A cleanup service is just one step in the process of helping someone affected by hoarding.
To someone unfamiliar with hoarding disorder, the thought of cleaning up a hoarder house may seem simple. But this is far from accurate. Hoarding cleanup can pose several health threats, from bacteria growth to animal feces and rodent infestation. By hiring a hoarding cleanup service, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from these health hazards and trust that the job is handled thoroughly, professionally, and discreetly.
Professional Hoarding Cleanup Services
According to The American Psychiatric Association, hoarding disorder occurs in an estimated 2-5% of the population and can severely hinder a person’s social and occupational functioning. Unfortunately, when it comes to cleaning up the mess, most compulsive hoarders are unable to do it on their own.
Aftermath has been helping people recover properties from the effects of hoarding and neglect for nearly 20 years. Our technicians wear personal protective clothing (PPE) and respiratory protection to protect themselves from biohazards such as MRSA, E.coli, Hantavirus, and staph. Learn more about Aftermath and why we are an industry leader in hoarding cleanup services.
What is Hoarding?
Hoarding is a psychological condition that causes people to obsessively collect items and makes it difficult for a person to part with things once they are acquired. Big deal, you may be thinking. I could never get rid of my antique model car collection. Does that make me a hoarder? Well, no.
Hoarding is different from collecting. Collectors may have 1 or 2 things that they collect – model cars, porcelain dolls, rare books – and the collector likely keeps their collection clean, organized, and proudly displayed. A person with hoarding disorder, however, “collects” common items such as newspapers, plastic bags, old clothing, and plastic containers (things that most of us would deem worthless) and considers them extremely difficult to part with.
This excerpt from Marni Jameson's article “Look at Your House – Are You a Hoarder?” shines a light on what it is like to have hoarding disorder.
"But I might need it. But it was expensive. But it was Mom's. But it still works. But it was a gift. But I might lose weight. But it might be worth something. But it's irreplaceable. But I don't have time to deal with it. But, but, but. And so the clutter begins. The piles stack. The closets overflow. Belongings take over. And life deteriorates."
American Psychiatric Association: http://www.psychiatry.org/hoarding-disorder
Orlando Sentinel: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/os-marni-jameson-hoarders-20141124-column.html