Compulsive Hoarding


Hoarding Disorder and House Clearances. As specialists in dealing with challenging house clearances involving owners with hoarding disorder, House Clearance North East can provide help and support.

House Clearance Newcastle

What is hoarding disorder? Classified as a mental disorder in 2013, it’s an illness that progresses and worsens behind closed doors and often goes unrecognised until it spirals out of control. Hoarding is frequently a symptom of a deeper psychological problem signifying that something is going on elsewhere that is causing distress. It is triggered by significant loss such as the death of a parent or a child.

How to recognise a hoarder? Bouts of chronic disorganisation can affect anyone, particularly following a bereavement, but this goes further. Hoarders don’t find it just difficult to get rid of things but actually traumatic. There are many examples, but one might be a person who has a cup of tea but is unable to throw away the teabag. Tell-tale signs to watch out for include attributing a value or emotional attachment to objects that most people see as worthless.

How many hoarders are there in the UK? As a diagnosed condition, it is believed to affect up to 5% of the population.

Is it genetic? Possibly. A 2009 study found that 84 per cent of hoarders report a history of hoarding in a close relative.

What’s the difference between hoarding and collecting? A typical hoarder’s house will have every flat surface (including floors) stacked with paper, boxes, and food cartons, old newspapers, and unopened letters. Collectors, meanwhile, take pride in the objects they collect, taking steps to protect them from harm or decay and showing them off to friends and family.

How dangerous is hoarding? It causes both health and social problems. In extreme cases, it can be a fire and health risk endangering the lives of both residents and fire and health services as it can cause infestation and disease.

How to help a hoarder It’s not easy and will require support from professionals in many cases. Sufferers will often make the subject of their hoarding a taboo subject. Frequently refusing to let people into the house to see the mess, they’ll avoid any discussion of the problem at all. While there is help for other addictions, for example, drugs and alcohol, rehabilitation schemes for hoarders are harder to find. Generally, treatment is based on counselling and cognitive behaviour therapy, similar to the method used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. Organizations that do exist to help include Hoarding Disorders UK, which offer expert advice and practical support to those affected.

How House Clearance North East can help We specialize in dealing with difficult house clearances as a result of hoarding. We are often asked to step in and help, either directly from relatives of the sufferer or via Social Services, and have many years’ experience in delicately approaching the clear-out of a hoarder’s home. The first steps: It’s generally not advised to do a forced clean-out; this is too traumatic for the sufferer. A good sign that someone is in the right frame of mind to tackle the problem is if they are no longer able to look past the mess and block it out. Book the clearance: Once the necessary support has been secured, we are here to advise you through the process and see the property is completely cleared and cleaned in a conscientious and efficient manner. Depending on the size of the property and the amount of material to be cleared, clearing a hoarder’s house can take anything from 1 day with a two-man team to 3 days. Down to the details: Clearances of properties that have been damaged by hoarding will require most of the following services that we offer, including:

  • Removal of all furniture, rubbish, and waste from the property
  • Deep cleaning of the house, outbuildings, and gardens
  • Cars removed and disposed of, including handling admin with the DVLA
  • Recycling hazardous materials to UK environmental standards
  • Document and asset retrieval
  • Dress the property for sale

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