Hoarding is a problem that millions of Americans deal with in their daily lives. Many people misunderstand the cause of hoarding as it is a mental disorder and the behaviors common to hoarding are due to anxiety and depression. As people affected by hoarding continue to let clutter build, they are allowing for dangerous conditions in their home. Hoarded items can increase the risk of fire and injuries as well as the appearance of mold and other dangerous materials. Before a home affected by hoarding can be cleaned out, the affected individual must agree to have the cleaning done. If you know someone affected by hoarding who is ready to clean their home, you can call our professionals to help with the cleaning.
Nu-Gen Cleaning & Restoration provides hoarding cleaning in Crystal Lake, IL to clean and restore homes affected by hoarding. Our technicians understand that hoarding is a delicate issue which is why we approach the project with compassion and respect and work directly with the affected individual. We will help decide what to remove from the home and restore safe living conditions.
Dangers of Hoarding
Hoarding behaviors create dangerous living conditions for everyone in the home. Those affected typically keep things in their home because anxiety and depression make it difficult for them to throw away anything. This causes excessive clutter buildup that can block pathways and exits and increase the risk of injuries from tripping or falling piles of objects. There is also a high risk of fire because the hoarded items can easily ignite and quickly go up in flames. In extreme cases of hoarding, dangerous substances like mold and bacteria can appear and create unsanitary conditions.
If you know someone who’s home is affected by hoarding, you cannot simply show up and start cleaning the home. Instead, you should reach out to them and help them understand the dangerous living conditions so that they agree to clean their home. Only once they have agreed to move forward should you start the process.
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Professional Hoarding Cleaning
Our professionals have experience with hoarding cleaning projects and understand the sensitive nature of the situation. We will first meet with the affected individual to help establish trust before we begin any of the cleaning or preparation. The affected individual will be involved with every step of the process, and nothing is removed from the home without their approval.
When cleaning the home, our technicians use advanced cleaning products to fully clean and restore the home to safe living conditions. Our cleaning and restoration is done within the rules and regulations of OSHA, the EPA, and the Department of Transportation.
Our hoarding cleaning process includes the following steps:
- Proper disposal: Our technicians work with the affected individual to decide what to remove from the house and what to keep. Nothing is removed without their approval. We will make sure to safely dispose of the materials that are removed.
- Decontamination: After the unwanted items are removed, we will thoroughly clean and disinfect the home to restore safe living conditions.
- Deodorization: Our technicians use the proper equipment and methods to remove lingering odors after the cleaning.
Hoarding Cleaning in Crystal Lake, IL
Cleaning the home of a hoarder is urgent because of the dangerous living conditions, but it is important to approach these situations with compassion and help the affected individual make their own decision. Our professionals at Nu-Gen Cleaning & Restoration are ready to help those affected by hoarding clean out their homes and restore them to safe living conditions.
You can call Nu-Gen Cleaning & Restoration at (815) 569-0702 for hoarding cleaning in Crystal Lake, IL.
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Why do people hoard?
There are several reasons why people hoard, and it can vary from person to person. Here are a few possible explanations:
- Trauma:For some people, hoarding is a coping mechanism to deal with feelings of anxiety or fear. It is seen as a way of taking control and providing comfort in the face of a chaotic world. Hoarding can also be related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In many cases, it is an attempt to manage overwhelming feelings related to past traumas.
Hoarding can also be a result of anxiety. Some people may find solace in collecting objects and filling their homes with possessions as a way to alleviate anxiety. Hoarding can provide individuals with a sense of security and comfort during challenging times as they hold onto tangible objects.
- Growing up with a hoarder:In some cases, hoarding can be related to attachment issues. If a person grew up with a hoarder in their family or had an emotionally distant relationship with their parents, they may find themselves unconsciously mimicking the behavior. This can create a false sense of security and safety, as well as provide a distraction from the pain of feeling disconnected.
- Social Isolation:When a person does not have meaningful relationships, they may turn to objects as a source of comfort and connection. Hoarding can also be an attempt to fill a void caused by loneliness or to distract from painful feelings such as depression or self-doubt.
Hoarders may experience obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that drive them to acquire and keep items for no rational reason. This behavior is often driven by fear of loss, difficulty in decision-making, or the need to feel a sense of control.
How to help a hoarder?
- Educate yourself: It is best to prepare yourself with the necessary knowledge before engaging. To better understand and approach the individual you want to help, it is important to educate yourself about hoarding, including its definition, various types, and underlying causes. This will enable you to approach the situation with sensitivity and empathy.
- Communicate compassionately: Hoarding is a complex issue that can evoke strong emotions. When communicating with hoarders, it is important to offer your help with no judgment and express your compassion, understanding, sensitivity, and sympathy.
- Offer assistance: Show your willingness to assist. One method of decluttering is to start by categorizing items, considering which ones are currently in use, which ones can be discarded sooner rather than later, which ones have sentimental value, and which ones do not. Each item has its own story, and it’s important to respect the individual’s boundaries and decisions.
- Seek professional help: Hoarding can present challenges and requires careful handling. You can hire a professional to help with hoarding cleanup, including decluttering, cleaning, reorganizing, and disinfection. It is also recommended to contact a mental health professional who has experience in assisting individuals with hoarding tendencies to find peace and support.
- Provide ongoing support: The hoarding issue does not resolve itself immediately. The process requires time and progress. Without ongoing check-ins and support for the individuals, there is a possibility that the hoarding situation may occur again. It is recommended to support your friend in their efforts to address hoarding tendencies, even after completing a thorough hoarding cleanup.
Remember, it’s important to respect the hoarder’s autonomy and boundaries throughout the process. Ultimately, their willingness to change and seek help is crucial for long-term progress.
Is hoarding a mental illness?
Yes, hoarding is recognized as a mental illness. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), it is classified as a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Hoarding disorder is a condition where individuals struggle to let go of possessions, regardless of their worth, and end up accumulating excessive items that clutter their living spaces. It has a significant impact on a person’s daily functioning, relationships, and overall quality of life.