4 Types of Hoarding Cleanup Companies

With our culture of buying items we don’t need, it’s no surprise some people accumulate a lot of unnecessary objects in their homes. Most of us can name several things off the top of our heads that we no longer use yet still have. Among us, though, are people who accumulate a large amount of belongings without throwing anything away. This disorder is called “hoarding” and is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.”

As a way to help with the cleanup of a hoarder’s home, several types of businesses have developed services to clean and sort out the vast accumulation of items. These services range from simply removing and recycling the unwanted items to providing a professional organizer who walks with the client through the cleanout process and helps them deal with the remainders. While some companies offer all these different services, others may only offer one or two.

To help you decide what services you need, here are four kinds of hoarding cleanup services commonly offered:

Junk Removal

Junk removal companies arrive with a large truck and take away whatever items you point to. This can include appliances, furniture, electronics, building material, and mattresses, among many other things. Some will even sweep the area for you when finished. Many of these companies place an emphasis on responsibly recycling or donating whenever possible.

What these companies are not equipped for is dealing with bio hazardous material such as animal waste, human waste, and any human remains as they are not trained to deal with dangerous material and don’t wear personal protective equipment.

Clutter Cleanup

A clutter cleanup company takes time to get to know the client’s specific needs and will check with the client before throwing individual items away. Like a junk removal company, they are not equipped for dangerous material but are more hands-on in helping get unneeded items into bags and boxes before removal. These types of companies also dispose of anything that’s not wanted—recycling and donating whenever possible.

Professional Organizer

A professional organizer walks with the client through the cleanup experience and has often had training in psychology and organization. They help the client decide what to keep and what to discard along with helping them find valuable items and legal documents. Once all the unwanted items have been removed, a professional organizer will work with the client on how to straighten and organize the remaining items as well as providing follow up services to help the client develop new habits.

Typically, a professional organizer works alongside a clutter cleanup, junk removal or hoarding cleanup company and does not remove the items themselves. Their work is mainly in working directly with the client.

Hoarding Cleanup

A hoarding cleanup company often provides any or all of the above services with the addition of dealing with hazardous material and will thoroughly clean the area afterwards. These companies will come in and remove all items to discard as well as cleaning any remaining items and the surrounding area. The staff usually wear personal protective equipment and are equipped to handle animal waste, human waste, and any other dangerous items such as needles, bio hazardous waste, and chemicals. If the client wants a professional organizer as well, they can often supply one or provide a referral for one they work with regularly.

What Kind of Hoarding Cleanup Company Do You Need?

Before you call a company to help you clean up a hoarding situation, think about what items need to be discarded, how well separated they are from items to be kept, and if there are any dangerous materials or bio hazardous waste to be disposed of. You will also want to consider what emotional support or organizational help you may need throughout the process.
After you’ve answered these questions for yourself, research local companies and make sure the company you call provides these services and is a good match to your needs.

If you have any questions about our hoarding and clutter cleanup services, call us 24/7 at 770-766-4562 and we’ll be happy to help.