Get help with clearing a house full of years of hoarded items in Cornwall…

Hoarded houses are scattered throughout our communities, you can call us today to get help with clearing a house full of hoarded items in Cornwall. Hoarding is a disorder that can seriously affect a person and their health, along with the risk of fire and damaging the property in which they live. Most people like to collect something at some point during their life, but when does it become hoarding? The International OCD Foundation identify a hoarder as:

  1. A person collects and keeps a lot of items, even things that appear useless or of little value to most people, and
  2. These items clutter the living spaces and keep the person from using their rooms as they were intended, and
  3. These items cause distress or problems in day-to-day activities

Research shows that hoarding is often linked to our mental health and visiting your GP may be a good starting point if you wish to make a change. There are many organisations and places that specialise in help with hoarding including the NHS, HoardingUK and Help for Hoarders. Helping someone struggling with hoarding can be complicated and difficult for everyone involved. It may be impossible to clear any items from the home until the person is ready to do so. The NHS & Mental Health services can provide information and assistance with any underlying issues which may be contributing to hoarding behaviour.

Items that have been hoarded may be of high value to their owner, despite appearing of little value to other people. Common items that are hoarded are newspapers, magazines, books, clothing and toys, but it can be absolutely anything. Hoarders can find it near impossible to part with possessions which can very quickly lead to an unsafe living environment.

Rats and mice can quickly infest a hoard, making themselves at home in every wall and crevice. Disease spreads easily from vermin and it is easy to become ill through coming into contact with their droppings, ingesting contaminated food and breathing in contaminated dust. At the speed that rats breed, 2 rats can quickly become 1,250 rats within a year. Vermin alone can cause significant structural damage, ripping through walls and chewing through woodwork.

What problems can hoarding cause?

  • Risk of fire. Clutter builds up around heaters, stoves and electrical outlets which is an increased fire hazard. Fire spreads more easily if it has fuel to consume – hoards provide a lot of this. See further down for a link to a free home fire risk assessment if you live in Cornwall.
  • Vermin infestation. Rats and mice thrive among rubbish and infestations can lead to poor health and property damage.
  • Respiratory issues. Dust and mould can lead to developing allergies and there is an increased risk severe respiratory issues including COPD.
  • Trip hazards. Clutter on the floors can be easily tripped over which is especially dangerous for older people. If you are having to climb over furniture and items to access areas of your home this is especially dangerous if you emergency services need to access your property.
  • Neighbour conflict. Hoarding can lead to property damage, infestations and fire risks for everyone close to the hoarded house. Hoards often lead to rubbish build up outside which can put neighbouring properties at risk.
  • Risk of eviction or legal action. You may be at risk of eviction if your property is a health hazard and no action has been taken to clear it. Councils can serve a notice if a home is verminous or filthy in the eyes of the law.
  • Loneliness. Hoarding can cause loneliness and isolation from society and the worse the hoard becomes, the more reluctant a person will be to invite friends and family into their home.

How to help a hoarder before calling a clearance company

  • Respect and understanding. Respect and understand that it is their home and possessions.
  • Sympathise with how attached they are to items. Everything can have a sentimental value – from clothes to newspapers.
  • Ask before you clear or move things. Building trust is important and by asking before moving you are respecting your friend and their choices.
  • Encourage them to unblock doorways and walkways. Offer help and encourage them to make safe entry and exit points. These are vital in the event of a fire or emergency.
  • Talk about setting small attainable goals each day. Whether it’s making sure all food packaging and paper goes in the recycling, clearing small sections of the floor or donating a bag of clothes to a charity shop. Little and often is a good, sustainable way to start.
  • Motivate. Take a photograph of the area in which you are setting your goals. Agree to take another photograph in a period of time and celebrate the difference.
  • Seek extra support. Your local Adult Social Care team may be able to help with providing an assessment

Help with hoarding in Cornwall

If you live in Cornwall you may be eligible to have a free home fire safety visit from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service. If you are the family member of someone that is hoarding, the feedback from a fire safety visit may help the person understand how unsafe their home could be.

Contact Cornwall Council to speak with the Access Team if you have concerns about your own home or the home of a friend or family member. The Cornwall Hoarding Protocol is a multi agency framework which consist of partners in health, housing, emergency services and Cornwall Council.

If you are ready to clear the clutter and call in a waste clearance service, The Green Clearance Company is a professional, well established house clearance company that can provide an efficient but sensitive service. Located in Redruth, we are situated centrally to reach most areas of Cornwall. We are fully insured and licensed with the Environment Agency and offer a full house clearance service from quote to cleaning.

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