For simple or sentimental reasons, things can really add up when someone has a hoarding disorder. Aging can also bring on elderly hoarding and Diogenes Syndrome. Many families are dealing with loved ones and parents who were hoarders.
Being the primary caregiver for a loved one can be challenging enough. But having to clean through a hoarder’s personal belongings and deciding what to do with the house adds a whole new layer of difficulty to the situation. Learn more from these tips on how to deal with elderly hoarding.
Whether it’s accumulated antiques or an extreme case of Diogenes Syndrome, sorting through someone’s belongings is exhausting. Here are a few tips to help you get through the cleanup:
- Hire a cleaning crew. The more hands on deck, the easier it’ll be. Recruit a large group of family and friends to help you out. There are also clean-up companies that can help.
- Find and set a date. Picking a day will make you stick to the plan. It’s a good idea to start on a Saturday morning, which will give you more time to work.
- Work on one room at a time. Don’t worry about the five rooms that need to be done and start sorting through the first room. By slicing the house up into smaller portions, the whole project will seem more attainable.
- Establish a system. As you go through each room, set aside a place for each of the following: Charitables and donations, keepsakes and valuables, and finally, trash. Work with your loved one and don’t be afraid to make tough decisions when it comes to trash mistaken for treasures.
Once you’ve done this in all rooms, hire a professional to clear the trash and professionally clean.
This process could take a month or so, depending on whether you want to power through. Don’t get frustrated. Set goals and know that your mission will eventually get accomplished.