Few people understand the mind of a hoarder quite like Matt Paxton. The former host of the reality TV show “Hoarders” and author of The Secret Lives of Hoarders has spent the past eight years helping those who struggle with hoarding disorders clean out their homes. He now runs his own hoarding cleaning company and has used his years of experience to help ServiceMaster Restore create and implement a nationwide hoarder cleaning program. The approach is the most important aspect of hoarding cleanup as according to Paxton, “Most people think it’s about cleaning, but it’s really not; it’s about communication, understanding, and trust.”
Team Up with ServiceMaster
ServiceMaster Restore is already one of the most trusted names in the disaster restoration industry and Paxton has helped them create a nationwide program specifically for helping hoarders clean out their homes. This program is similar to ServiceMaster’s Catastrophic Response Network (CRM) which responds to large losses across the nation but it is the first program of its kind for hoarders.
Every hoarding specialist that is part of this program must spend three 10 hour days training with Paxton at ServiceMaster’s corporate headquarters in Memphis, TN. One of these days is devoted to talking with people of other professions that have experience with hoarding cases such as social workers, adult protective services workers, homeowners’ association officials, geriatric care specialists, and health and fire officials among others. Hoarding cleaning projects are billed by the hour to help keep the cost reasonable and accommodate for the fact that each case is unique.
In almost every case, the call for hoarding cleaning services is made by a family member or close friend who is concerned for the hoarder. Therefore it is important for the cleaning crews to gain the trust of the individual before they can enter the home. Paxton calls the process of gaining their trust equalizing during which, “We treat them as equals. We hang out with them, get to know them.”
“So much of their world is filled with judgment and hate and misunderstanding. We don’t go in until they know that we understand them and that we’re not going to judge them,” says Paxton. He also emphasizes that this process requires patience as it may take several weeks to earn a hoarder’s trust enough to enter the home.
Reliable Hoarding Cleaning Services
Paxton’s show helped raise national awareness of hoarding disorders and though there are now many local hoarding cleaning companies, Paxton himself says, “I don’t think there are many that do it the right way.” ServiceMaster Restore has the resources to provide quality hoarding cleanup services as well as a nationwide program to help those struggling with hoarding issues throughout the country. If you have a close friend or family member that struggles with hoarding disorder, contact a ServiceMaster near your for more information on their hoarding cleaning services.