Hoarding disorder affects a growing number of people in the United States. It is found to be a distinct genetic subtype of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that is characterized by personality traits such as avoidance, anxiety, indecisiveness, procrastination, perfectionism and poor socialization skills. Hoarders have difficulty maintaining focus, making decisions, processing information, and defining values. They feel the urge to acquire enormous amounts of useless items and get emotionally attached to them but lack the ability to organize them and classify them according to their value. So, hoarders don’t discard any of their worthless possessions and the accumulated items gradually block off larger and larger parts of their homes, making the living space unusable. Fire hazards increase and sanitary problems often occur because of the accumulated dirt and dust, possible mold or bacteria growth, pest infestation, etc. Worst of all, hoarders do not easily admit their problem, refuse treatment, and inevitably become isolated and socially withdrawn. The situation is very dangerous and sensitive, so hoarding cleanup must be performed in a delicate and patient way.
Effective hoarding and estate cleaning requires a considerate and realistic approach. ServiceMaster Disaster Restoration and Recovery provides efficient hoarding and estate cleaning services in Palo Alto, CA and the nearby counties of San Mateo, Monterey, Santa Clara, and San Benito. Our realistic three phase approach to hoarding cleaning allows us not only to clean out the homes of the hoarders but also to help them resume a normal life, as it aims to develop decluttering habits and involves a consistent behavioral program.
It is important to help hoarders understand that their problem is a manifestation of an anxiety disorder and there is nothing embarrassing about it. Hoarders should be motivated for change and improvement. So, the technicians at ServiceMaster DRR will first remove the built up clutter from the home of the hoarder and decontaminate the area after the hoard is removed. Then, we will encourage the affected person to maintain a clean living space and overcome his/her fears and bad habits.
Our hoarding and estate cleaning services include:
- Finding and salvaging items of high sentimental or monetary value, including jewelry, artwork, family heirlooms, etc.
- Removing worthless items
- Distributing items to family members
- Distributing items for donation
- Recycling items that can be recycled
- Assistance with official paperwork from trusts, lawyers, and government agencies
3-Phase Approach To Hoarding Clean Up And Estate Cleaning
ServiceMaster Disaster Restoration and Recovery has adopted a unique 3-phrase hoarding cleaning approach that is a collaboration between ServiceMaster Restore and the company Clutter Cleaner, owned by Matt Paxton (the host of Hoarders). This approach is designed to earn the trust and respect of the affected individuals and to involve them in the cleaning process. Our hoarding cleaning services consist of the following 3 steps:
Phase 1: Understanding and Connection with the Affected Individuals
- We determine the type of exhibited hoarding behavior and the extent of the hoarding problem;
- We try to earn trust and respect before entering the hoarder’s home;
- We coordinate the cleaning process with the affected person and their family;
- We can also enlist the help of a therapist or social services, if this will be beneficial.
Phase 2: Creating and Implementing an Adequate Cleaning Plan
- We create a cleaning plan to completely remove the accumulated items;
- We put the affected person in charge of the cleaning process so that he/she has control and doesn’t panic that something important might be lost. However, our technicians are trained to cleverly deal with the hoarder’s requirements in order to provide quality work – the entire hoard is removed and the feelings of the affected person are spared;
- We sort out the hoarder’s items to decide which of them should be thrown away, recycled, donated, or preserved. Salvaged items are cleaned and sanitized before returning them to the family or delivering them for donation;
- After removing the clutter, we thoroughly clean and sanitize the entire place and help reorganize the home.
Phase 3: Follow Up
- When the deep cleaning is over and the hoarder’s home is restored to a safe and sanitary condition, we create a plan for the affected person and their family to maintain a clean and clutter-free home;
- We deal with the required paperwork from lawyers, trusts and government agencies;
- We do short-term follow ups to check on the progress with the cleaning plan and provide further assistance if needed;
- We put affected people in touch with professional therapists to help them overcome their anxiety and restore their normal life.
It is very important to be able to recognize the early hoarding signs in a friend or family member and get immediate help to prevent serious troubles. However, even if the problem has already become severe, we can find the best solution. Our realistic and respectful approach yields astonishing results and helps hoarders resume a normal life. Call ServiceMaster Disaster Restoration and Recovery at (408) 457-0633 any time of the day for hoarding clean up or estate cleaning services in Palo Alto, CA 94306 area.
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