Hoarding is usually something that is dismissed as silly, maybe funny, often a little frustrating, but ultimately harmless. Unfortunately this is rarely the reality and hoarding is actually the result of a person suffering from hoarding disorder – a medical condition that is often the result of more serious conditions such as loneliness, depression or OCD.
On top of that, the consequences of hoarding can be very serious, with risks to the sufferer’s personal hygiene, their social lives and the practical implications of trip hazards and fire risks. Often the situation gets to a point where clearing it away becomes overwhelming and professional help is needed.
A homeowner in London took the difficult and brave step to seek help with their flat, having lived for years with items filling up all 6 rooms in the property. They knew that they required professional help, so one Saturday they fired off an email to Ideal Response.
The Ideal solution
That Monday, just two days after the email was sent, our team of two experts had arrived onsite. They had been given a full brief of the scope of the challenge, so were fully prepared and ready to start work as soon as they arrived.
They had been warned that, on top of the 6 rooms containing varying degrees of waste, there was also human excrement present so they had to treat the job, not just as a hoarder cleanup, but also as a bio-hazardous clean. This meant that our team used full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which included FP3R face masks, full coveralls, gloves and protective eyewear.
Before the clearing began, our team removed all valuable items from the property, and anything of particular sentimental value (like photos, jewellery, money etc). Our customer had left a list of things that he wanted us to save, which we adhered to.
Next, we collected all rubbish and clutter into heavy duty bin bags. This included a bed frame and mattress that the client had asked us to remove. Everything that we cleared from the house was transported off-site for disposal. As part of our ‘Responsible Waste Management’ efforts, we removed all metal, electrical items and woods to be recycled, with all the non-recyclables to be taken to landfill.
Once everything had been removed, we could make a start with the deep-clean. We used vacuums fitted with HEPA filters (which, as well as dust, collect pet dander, pollen, droppings from mites, mould and tobacco particles) to clean the floors to a high standard. Then the team set to work on disinfecting all hard surfaces within the property: the walls, floors, fixtures and fittings. We paid particular focus to the bathroom, which had been neglected for a while, and we cleaned it to a high hygiene standard.
Finally, an ATP test was carried out. ATP stands for Adenosine Triphosphate, and it is present in all organic materials – by detecting the amount of ATP in an area, you can establish how clean it is.
Once we were happy with the results of the ATP test, we took away all of the items that we had collected to remove from the property. We had only been at the property for one day, just 48 hours after the initial email, and as you will see from the pictures, the turnaround was fantastic. When we left the property it was clear of unnecessary objects and cleaned to a very high standard.
In the words of our client:
“Ben and Paul did an excellent job here in difficult circumstances. Focused on customer needs and looks transformed. Would recommend wholeheartedly – great work and stayed until the job was done.”