How to Clean a Hoarder’s Home
Dealing with a loved one who is unable to take care of themselves is never easy. Hoarding is no different. Over the years, the stigma surrounding hoarders, such as lazy and unorganized, have plagued people’s minds. However, we know that it’s far from the truth. As of May 2013, the American Psychiatric Association declared that hoarding is a type of mental disorder. Therefore, those suffering from hoarding should be treated as so.
Since 2013, ServiceMaster has collaborated with Matt Paxton (News Story), the host of A&E’s “Hoarders” as well as the author of “The Secret Life of Hoarders.” His entrepreneurial origins of his hoarding and estate cleanout company, Clutter Cleaner, came from a place of humility, inspired by his grandmother. “As I was helping my grandma clean out her basement, we found a golf bag and started telling me this great story about my grandfather and that golf bag. That is when I realized this isn’t about stuff; it’s about the emotional attachment,” Paxton stated (Forbes Article ). From this collaboration, ServiceMaster and Clutter Cleaner have built an understanding of the needs of both the individual and the family.
At ServiceMaster of Flint, we emphasize the care and respect each customer needs throughout the entire process, not just at the cleanout stage. We make sure that the individual and family members are moving together through every stage of the process.
- Help locate lost jewelry, hidden money and/or other valuable items
- Remove debris
- Coordinate recycling and shredding
- Help distribute donations
- Assist in distributing kept items to family members (local and national)
- Facilitate paperwork required by government agencies, lawyers, and trusts
As we make sure we do a thorough job at helping transition into a clutter-free life, breaking down the process into three stages helps our customers understand what is expected.
At the initial stage of the process, it is important that we fully understand the customer’s needs and support before further progressing. Accommodating both the individual’s and the family’s needs, we can reference a local therapist or social services if needed. We also ensure that the customer is kept in charge by showing respect and building trust over time.
As we move through the process, we develop a roadmap, or a restoration plan, for the cleanout. We know how stressful this can be for families, so we help with reorganizing spaces and remaining possessions as well as waste management. We’ll take care of the sorting, documentation, donations, recycling, and disposal of any unwanted items. If the customer has a specific nonprofit organization they wish to donate to, we can help deliver the donated items.
To ensure and maintain a clutter-free life, we sit down with families to lay out a plan to do so. This can include follow-ups for check-ins and to see if any additional help is needed. Throughout this entire process, we work with family members and therapists. However, we make sure the customer never loses control and insights from our team members are given when asked.
We understand that this transition can be a difficult time for the individual and their families. That’s why we do what we do. Extending our hand for service and guidance can help lift tremendous burdens and knowing that we were able to ease the process makes it worthwhile.
For a trusted and professional hoarding and estate cleanout service, don’t hesitate to reach out. Get in touch with us at (810) 659-4013.