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Lucy has a secret: her mother is a compulsive hoarder. Her older siblings have moved out, and Lucy has never let her friends come over to see the towering piles of paper, clothes, and trash that cover every surface and block all but narrow passages through the house. Then she returns home to find her mother dead from an asthma attack, and she feels numb: “Maybe after, I could be sad. But not now.” The 24 hours following her mother’s passing bring one misguided attempt after another as Lucy tries to clean up, hide the truth about her mother’s compulsions, and save her family’s reputation.

The premise seems far-fetched, but this is a real life story. Hoarding is real for many households. People’s range of emotions and fear that their family’s secret sets them apart from others doesn’t take a final blazing act to ensure a normal life. Idaho Falls Sunrise Cleaning and Restoration handles these situations with discretion and the utmost professionalism

Hoarding is becoming more and more prominent, you may even know of someone who suffers from this mental illness. The truth is this illness affects people of all ages, races, income, and education levels. We will look into the definition; tell-tale signs, causes, and consequences.

What defines Hoarding?

Webster defines as…

(n) – A store of money or valued objects, typically one that is secret or carefully guarded.

(v) – Amass (money or valued objects) and hide or store away.

Synonyms – store, stash, stock, treasure; amass, accumulate, garner, pile-up.

The Mayo Clinic defines as…

The excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them.

Creates such cramped living conditions that homes may be filled to capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter.

Collects animals, keeping dozens or hundreds of pets often in unsanitary conditions.

What causes Hoarding?

  • Genetics/Upbringing
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Anxiety and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Loneliness/Social Trigger

How would I know if someone might be a Hoarder?

  • Excessive emotional attachment to possessions
  • Discomfort letting others touch or borrow possessions
  • Difficulty managing daily activities, including procrastination and trouble making decisions
  • Difficulty organizing items
  • Limited or no social interactions
  • Shame or embarrassment

What are some hazards Hoarding presents in a home?

  • Health and Safety Risks
  • Indoor air quality
  • Exits blocked and difficulty navigating through the house
  • Property Damage
  • Concealed issues
  • Structural concerns
  • Depression
  • Social embarrassment
  • Death

In many cases of hoarding, the home is left a disaster. A surplus of hoarded objects can lead to several unseen issues including: mold, floor damage, water damage, and, in some cases, extreme animal odor. If someone you know has a need for cleanup in the home due to a hoarding condition, please remember to handle the situation delicately and with patience. Individuals in these predicaments can be very sensitive and may be severely apprehensive about letting anyone into their home. Seek help from a professional that has the experience working with Hoarders. When they are ready for a cleanup, call us at Sunrise Cleaning and Restoration in Idaho Falls. We’ll take care of you and your family.

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