5 Types Of Hoarding | From Basic Clutter To Compulsive Hoarding
There are several different types of hoarding behavior. From holding onto items that have sentimental worth, to compulsive hoarding which can be closely connected to emotional trauma. In order to tackle hoarding head-on, you first need to understand the type of hoarding you’re facing. Whether you’re trying to support a relative, friend or break the habit yourself, understanding the different levels of this condition is key to resolving issues and maintaining a clean and safe environment.
How To Identify Clutter From Compulsive Hoarding
As professional residential cleaning experts, we offer a non-judgemental hoarding clean-up service to help our clients take back control of their homes. Whether it’s general clutter that’s got out of hand or a significant hoard that is impacting daily life, we are here to help. Knowing which type of hoarding we have been hired to help resolve is important, as we must protect ourselves first. So, here’s how we identify clutter from compulsive hoarding.
This type of hoarding typically involves clutter and we’ll probably see signs of pets within the home. The property will generally be odor-free and safe to enter and for our team to work in. There could be some evidence of pests or an infestation, along with small spills or pet accidents that need to be cleaned up.
When hoarding starts to prohibit entrance to certain areas of the home, or begins to block exits, clutter is getting out of hand. A level 2 hoard tends to come with pet odors, pet dander, and clutter starting to overflow into hallways and other rooms. The bathroom and kitchen may have light to medium mildew and countertops might be dirty and in need of a deep clean. Again pests or rodents might be present and some household devices or whitegoods may no longer be working. The property is no longer functioning as it should as a family home.
This type of hoarding behavior will start to impact the exterior of the property as well as inside the home. We’ll often see items being stored outdoors that are meant for indoor use such as TVs, furniture, and sofas. Appliances might be broken or not functioning as they should. Animals within the property may not be being looked after properly which will result in foul smells and a lot of mess and accidents within the home. The house might also have structural damage. Level 3 hoarding could also involve hazardous materials such as chemical spills, broken glass, and excessive dust and mold.
When hoarding takes over the entire property this type of behavior fits into a level 4 hoard. Our cleaning team may see structural damage, older than 6 months, mold and mildew on walls and floors. We may also notice damaged gutters, hazardous electric wiring, damage to wallboards, and broken windows or doors. With this level, pets tend to have complete free range of the house, and destruction can include chewed and clawed furniture. Rodents and pests will be evident, and the home is no longer safe to live in. Excessive clutter and compulsive hoarding will usually lead to a significant fire risk, exposure to hazardous materials and substances, and no clean surfaces or kitchenware to make food.
Compulsive hoarding at its worst is what we call level 5. This is a step up from level 4 hoarding behavior, and our team will consider a job at the top of our scale if we see evidence of significant structural damage, no water connections, nonoperational sewage systems, infestations, fire hazards, unusable facilities, rotting food and the client is no longer able to use the property as their home. The resident(s) may even be using other means to go to the toilet as their bathroom is no longer accessible.
Whether you believe your hoard is on the lower end of our hoarding scale or right at the top, at a level 5 hoard, don’t panic. As hoarding clean-up professionals we have attended hoards of all levels and sizes, and we will never judge a client based on the level of their hoard. We are simply here to help should you wish to regain control of your situation and improve your quality of life. Feel free to contact our team today about your residential cleaning needs.