One of the most frustrating times of your life might just be the day you’re faced with helping a hoarder clean house. If you do find yourself dealing with a true hoarder, we think you’ll find these tips from hoarding experts to be especially helpful as you start to tackle the job.

Hoarding affects anywhere from two to five percent of the population. Everything in a hoarder’s home carries emotional attachments, whether it’s a stack of old newspapers or a collection of hats, experts say. Something that looks like trash to the average eye may be a very important item to a hoarder. As you deal with a hoarder, be compassionate and speak with them as an equal. You’ll need to work with them closely to come up with an acceptable arrangement for both sides.

If you hire a company to assist you, it’s important to choose one with true cleaning professionals who have experience in this area. Paul Davis companies have such professionals — people with expertise not just in thorough clean-outs, but also in remediating the effects of long-term hoarding. Indeed, hoarding over an extended number of years can result in mould, animal infestation, structural problems, and a host of related issues. A professional company such as Paul Davis is experienced in construction and repair work as well as cleaning and decluttering. It’s a wise decision to hire early and listen to the advice offered.

Paul Davis companies often arrange appointments with a hoarder client, set specific times, and then call ahead to confirm those appointments. Paul Davis will suggest realistic timelines for a hoarder cleanup and set work schedules that allow for the hoarder to move more slowly, rather than do the job in one massive cleanup. This is another time when those responsible for a hoarder clean-out are wise to remember that This Is No Time for Second Best™.