I have just had a hoarding cleanup crew complete my house a couple weeks ago. It is an amazing difference.
I am 64 years old, living alone. I have a 1700 sq. ft. bungalow. I didn't consider myself a hoarder, but many of those houses seen on the tv hoarding shows surely looked like my house. Yet, I am not an accumulator (collector) for the most part. I had reduced the number of animals in my house to four (from many more). I don't have a shopping or gathering compulsion, nor am I all that attached to many "things." But the place was a squalid home with lots of stuff scattered around. It was as if once something was set down, it stayed there forever.
I am disabled with chronic illness and that was part of the problem, a big part. Then I underwent some trauma and things went downhill from there. I literally could not see the true state of the place, even though awareness lurked around the edges. Even now seeing before and after pictures, I truly cannot remember it being that bad. But I have proof in pictures that it was.
My stove, dishwasher and HVAC system were nonfunctional. My floors are trashed. My two toilets were problematic though one worked okay manually. My shower was nonfunctional because of slow drainage so I had to take baths and wash my hair by dumping water over myself.
I knew I would not have a problem disposing of most things but I could not get ahead.
One night as I was sleeping on the floor (my only place left to sleep) I realized very hot weather would soon be coming and no ac company would help because of the filth. My old computer was on its last legs and I could not get cable internet hooked up because of the state of the house. I just finally decided I had to reach out.
I came to this site, located two companies that serviced my area, and emailed both. I chose the second one. He came and visited, we talked, he walked, discussed things and set a dollar amount plus dollar limit.
I wrote Cory with a question, meanwhile, and he answered pretty quickly. That helped.
A month later he and two helpers came. They worked so very hard and efficiently. They were non-judgmental, personable (even fun and funny), tough with me when they needed to be, and I felt I could trust them (and did trust them) to identify what was trashed and thus was trash, and what was keepable. They had me "helping" along the way with decisions and easier physical work (sorting, putting a new shower curtain on the shower curtain clips, etc.). They helped me to "see" some things that were trashed but I was hating to admit (my treasured oriental rugs...what a loss).
We filled up one big dumpster.
I can tell you that during the waiting period and during the process, my sleep was messed up. I also felt more symptoms of my chronic illness. I had to decided to truck on through regardless because I just knew my fears were being manifested physically.
The place is uncluttered now. I can breath again. I am getting the appliances replaced this week, and the cable company has already hooked me up to internet. I have many other tasks ahead of me, but one at a time and as I can afford it. I was most blessed in that, when I shared with my far-flung family what I intended to do, my adult son and my oldest brother sent me money to use to pay for the cleanup.
I still need to find someone to do "deep" cleaning like the ceilings, walls, baseboards and floor. I am physically limited in what I can do. I'll then need to paint. I need to have a roofer check on a leak, get the ac guys in to make sure I have ac this summer (it is extremely hot here in summer), etc.
But it is SUCH a relief to no longer be afraid to have anyone come to my house. It isn't House Beautiful, but it doesn't stink and isn't filled with clutter and trash. The remaining cats are even using their litter boxes again.
If you read this and have been on the edge of deciding to hire help, I encourage you to do so. Those experienced in cleanup are non-judgmental and professional.