Month: July 2016

The Hoarding Cleanup Process

During the past ten years, the staff of Bio-Trauma 911, Inc. has helped hundreds of hoarders in Indiana and surrounding states to reclaim their living space and lives.  Our staff of caring and compassionate experts work with hoarders and their family members to make the remediation process as pleasant as it can be.  As experts in this field, our staff understands that it may take several weeks, even months, to get everyone on board so that the process can be started with full participation from the hoarder.

Hoarding or Compulsive Hoarding Disorder makes it very difficult, and nearly impossible, for a person to discard or part with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.  The mere thought of throwing away an item of perceived value or importance will cause distress and hardship for the hoarder.  Regardless of actual value or worth, excessive accumulation of items will occur.  This accumulation, over time, may become so severe that the hoarder and/or other family members find it very difficult to live a normal and healthy life.

So often our initial contact with the client comes by way of a concerned family member or friend. Unfortunately it is all too common for hoarders to live in isolation. Many family members have no idea that their loved one is in fact a hoarder.  In the home of a family member and friend with a hoarding disorder, one would typically find the counter tops, desks, sinks, stoves, stairways and nearly all other surfaces to be stacked with items.  When no more can be stacked on these surfaces, these items may begin to clutter up the garage, storage barns, vehicles and yard.  Among the first signs of hoarding disorder will be the amassing of items and the difficulty in discarding of these items.  These signs or symptoms may often surface during the teenage years.  As the person ages, the situation becomes progressively worse and more difficult to treat.

While our company is a strong proponent of professional intervention and treatment for hoarding disorder, it’s not unusual for hoarders, with the help of family members, to seek out help on their own.  It is during this time, or after a successful treatment program, that our staff will meet with the hoarder and typically a family member. During the initial meeting, which may come after weeks of telephone conversations, we discuss the remediation or cleaning process.  At this point or a short time later, we like to have a full understanding of the value and importance the hoarder places on items in the home.  Often times it’s important to save certain items, as not everything should be discarded.  Likewise, during the cleaning process, our staff will take time to search for and retain: momentos, valuables, photos, important documents and other items that shouldn’t be thrown away.

To properly clean a home of a hoarder generally requires several of our technicians to work long days for the better part of a week.  It is not an inexpensive process but one that many hoarders find to be invaluable.  The excitement, joy, disbelief and complete relief expressed by so many of our clients is a true testament to our unwavering commitment and dedication to our clients and their goal of realizing a better way of living.

To learn more about Bio-Trauma 911 and our hoarding cleanup services, please visit us at www.treathoarding.com

What is Hoarding?

According to Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Health and Human Services, “Hoarding is the acquisition of, and failure to discard a large number of possessions in a residence which appear to be useless or of limited value. Living spaces, furniture,appliances and utilities are sufficiently cluttered as to prevent their intended use, which could pose a significant risk to health, safety or the maintenance of housing.”
Signs and Symptoms of Hoarding (not all signs will be present)
  • Parts of your home become unusable and clutter may block egress and ingress (windows and doors)
  • No apparent or intended organization to the clutter
  • The hoarded items hold no value
  • Presence of numerous pets
  • Home is unsanitary and the clutter makes it difficult or impossible to use the bathroom or kitchen
  • Clutter causes an infestations of insects, rats, roaches
  • Increased social isolation
  • Hoarder unwilling to give up items
  • Unable or unwilling to return borrowed items
  • Structural damage to the house as a result of the accumulated items or failure to maintain the home
Up to 5% of the world’s population displays signs of clinical hoarding. This is twice the rate of those diagnosed with OCD and five times the rate of those diagnosed with bipolar and schizophrenia disorders.
Common Personality Traits of a Hoarder (not all traits will be present)
  • Neuroticism
  • Anxiety
  • Indecisiveness
  • Perfectionism
  • Vulnerability
  • Impulsiveness
  • Depression
  • Self-Consciousness
For those who do not suffer from hoarding disorder it can be difficult to understand why anyone would choose to accumulate and develop an emotional attachment with items that have no real value or worth. In fact, in cities throughout the U.S., hoarders are renting storage units and buying additional homes to accommodate items and goods that they can no longer fit into their family home, garage or vehicles.

Many years ago, individuals who collected “stuff” were called pack rats.  Today, in light of TV shows that depict the lives of hoarders, friends, family and neighbors are now familiar with the signs and symptoms of hoarding disorder.  Often times these behaviors, especially if they present an eyesore or safety hazard, are being reported to government authorities.

As hoarding disorder (compulsive hoarding) garners more attention, additional state, county and local resources are being deployed.  Through the increased involvement of police, fire, adult protective services and the court systems, more effective programs are being developed and deployed to aid those suffering from this disorder.

If you feel you may be a hoarder or know someone who hoards or has excessive clutter in their home, please ask him/her to contact Bio-Trauma 911, Inc. at 1-800-759-6960 or use our contact form . If you would like to speak now; however, prefer not to use the phone, feel free to chat with us through our live chat system at http://www.biotrauma911.com/livezilla/livezilla.php

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