dustpan, step ladder, shovel, set of hand tools, cleaners, and disinfectants.
Once you gather your supplies, you’ll need to have a dumping location ready. You can call a disposal company, such as Dirt Cheap Rubbish Removal, ahead of time to keep them informed and ready.
Begin With A Small Room
When cleaning an extremely cluttered house, you’ll need to begin in a small area and then move forward. One of the best rooms to start with is the bathroom, which holds little sentimental value. Additionally, you need the bathroom clutter-free as you’ll be using it to access the running water needed for cleaning.
As you clear a small room, consider creating a path that will make it easier to get in and out. This can also come in handy in case of an emergency. When cleaning a small room, begin by taking out the expired toiletries and other filthy items.
Afterwards, try and clean the bathroom surfaces and disinfect the places that you use regularly. In addition to the bathroom, you may also need to clean a small area where you can rest and eat during your breaks.
Sort For Salvageable Items
Sorting can be a long process if you don’t have a plan. First, find an outdoor space where you can lay a tarp to form a staging area. If you can clear a space in the room, ensure that it has enough space to hold three different piles, including donating, recycling and keeping.
Once you sort your pile, begin by disposing of all the items that have been rendered useless. Next, go through the pile left and separate it into items that can be used and those that need to be donated.
Family documents should be sorted with lots of care as they might contain policies and family photographs that can be mixed with other irrelevant documents. The donate pile should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to ensure it’s safe for use.
Once you’re done sorting every item, you need to empty all the rooms around the house. Start by taking out the smaller items, followed by bigger items such as furniture. By emptying the rooms, you’ll get a clear picture of what to clean and all the nooks and crannies to concentrate the most on.
Meanwhile, when emptying the rooms, start with smaller rooms as you move towards the bigger ones. Tackling smaller spaces will give you more space to store your items as you go ahead.
Clean The House Thoroughly
Once you have cleared all the rooms of trash and clutter, you can get to the next step, which is deep cleaning the space. But before starting the long and exhausting process, you may need to call professionals if any repairs are needed.
Water damage, mould growth, and rat infestations can all lead to structural damage that needs to be repaired. However, if the house doesn’t require repair, you should consider giving it a fresh coat of paint.
After repairs, check the floors to decide on the right course of action, depending on the type of flooring you have. For instance, if your flooring is carpet, it might be damaged beyond repair. However, if the carpet can be cleaned, consider checking the flooring to ensure it’s in good condition.
Hence, look for stains or rot in the flooring when inspecting it. Any plumbing or electrical problems require the services of an expert. After checking the condition of the flooring, the next step is to clean it appropriately.
If your flooring is made of tiles or floorboards, consider getting some heavy-duty cleaning liquid for mopping. If the first wash doesn’t get all the grime off, you may need to clean it twice or thrice.
But if you’re cleaning a carpeted floor, consider steaming off any grime that has gotten stuck over a long time. When cleaning floors, pay attention to hard-to-reach areas that aren’t as clean. After cleaning your floors, you can move on to windows and furniture that were left. After ensuring the home is spotless, start disinfecting every space and surface.
Tackling a hoarder’s house can be difficult, as it requires cleaning, sorting, and scrubbing. And cleaning the house requires having a strategy in place to act as a guide and keep you on track.
Additionally, after ensuring the space is clean, consider using a deodorant that’ll leave the house smelling nice and fresh. And when cleaning, ensure that you’re armed with your favourite playlist or podcast to keep you occupied.