The Risks of Being a Hoarder

We’ve all seen and been horrified by television programs showing graphic images of the homes of hoarders. But for an ever-increasing number of people in our communities, hoarding is a real and personal issue. There are many risks that come with hoarding and while the reasons that people hoard are complex and varied, there are solutions to the problem of cluttered homes filled with unnecessary items.

If your home, or the home of someone you know, is being overcome by hoarding, an enormous clean out is essential. When doing this, you need to be ruthless. Throw out absolutely everything that is not used or needed and don’t hang on to it believing you will use it or sell it one day. Getting rid of superfluous items is actually therapeutic and does so much good for your physical and mental health. It will also make you safer in your own home.

There will be items that you treasure and really don’t want to part with. Equally though, keeping these items may take up valuable space in your home and even encourage you to start ‘over-collecting’ once again. The perfect solution is to move these items into a storage facility. Fort Knox Storage facilities provide storage units of varying sizes that are ideal for storing items that you cannot keep in your home, but do not want to give or throw away. By moving these items into a clean, sanitary and accessible storage environment, you can also feel comforted in knowing that you still have them, but are not cluttering up your home.

Why is such a dedicated approach to de-hoarding needed? What are the risk of hoarding?

Homes that are full of items, including papers, fabrics, cleaning products, plastic, and so much else, are dangerous.

Fire risk is increased
A serious fire hazard exists when combustible materials, such as newspapers, rubbish and clothing, have accumulated. In a home with an abundance of combustible materials, a very hot fire can travel and spread very quickly. Also, trying to escape from the home of a hoarder in the event of a fire can be perilous or even impossible as hallways, doorways and windows are likely to be obscured. It can also be very difficult for emergency services personnel to gain entry to the house.

Risk of structural damage is increased
In many home of hoarders, items are stacked from the floor to the ceiling. The weight and volume of these items can cause structural damage to the building and this can be a huge risk to other occupants of the home, as well as buildings nearby.

Heightened risk of disease, injury and infestation
Cleaning is almost impossible in the homes of hoarders. Unsurprisingly, this leads to unhygienic and unhealthy living conditions where the risk of disease is significantly greater. Running water, heat and refrigeration can also be lost in the home of a hoarder as a result of irregular and ineffective home maintenance. It is common for toilets and sinks to be unusable and your risk of injury is increased. Because garbage is kept and usually not disposed of in the homes of hoarders, infestations of vermin and insects are common.

There are so many risks that accompany the practice of hoarding. Hoarding is much more than a significant collection of some sort. Hoarding, instead, is defined when items are excessively stored in and around the home.

Have you dealt with someone who’s had issues with hoarding? How did they overcome it? Leave your advice in the comments below.

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