6 Step Hoarder Cleaning Checklist

If you personally own a hoarding house or you’re trying to clean out an inherited hoarders home you know that it’s a big job to prepare to put the house on the market. Before you can take photos and list a hoarders house there are necessary steps to clear the junk, potential hazards and repair problems that were hidden under the mess. Use this hoarder cleaning checklist to get you started and to ready the home for sale.

Hoarder Cleaning Checklist: Step One

First, before tackling the job on your own you need to assess if this home is a potential hazard. Are there areas with visible mold from rotting food or other issues? Does the home have a major problem with pests or rodents or feces? Now is the time to decide if the home is too hazardous to enter on your own — if so, call a professional crew that is trained to deal with mold remediation and biohazards. Hoarder houses tend to be very dirty so determine if you’ll need outside help to safely cleanup this home.

If you decide to go forward on your own then make sure to wear long sleeves and pants, face masks and gloves to protect yourself from what might be buried in all the junk. Broken glass, biting bugs and flammable material can all be hidden in the mess so it’s a good idea to wear sturdy shoes and have a first aid kit on hand if you cut yourself.

Hoarder Cleaning Checklist: Step Two

Now that you’ve prepared yourself to enter the home you need to arm yourself with the right supplies. You’ll make much faster headway if you bring a dumpster to the home rather than trying to bag all the trash and put it on the curb. Bring empty boxes so the items that should be kept can be immediately stored and boxed and set aside. Make sure to have heavy duty trash bags that can be used to bag up items for donating that are in good condition. Bring plastic tubs for papers and mail that could be important and should be sorted through later.

Don’t forget items like a stepladder for reaching tall messes and a box for dumping hazardous waste like paint or medicine until they can be properly disposed of. Though it will take awhile to get through all the stuff before you can get to the actual cleaning part, stock up now on disinfectants, sponges and rags and bring a broom, dustpan and vacuum for the final stages.

Hoarder Cleaning Checklist: Step Three

Now that you’re ready to enter the home, start by clearing out a small, heavy traffic area like the entryway. Clearing the entry will make the rest of your job go more smoothly so don’t try to start with the messiest room or tackle the biggest job first — in this case, starting small will actually help more in the long run. Chunk up the house room by room and work through the cleaning methodically. The job will feel never ending and you won’t see much progress if you flit around the house trying to do a little here and there.

As you clean a room of the house have a box for keeping, donating and your bags for trash to go in the dumpster. When a bag is full, immediately take it out to the trash, when a box for donating is full, take it out to the car right away. As you clear these things from the house as you go you’ll start to see progress much more quickly which is encouraging when undertaking such a big job.

Consider making a run to the local thrift shop at the end of each day so you don’t have to hold on to the donate boxes any longer than necessary. For the items you will be keeping you could look into renting an onsite storage pod so it’s organized but out of your way while you clean.

Hoarder Cleaning Checklist: Step Four

As you empty rooms one by one make sure that everything is removed from top to bottom, including furniture. Don’t forget the little details like opening drawers, purses and clothing pockets to make sure nothing valuable gets trashed or donated. Once all the rooms are emptied, the items all donated and the boxes to keep are organized you can have the dumpster removed and take care of properly disposing of the items that can’t go in the trash like paint and medicine.

With an empty house you can now assess the level of cleaning that is required to prepare the home for sale. Consider hiring a cleaning crew to reward yourself for cleaning out the house! Throughly clean each room of the house and disinfect as you go. During this step make a checklist of any repairs that need to be done.

Hoarder Cleaning Checklist: Step Five

Now is the time to determine how much repairs you are willing to do before listing a home. What will bring the biggest return? What is the most visible problem that should be addressed? Get quotes and bring in professionals to make repairs that are needed. Once the repairs have been made you are finally ready to take photos and list the home for sale!

Hoarder Cleaning Checklist: Step Six

Don’t forget that your only option isn’t to dig in and clear out a hoarder home yourself. If you have health challenges or aren’t up to the physical demands of the job and can’t afford to hire the junk remover, hazardous waste specialists, house cleaners and more then you should consider selling the home to Gary Buys Houses.

Gary Buys Houses is a reputable house buying company in Utah that specializes in buying homes as-is and giving you a fast cash offer. Don’t stress and spend weeks cleaning out the hoarder home — an emotionally and physically draining job — and instead sell the home to Gary and he can close on the house in as little as a week.