How to Help a Hoarder Declutter and Clean Up their House

If you are in a position where you need to help a true hoarder clean  up their home, you are likely to feel overwhelmed and perhaps even  disgusted at the task ahead. Knowing how to help a hoarder declutter and clean up their home is no easy process, but following some of these tips will help make the job  less stressful for both you and the hoarder.

You need to start by understanding that hoarding is a mental issue and that the hoarder is not lazy or uncaring. They simply can’t control their need to hold onto things and may  actually suffer acute anxiety whenever they try to throw anything away.

Understand that Hoarding is a Mental Health Issue

If you have not seen the inside of the hoarder’s home prior to asking  to help them clean up their home be prepared for the worst. Many hoarders are ashamed of their  situation and therefore, hide their compulsion for years while the piles  of possessions get larger and larger.

Be Prepared for the Worst

Before you touch a single item in a hoarder’s home you need to get them on board with the idea of cleaning up their home. The best way to accomplish that goal is to gently point out all of  the dangers and health risks that the hoarder is exposing themselves to.

Explain the Dangers to the Hoarder

In many cases hoarders feel that their possessions are the only thing in life that they have control over. If in your haste to clean up the hoarder’s home you tend to ignore the  hoarder in making your clean up plans, then the clean-up is likely to be  too stressful for the hoarder.

Involve the Hoarder in the Plans 

Keep in mind that cleaning a hoarder’s home is not the same as cleaning us a messy house. Cleaning up a hoarder’s home may take weeks or even months since you  will not only be cleaning the home, but helping to manage the hoarder’s  emotions associated with the parting of any of their possessions.

It is Going to be a Slow Process

In most cases, you don’t have to go it alone. Most people have friends  or family members that will come in for a couple of hours and help you  work on decluttering.

Have a Strategy for Trash Disposable

As you begin removing the piles of junk that have been accumulated over  years you are likely to find areas that are beyond your cleaning capabilities as well as areas where repairs may be needed and you even  may need to call in exterminators.

Know When to Get Professional Help

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