If you have a family member or friend who is a hoarder, you are probably familiar with how traumatizing it can be. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with hoarding, it can be a frightening and serious issue to those affected by it. Hoarders are people who develop a complex in which they have a hard time letting go of items that generally hold little to no practical value. Unfortunately, they become so caught up in these items that they don’t realize the mess that they are living in, often creating hazardous environments that can be life-threatening. At ServiceMaster By Rice, our IICRC certified technicians are able to help residents of Iowa or southern Minnesota with trauma cleanup efforts from hoarding.
What Is Hoarding? Do I Know Someone Who Hoards?
Like any mental disease, hoarding severity can range from mild to high. Because of this, there is no easy answer for how to approach someone who suffers from hoarding. Hoarders experience a strange, unexplainable connection to the items in their living space and often feel stress, anxiety, or anger at the thought of them not being there. Here are some behavioral signs of someone who might be a hoarder:
- Have a hard time gathering themselves or putting things in order
- Belongings begin to overtake the area they live in
- High anxiety or lashing out when items in their living space are moved or thrown away
- Obsessive actions such as checking the trash over and over for items
- Socially anxious or elusive from being around people in public
As the first bullet point states, hoarding often bleeds into the social life of those who are affected by it. Look for potential social cues when questioning if a friend or family member might be showing signs of being a hoarder.
How Do I Help A Hoarder?
The first battle in any hoarding situation is the mental one. Before any sort of cleanup can start, you will need to have a conversation with the person affected by it to weigh your options. Here are some things to keep in mind when confronting someone about hoarding:
- Be Kind: You never know how someone is going to take the news when you confront them about this. There is always the chance that they can become hostile or defensive. Approach it with an open mind to reduce the odds of that happening.
- Be Patient: Understand that this is a disease that is crippling the way they live their life. It can be tough for them to accept that things need to change. Patience is key in helping resolve their issue.
Should I Help With Hoarding Cleanup?
The best piece of advice we can give you is, don’t. There are a variety of issues that can occur if you decide to take hoarding cleanup into your own hands.
Mental Stress On The Victim
If your friend or family member sees that you have moved or tossed out a number of their items without resolve, it could trigger something far worse than you intended to have happen.
Instead, focus on being a mental and spiritual support for them while a crew of professionals takes care of the rest.
Health Risk To Yourself
Remember, living spaces of hoarders can often be dangerous and full of sharp objects, unsafe structures, and have potentially carrying toxic waste. Do not sacrifice your own well being for something that can be done by professionals.
Professional Cleanup Crew For Hoarding
ServiceMaster By Rice has you and your family covered for any sort of trauma cleanup you might need. Our certified technicians have the experience and guidance needed to help in a timely and friendly fashion. We have locations all throughout Iowa and southern Minnesota. If you need any one of our services, contact us today!