Dealing with the mess left by a hoarder is no walk in the park. Hoarding cleaning is always a big deal, and can sometimes be very dangerous. It is not only time consuming, but also may be irritating, since you may encounter mold, bacteria, mice, roaches, and other things that make it an unpleasant experience.
If you are faced with one in the near future, here are some tips to help you get through it successfully:
Have gloves and face masks
Hoarding cleaning can expose you to a variety of biohazards, such as Histoplasmosis, Hantavirus, E. coli and Staph, amongst other dangerous bacteria. To ensure that you are safe from such threats, gloves and face masks are vital for your own personal safety.
Categorize the items
To make the cleaning more focused, and to move quickly through the piles of God-knows-what, consider categorizing the items into what to keep, what to donate, and what to trash. As a rule of thumb, every item that has not been used in over a one-year period, or items that are broken, should be designated for the trash. You can sort remaining items, based on whether or not you still need them, keeping the ones you need, and donating the rest.
Be ready to ask for help
Hoarding cleanup entails a lot of work, and depending on the intensity of each individual hoarding case, you may need extra hands. Some cleanups may require additional manpower to remove heavy materials, while others may require expertise in handling biohazards or large volumes of material to be removed. You should also have in mind that the people who suffer from a hoarding disorder, may not be willing to part ways with some of the items, and you may need the help of a professional counselor, to have them convinced. With all these possibilities, it is for your own safety to be ready to ask specialists for help when required.