One of the questions we are asked most often about hoarding is how much hoarding cleanup cost. Sometimes the question comes from the children of hoarders who are trying to deal with the mess their parents left behind. Other times, it is asked by a property owner whose tenants have left a hoarded home behind without cleaning it up. Still others are the hoarders themselves wanting to clean up their home or are facing legal action if they do not.
Whoever it is on the other end of the line, we wish we could give a straight answer right away about how much it would cost to clean up the hoard. However, the cost of cleaning a hoard can vary widely due to multiple factors. These factors include:
- The square footage
- The amount hoarded (Volume)
- The type of hoard
- Type of biohazards
- How much needs to be sorted
To give an accurate amount, we have to see the hoard with our own eyes to understand the true scope of work needing to be accomplished. While pictures and descriptions can help with this beforehand, it takes an experienced technician to see for themselves before we can quote how much cleaning it all out will cost.
The square footage
Hoarded homes can range from a lot of clutter in one small room to a gigantic house filled from floor to ceiling with biohazards. We know from experience that a hoard can also fill the outdoor space and even be hidden by overgrown brush. While square footage can be a factor, it’s really the total volume of the hoard that is considered. The more volume a hoard takes up, the more time it will take to clean out.
The amount hoarded (Volume)
Just as a hoard can be spread out over a large area, the amount of a hoard also depends on how much is stored in that amount of space. You can have a lot of junk spread around outside to towering boxes teetering over tiny pathways going from room to room in the house—if you can get into the rooms at all. Some houses are so tightly packed that the person now lives on the street or is forced to clean out the hoard because the very foundation of the house is breaking under all the weight.
In our experience, we find the family does not often realize just how much is inside a home and are shocked by the vast amount that comes out the door. When we clean out a hoard, we have to rent dumpsters into which we dispose of the unwanted items. Each dumpster costs between $500-$600 and for a hoard, we usually need several of them. Depending on the number of items to be thrown away, these dumpsters get filled remarkably fast.
The type of hoard
Hoarded homes do not look all the same. There can be many different types of hoards. Hoarded items can include but certainly are not limited to:
Some of these types of hoards take more people to clean them out than others and take more time to complete the task at hand. When we give a quote for a hoard cleanout, we always take the type of hoard into account.
Type of biohazards within the hoard
When a person is hoarding and a problem with the home arises needing repair, the person hoarding will often not have it repaired due to embarrassment or inaccessibility to the item needing to be fixed. This can enlarge the problem as the person will then make other choices such as peeing in a bottle instead of using the toilet. Feces and urine quickly stack up and can soak through multiple building layers causing structural issues. Over time, the hoard can also be overtaken by pests such as mice or cockroaches which leave another layer or urine and feces over all the belongings. If a person hoards animals or food, you also then must deal with the pets’ urine and feces or mold and rot respectively.
All of this is legally categorized as biohazards and must only be dealt with by those officially trained in biohazard cleanup. When biohazards are involved, all the hoarded items can be hazardous to people’s health and if improperly handled, will leave behind issues for years to come. It is for this reason we bring specialized equipment to handle such hoards such personal protective gear, medical waste disposal bags, and specialized cleaning equipment.
How much needs to be sorted
Sometimes when we are cleaning out a hoard, we have been told by family members or the hoarders themselves to look for specific items. At other job sites, we are told to dispose of everything inside the home. While we want to make sure everything is saved that should be, we also know it takes more people more time to sort through the belongings and less time to simply dispose of everything inside. When we are quoting the cost of a clutter cleanup, we always take the wishes of those involved into account.
Call us to arrange for a quote
We all want to see our loved ones live in a clean environment and our property investments protected and so we make sure our prices are fair and our work is of the highest quality. Compassionate and discreet, our staff are always available to answer your questions and clean out any property.
If you live near the Atlanta area, call us to arrange for a quote for hoarding cleanup. Our staff are always respectful of every person and belonging and we work hard to keep prying eyes away. With us, you can rest easy knowing we’ll put you first.