Hoarding Woes: Hazards to Reconsider

With just getting over this respiratory crud, I am especially eager to get healthy and not have that lingering cough. You know the cough that hangs around for weeks if not months. The aggravations of crud getting into and on you while cleaning up a hoarding mess is never to be under estimated. Mold, mildew, animal feces, chemical spills and vapors and more can conspire to do damage to your skin, eyes, lungs.

No less dangerous are objects that will fall upon you or poke into you. Avalanches of objects, some with sharp edges, will do damage to your head, arms, hands, shins, knees and ankles. At anytime that you have a stack of stuff above chest high be especially careful. Top heavy projectiles can come out of no where and slide into you from the front or from behind you.

 Currently, the next project we are going to tackle includes a covered patio area about ten feet high. It is a good 25′ x 25′ square area packed to the heights with only a small intruding trail into the mix of say 10′ deep and two feet wide. I will have to give careful consideration of climbing up on a ladder and pulling stuff toward me. The danger will be the fall off the step ladder and the weight of the objects. My aunt could not have stacked the heavy metal objects back atop this mess, but it has been there over 25+ years. Right now there are all manner of cats camped out in the shelter and the strong stench of cat urine and dead somethings.


I have frequently shown this poor quality 2009 (not since updated) aerial view of my aunt’s house. The back yard was mostly cleaned up last year. The driveway is clean. The center of the picture shows the large white square, that is the patio. The white rectangle just above the patio is also loaded to the gills and will be subject of cleanup. All this is to gain room to extricate stuff out of the home and garages to sort and move to sales, donations or the dump. 

An aside note, which was where I was going to start with this post: Use common sense in a cleanup to promote safety of the body. Scary haz mat suits, depictions of crime scenes, and all the technical jargon are ok for legitimate crime scene/meth lab cleanups. Don’t be scared into unnecessary costs via firms sizing up the hoarding ‘trend’ and filling a nitch.

You can do this work. Use common sense and understand the cleanup dynamic. There are many mental and physical twists and turns in a massive cleanup journey. It will challenge your biases, your own hoarding tendencies, if any. It will challenge you health, mental fortitude, and relationships. If you are cleaning up after a loved one has passed (my mom, my aunt) then it will maybe as it did for me, take you on quite a ride of judgments, frustrations, guilt and hopefully forgiveness and understanding of this really sad state of affairs. 


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