The Do’s and Don’ts of Hoarding Cleanup in Montgomery

First and foremost effective communication is the key to clutter and Hoarding cleanup in Montmogery.  Without understanding the goals and needs of the homeowner there is no way to truly help the situation.  Hoarding is recognized as a mental condition listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).  Most people would like to see the hoarding situation cleaned up as quickly as possible, but in most cases patience and care is the key to solving the issue.  Taking the time to understand the person’s condition first and encouraging professional help will only serve to make the cleanup process a success. 

 

Do's

  • Hoarders are people
    It’s difficult for most people to place themselves in the mindset of others who are so extremely different than themselves. Hoarders are people and they need to know you are there to help them not take from them.
  • Seek Professional Help
    Don’t choose to go to a general therapist if you are a hoarder or loved one of a hoarder.  Specialized treatment is recommended in most situations.
  • Communication is the Key
    Hoarders have difficulty understanding there is a problem and will promise to clean up the mess soon.  It’s important to continually talk to them and give positive encouragement along the way.
  • Safety
    Talk to them about reorganizing a space without throwing anything away.  Reorganizing will make the space safer to live with less trip hazards, fire hazards, and the like.
  • This is their stuff
    Just as you keep that shoe box filled with old highschool photos and the christmas ornament you made when you were 7, everything in a hoarders home has an emotional connection to them.  Everything down to the old cat food cans and amazon boxes in important to them.
  • Talk about keeping their situation quiet
    Although hoarders have difficulty parting with strange items they do understand their behavior is not considered normal in society.  Their situation can be extremely embarrassing to them, so it’s important to remind them you are on their side and will only discuss their issue with their permission.
  • Ask WHY?
    Many hoarders have had a traumatic experience in the past which has led them down this path.  The death of a loved one, a sudden end to a relationship, or an abusive past, everybody coups with these kinds of things differently.
  • Encourage Donation
    Suggest donating their items to benefit the needy rather than letting their stuff set in their home, unused.
  • Be Patient
    Remember they did not become a hoarder overnight.  So chances are they won’t stop overnight either.  Hoarding has to be addressed with care and compassion not shame and ridicule.
  • Hire a Professional
    Hiring a professional company can help to separate you from the process of removing the hoarders belonging.  A professional company can also help to facilitate the conversations between you and the hoarder when deciding what items will be kept and what will be removed.  The process of constant communication will help to lift the feeling the hoarder may have of losing items of value and personnel connection. 

 

Don'ts

  • Never poke fun at the hoarders expense
    We are amazed at some of the things said to hoarders before during and after a clean out. 
  • Never say things like “Let’s get rid of all this junk"
    To a hoarder the mounds of paper, and unused items have a deep emotional connection to them.  Like you Valentine’s Day card from junior high school the hoarder can not and does not see their “stuff” as trash or junk
  • Show your frustration
    It’s scary and disappointing when you see a loved one living in hoarding conditions.  Many people react to this with anger and frustration as they try to make sense of the way the hoarder is living.  Showing this emotion will only serve to shut down the process of decluttering the scape.  If you goal is to help the hoarder live in a safe and clean environment then set your judgement aside and work toward that goal alone.
  • Reason with the hoarder immediately
    The hoarder has been living in these conditions for years.  Expressing your judgement on their living conditions will not change their ways.
  • Immediately start throwing things away
    To a hoarder there are “dirty area” and “not dirty areas” Work with the hoarder to understand which is which and ask how you can help them with each area.
  • Condescend the hoarder or treat them like a child
    Hoarders are people just like you and me.  They have lived full lives and are highly educated.  Hoarding is classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) so you should understand there is more to the situation than someone making a mess.
  • Treat hoarders like major criminals
    I some cases the local authorities are involved with the cleanup of a hoarder’s house.  It’s best to approach the hoarder with a reasonable plan of action to fix the situation. 
  • Give a long To Do list to the hoarder to get done immediately
    It’s easy for most people to see the problem in a hoarder situation and usually want to attack the issue with immediate action.  Hoarders, on the other hand, benefit more from separating out the tasks individually which make the project run much more smoothly.  Only after addresses each task can you start thinking about cleaning, sanitizing, deodorizing and repairs to the home.
  • Ask the hoard why they are doing this
    It’s not your or our place to find out why people do what they do.  It’s our responsibility to recommend professional help to the hoarder. A great reference are books by Randy Frost and Gail Steketee.
  • Let their living conditions stress you out
    The hoarder’s living conditions are usually a result of a traumatic life event.  The last thing we need to do is how it stresses us out.

 

Hoarding Cleanup in Montgomery, or anywher for that matter can be a stressfull situation.  When done in a compassonate and understanding way the project can be complete smoothly and without causing more harm than good.  Junk Guys USA has worked with many families and homeowners working through Hoarding situations in Deatsville, Prattville, Wetumpka, and Montgomery.  Call 334-245-3964 for a free onsite quote to begin the planning phase of you Hoarding Cleanup in Montgomery.

 

This Content was written by Junk Guys US