Having a family friend or loved one who is a hoarder can be a very emotionally draining experience. It requires a lot of time, attention, and patience on your end. And from their perspective, a hoarder may really struggle silently with their mental health. It’s a debilitating disease that affects more than just their personal space. It can take over every inch and corner of their life, including their ability to properly socialize with their loved ones.
The seemingly simple act of “just cleaning your home” is one that is often extremely difficult for hoarders. That is why the task is often delegated to their family or good friends. But is this a task you should be taking on yourself? Most people do not consider the following when taking on such a large endeavor.
Convenience of Time
Point blank, most people do not know how to clean out a hoarder’s garage. They expect it to be nothing more than a large scale deep clean. The time commitment that it takes to properly clean such an area is one that often goes overlooked.
Truth be told, cleaning out a hoarder’s space is much more than just cleaning. Hoarding is a mental health disease that manifests itself in physical items. For that reason, cleaning out a hoarder’s garage may take weeks, even months if you take it on yourself. It’s extremely difficult to determine what to throw away and what to keep, and it’s arduous to determine why hoarders have connections to certain objects over others. Sorting through each and every possession can take more time than you allotted. And you may very well find yourself back in their garage in a matter of months, sorting through a whole new pile of items.
The Amount of Accountability
Those that find themselves to have a type A personality, or perhaps really love organizing their belongings may find this to be an exciting task to take on. However, most people do not understand the gravity of the situation until they are immersed in it. It’s easy to lose motivation and become overwhelmed when faced with such a daunting task. And unfortunately, that lack of motivation can be discouraging for a hoarder.
Calling in the work of a professional hoarder cleaning service will ensure that that accountability is kept. A professional service is well trained to empathize and understand each client. They understand how to get the job done well, while leaving everyone satisfied. But they do not have the emotional attachment to your loved one that you have, making for a smooth, proper cleaning of a hoarder’s garage.
Fragile Situations call for Fragile Care
The first step in bettering your mental health is admitting that you have a problem. This can be an extremely emotional and difficult time in someone’s life, even if it means they are on the right path. Due to the fragility of the situation, it’s important to stay strong and support the hoarder in your life. However, it’s normal for your mental health to take a nose-dive during this process as well. If the task of cleaning up a hoarder’s garage is not delegated to a third party, it can have serious consequences for your relationship.
Getting rid of a hoarder’s possessions causes a lot of emotional distress. This may be the first time that a hoarder has had to part with their things. And since it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly will elicit strong feelings from a hoarder, relationships can easily be broken if not handled correctly. Asking for the help of a third party cleaning service will maintain that relationship you have, and help you focus on what is important.
Running into unexpected sanitation issues
It is an incredibly selfless act to take on the responsibility of cleaning a hoarder’s garage. However, if you go into it blind, you may not be aware of some unexpected sanitation issues that you could run into. For example, let’s say they have been obsessively collecting newspapers, and your town just experienced a huge storm. That small leak in the garage caused those papers to get soaked, and now there is mold growing in the corner of the garage. This can cause serious issues to your health, especially if you are not properly equipped to handle it. Or perhaps there was old food hanging out under some boxes. Animals thrive on expired and unattended foods. There’s a strong possibility that you run into live (or dead animals), and their feces, which again, can cause a lot of harm if you are not prepared.
It can be a very emotional decision of whether or not to clean a hoarder’s garage yourself. However, it is probably a much more difficult task than you initially think. Calling in a professional will ensure that the task will be completed in days rather than months, and you can have the peace of mind knowing that your loved one’s space is handled with care.
Call us or email us today to set up a consultation or appointment. You’ll be one step closer to getting back on track and living a full, meaningful life.
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