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How to Help Clean Up a Hoarding Situation

2020-12-27T10:53:59

You may have watched reality shows involving hoarding on television but never thought you would have firsthand experience. If facing a weekend of helping a loved one clean-out their cluttered home, there are some vital steps to take to ensure the project is successful. Remember, hoarding is a serious psychological disorder that requires professional guidance and care. This article offers a few tips for individuals working with a professional organizer to deal with hoarding issues.

Recognizing Hoarding and Getting Help

Whether you are providing ongoing assistance to your loved one while they recover from a hoarding disorder or you are volunteering time on a weekend to help clean out their home, you need to understand this mental health condition first.

Common symptoms of someone suffering from this behavioral disorder are:


  • They suffer from anxiety when getting rid of anything they own
  • They will go out of their way to not throw away items of little to no value
  • Parts of their home may be inaccessible because of their hoarding
  • They continue to add to their hoard without realizing they have a problem
  • Their possessions are posing a safety risk

These tendencies are not always severe like you see on television, but they can still be negatively impacting your loved one. If you notice these symptoms, it’s critical to get help right away. Professional assistance is the only way they can move forward and take control of their hoarding. Contacting organizations like The International OCD Foundation can help you find doctors and professional organizers in your area.

Helping a Hoarder Clean Up and Organize Their Home

After the hoarder has begun the healing process, a professional organizer will help them begin addressing the amount of clutter in the home. Typically, there are several steps in this process, and it may take an entire weekend or more, depending on how willing your loved one is to start cleaning out.

Begin with Conversations About Cleaning and Organizing

Marching in and immediately tossing out clutter and garbage is never the right approach for those facing a hoarding challenge. Initially, regularly talking about cleaning out the home is important, as is the language you use. Try to be neutral about their situation to avoid making them feel defensive. Don’t use words like "clutter" or "dirty" when speaking about their home. You want them to feel positive about moving on from this stage in their lives.

Create a Clean-Up Plan

Now that everyone is on board with cleaning out the home, create a plan that outlines what is necessary to complete the task. Make sure to include your loved one in this phase and only do what they approve of to avoid their shutting down.

A plan for cleaning a hoard should include:

  • Specific criteria for disposing of items
  • Determine the order of rooms you will clean
  • Create goals that keep your loved one motivated

Plan Ahead for Waste Management with a Dumpster

Having a waste management plan in place when you start the clean up is critical on two fronts. First, a hoarder’s home usually requires a dumpster rental since the amount of clutter and garbage will overwhelm normal trash delivery. Secondly, using a dumpster makes it more difficult for your loved one to revisit a trash pile and start picking through it for items to keep after committing to pitch them.

Safety is another benefit that dumpsters provide because it prevents multiple piles of debris from crowding walkways. Centralized positioning of a dumpster, like in a driveway, can ensure ease of use.

Help Organize the Home

As mentioned before, you should work with a professional organizer familiar with hoarder situations. This person can give you and your loved one guidance on how to organize the remaining items in the home. Stick with the plan made for the cleanout and recommendations made by a specialist, and your loved one will get a new lease on life they’ve been needing.

Rent a Residential Friendly Dumpster for Everything Else

While it is an exhausting process, both emotionally and physically, cleaning out a hoarder’s home is also rewarding. Don’t hurry to complete the plan in a day. Take regular breaks to allow your hoarding loved one to adjust. Be positive and encouraging in everything you do to help build trust and security that this is the right step to take.

Bin There Dump That has provided supportive customer service for families helping their loved ones gain control of their hoarding disorder. Our bins are residential friendly and easily fit in a driveway for convenient centralized waste management. With double doors on every bin, no matter what size dumpster you order, you will have easy access for tossing larger items.

Call our Northern Atlanta area office at (770) 932-2838 or contact us online for more information today. Check out our blog for additional tips and tricks to maximize the benefits of your dumpster rental experience!


Remember to use Bin There Dump That for all your dumpster needs.