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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Help Hoarders Decrease the Risk of Fire

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Hoarding can be a mental condition that prevents people from getting rid of things most people would consider trash. In their mind, there are emotional attachments to whatever it is they cannot get rid of. These items can include newspapers, magazines, fast food bags, old clothes, broken toys, junk mail, all of which that has the potential to ignite a fire and quickly spread to your home Ravenswood Chicago. While this can quickly get out of control and become a huge fire or water safety hazard to anyone living in the building, there are several tips that be applied to help hoarding clean up in Ravenswood Chicago.

  • Be sure to acknowledge and identify what the problem is. Hoarding is when a room in a house becomes unusable for the intended purpose. Therefore, the first step would be to help a hoarder determine if the rooms of their home have become become unusable.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help regarding your hoarder help situation. It may be difficult at first as you may feel ashamed, embarrassed or afraid that you will be judged or have to give up your ‘treasured’ possessions, but you may be surprised by people who are willing and want to help you overcome this problem, especially if there is potential for a disaster such as fire or water damage. Additionally, there are local organizations that focus on helping people in your exact situation. They are able to give you the psychological, emotional and practical support that you need to overcome hoarding. These organizations specialize in helping hoarders and the best part is, most of them will even come to your home Ravenswood Chicago to visit with you.
  • While a hoarder’s home can be full of clutter, start small. Instead of thinking you must clear the entire house at the same time, focus on cleaning one thing at a time. This can be anything from a tiny box, your car, a cupboard or maybe even an entire room. These smaller more achievable goals will help you to start to clean up the clutter, as well as provide mini-victories along the way.
  • Since you are starting small, be sure to stay consistent with your cleaning. Instead of doing a little here and a little there, try to stay consistent. For example, spend 20 minutes per day cleaning out the same room until it is completely de-cluttered. Every day add a couple more minutes to how much time you spend de-cluttering. The hardest part about undoing the hoarding is to simply get started. But once you do get started, you can easily get lost in it and continue cleaning the hoarding clutter for even longer. Be sure to follow through every day until that particular area has been finished.
  • Utilize the 20-second rule. For every item that you have hoarded, make a decision within the first 20 seconds about whether you need to keep it or not. The longer you touch, look at and think of an item, the more likely it is that you will want to keep it. So when you look at something, and your first thought isn’t ‘I have to have this to live,’ get rid of it. And moving things to different parts of your house is not ‘getting rid of something.’ It’s actually called churning.
  • Come up with a timetable that you can commit too. If you create a schedule of cleaning sessions that you can regularly follow every day or week, you can set goals for yourself within that time frame. The best thing about setting goals is that you can reward yourself when you hit them. For example, set yourself a goal of inviting your family over when the living room has been cleaned. Set a date and stick to it.
  • Be aware of everything that you have already achieved. You can even take a before photo prior to getting started, and then an after photo once the room is cleared. This will give you a sense of pride, not just when the room has been cleared, but also with the progress that you are making. When this happens, feel free to give yourself a non-hoarding related gift, such as a nice dinner out or a massage. Try not to use shopping or something that will acquire more things for a reward. The whole point here is to de-clutter and clean Ravenswood Chicago.
  • Be sure to set rules for your hoarding helpers in advance. This could be that you have the final decision over whether items can stay or have to go. If you give the hoarder helpers guidelines that they can follow, it will help to make their work more efficient and an easier transition for you as well. For example, make a decision that any newspaper that is over 1 week old has to be recycled, but any personal photos and letters need to be kept. Set some guidelines that you can follow. For example, ‘I can only keep 20 books.’

Remember, a hoarders house can be a dangerous as it has the potential to become fire hazard. Though SERVPRO of Ravenswood’s ability to cleanup and bring your home back to a livable condition, it is also known that Fire damage cleanup is costly. But with the right hoarding clean up help and the right advice, hoarding can easily be defeated and become a thing of the past in your home Ravenswood Chicago. Just be sure that you follow the tips outlined above, and you will be able to defeat hoarding and change your life for the better.

Call us today for a free assessment on cleanup services; 773-878-5200.

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