The passing of a loved one often brings with it a period of grief and adjustment. These feelings can be compounded when the inheritance involves a property filled to the brim due to hoarding. If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to approach the situation with a strategic plan and the right kind of support.
Hoarding is a complex mental health issue that involves the excessive accumulation of items to the point it becomes debilitating. The items may hold emotional significance for the individual or may be kept ‘just in case’. Often, the hoarder struggles with decision-making, organisation and emotional attachments, leading to clutter that can make a home unlivable.
Taking on the task of cleaning up a hoarder’s home is emotionally and physically draining. Recognising your emotions throughout this process is vital. Understandably, you may feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or even resentful. Allow yourself the grace to grieve and process these emotions while tackling the task at hand.
Assess the scale of the hoarding before you start. Hoarding can range from mild clutter to severe cases where rooms are inaccessible. This will help you understand the magnitude of the task and whether professional help is necessary.
Attempting to clean the house single-handedly can be a daunting endeavour. It may be beneficial to involve family members, close friends, or consider engaging the services of a professional cleaning company that specialises in hoarding, such as Hoarder Clean Up UK. These professionals are trained to deal with hoarding situations sensitively, efficiently and safely. They not only clear out the clutter but also deep-clean the property, tackling any hidden problems such as mould, pests, or structural issues.
Hoarded homes often house hazards that are not immediately visible, such as mould. The accumulation of items, poor ventilation, and lack of cleaning can create ideal conditions for mould growth. The presence of mould is not just an aesthetic issue; it poses significant health risks such as respiratory problems and allergic reactions. If there’s any suspicion of mould in the property, it’s crucial to engage a mould removal service to inspect and treat the problem safely and effectively.
Having a systematic approach can simplify the cleaning process. It’s advisable to start with a small area and sort items into categories: keep, donate, recycle, and discard. Remember, many items may have no real value or may be unsanitary and beyond salvaging.
Bear in mind the possible presence of valuable items amidst the clutter. Hoarders often misplace important documents, cash, or jewellery within their possessions. Exercise caution when disposing of items and keep an eye out for anything of significance.
Keep the communication channels open with your family. Hoarding often impacts the whole family, and the clean-up process can bring up emotions and conflicts. Open discussions can help alleviate tensions and ensure everyone feels heard.
Lastly, don’t forget to look after yourself during this process. The task can be emotionally exhausting and physically taxing. Ensure you take breaks, eat healthily, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep. If the process becomes too much to handle, do not hesitate to seek professional help or counselling.
Inheriting a hoarder’s home is a complex process filled with challenges. However, with understanding, patience, a strategic plan, and the right kind of support, the task can become manageable. Professional hoarder cleaning services like Hoarder Clean Up UK can provide invaluable assistance in these circumstances, offering a blend of efficiency, sensitivity, and thoroughness that is much needed during such a trying time.
Remember, it’s okay to ask for help and take things one step at a time. With time and effort, the once-overwhelming hoarder’s home can transform into a clean, liveable space again.