What’s A Hoarder?
Hoarders are individuals that are unable to throw away those items they no longer need. As a result, they will often accumulate things in their homes to unhealthy levels. Hoarder homes, while seemingly pleasant and innocuous on the outside, are typically dilapidated on the inside and have been known to present various health hazards and dangers, not only to the homeowner but his surroundings, especially in the event of a fire.
Why Do People hoard?
Hoarder homes are typically quite a sight to behold, far filthier than anything you can imagine and seemingly on the brink of disaster.
Despite some erroneous assumptions, there are considerable differences between hoarders and pack rats. Pack rats will only accumulate so many items before getting rid of the excess once they run out of space. Hoarders, on the other hand, will not stop until they have packed every tiny corner of the house with items.
Today, hoarding is recognized as a symptom of a mental disorder, with many medical professionals comparing it to obsessive compulsive disorder.
Hoarders tend to present with some pretty unique signs: not only do they manifest an obsessive determination to collect objects everyone else would deem useless, but they are essentially unable to get rid of them, with any attempt to do so typically resulting in a state of distress.
As with any obsessive disorder, hoarding starts out as a fairly small and innocuous habit. An individual thinks that there might be information in today’s newspaper that could prove useful on a later date; before they know it, they have a stack of newspapers approaching the ceiling.
Hoarders are sometimes afraid of wasting anything; it’s either that or they cannot bring themselves to sort through piles of useless things that have already grown too large.
It is worth keeping in mind the fact that not every individual with more piles of books, mail, newspapers and various other items than is healthy is a hoarder; some people simply have cluttered homes.
Dealing with Hoarder Homes
Hoarder homes are death traps waiting to happen. Hoarders need help to manage their situation, not only with regards to controlling their disorder but bringing their homes under control.
Organizing hoarder homes is as difficult a task as it sounds, but it is hardly impossible. Cluttered homes can prove unlivable in some cases, many times boasting safety and sanitation hazards. With illnesses and fires presenting some rather prominent dangers, the sooner one initiates steps to clean hoarder homes, the better.
The key is to craft an effective strategy designed to break the overwhelming task into manageable goals, with the process of cleaning a hoarder’s home including the following steps:
-Before making any major decisions, you must first analyze the situation. Scrutinize the mess as a whole and prioritize accordingly. Consider starting with the smallest spaces, this including the bathrooms and bedrooms. By clearing out and cleaning the smaller spaces, you should feel motivated to proceed with those more complex tasks.
-In some situations, you might have to sanitize the worst locations first, this including those spaces of the home with animal or human feces, which probably boast the greatest health hazards. You will need plastic bags, rubber gloves, and disposable cleaning items. Disgusting as such a task can prove to be, you must complete it promptly and effectively.
-To simplify the cleaning process, you should first do a major decluttering of all the useless items. By eliminating the excess and obviously irrelevant elements, specifically those items that you need not sift through in order to locate any usable objects, such as the piles of mail and newspapers, you will have more room to assess the situation and maneuver as required.
-Consider acquiring a drop box from a waste disposal company; this will simplify the process of dealing with major junk items. You can rent out these large waste containers at decent prices depending on the size of the container in question. Most waste disposal companies will pick up these drop boxes once they are full and dispose of the waste.
-Once you eliminate all the waste items and sanitize the entire home, you can begin sorting through any remaining items. Arrange them in piles, sorting them according to what can be reused (once it is cleaned), what must be sold and what could be given to charity.
Keeping hoarder homes clean is essential for individuals suffering under this obsessive disorder and who might be taking steps to manage their condition.