Hoarding Cleanup

Rochester, NY


Hoarding Cleanup in Rochester, NY

Hoarding is only prevalent in about 5% or less of people in the United States. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is a mental health disorder in which the individual has persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.

Those suffering from hoarding disorder will also show extreme distress with the thought of discarding, or actual discarding of items, regardless of the item. You can read more about hoarding disorder at mayoclinic.com.

Types of Hoarding

What many people don’t realize is that there are different types of hoarding. While each hoarding situation can and will vary from person to person, there are usually similar characteristics and types of items that are hoarded. Check out the different types below.

Sentimental Hoarding - This type of hoarding can occur after a death or loss of a loved one. It can be difficult to get rid of the belongings of the deceased, and the individual affected may keep everything that belonged to that person, including trash, food items, clothing, and old bills.

Shopping - Those who may have a shopping addiction may also be considered a hoarder. When shoppers are buying items they do not need nor have a use for, there may be a problem. Additionally, these items may sit untouched and still in original packaging cluttering up closets and storage areas.

Paper Hoarding - Any form of a paper product becomes difficult to throw away or recycle. This can include books, old bills, newspapers, magazines, and any other kind of paper product. Often seen in hoarding situations are stacks of books, magazines, and old bills.

Food/Garbage - Anything related to food including the packaging, remaining food, expired food, and too much food without space to store it all. In addition to the food, garbage is also difficult to throw away. Garbage can range from old food, food packaging, diapers, and anything else that would otherwise be tossed out.


Animal Hoarding - Animal hoarding starts with the intent to care for all the animals but quickly becomes difficult. The number of animals oftentimes is too high for the size of the space in which they live, in addition to the number of funds required to properly give them adequate care.


Levels of Hoarding

In addition to the different types of hoarding, there are also 5 levels to hoarding situations. Each is based on the ability to move throughout the space, the number of areas affected, odors, and the overall condition of the space. Each level is described below.

Level I - Home would be considered severely cluttered, but still able to move from room to room without issue. The home would otherwise be clean and safe.

Level II - Some rooms may be hard to get to due to too many items in the area. Rooms may only have pathways to walk through, and there may be bad odors. The kitchen will appear to have spoiled food on surfaces and may show signs of mold and mildew. If pets live in the home, you may notice old feces on floors.


Level III - In homes with more than 1 bedroom or bathroom, only one of each may be usable. The living space will be very limited in areas to relax or move around. Dust and food will have accumulated through the kitchen and into other rooms of the home. Odors will be strong, and clutter may become visible from the outside.

Level IV - Infestations of fleas, lice, or roaches are likely to be present with this level of hoarding. There may be sewage problems due to improper use as well as the presence of other biohazard materials such as mold and animal waste. 

Level V - Being the most severe level, most of the home is unusable and unsafe. Many homes do not have functioning plumbing or power leaving human/pet waste to accumulate as well as the likelihood of spoiled food being around the home. Many if not all rooms will be inaccessible and the individual may be living in a very small amount of space with not as much accumulation.


Hoarding vs. Clutter


There is a big difference between hoarding and clutter. Clutter is an accumulation of items, and can often leave a space to look messy. Having too many clothes, or a seriously large collection of something. Most often, the cluttered items have a purpose (and are being used) or have some sort of monetary or personal value. 

Hoarding is different from clutter because it is a mental disorder. The individual is unable to part with any of their items, regardless of the fact they likely have zero value. Hoarding also can seriously affect the individual and bring on other health risks.

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Don’t Try to DIY Hoarding Cleaning, Call the Professionals!

Those affected by hoarding disorder often have a hard time maintaining relationships. Most are embarrassed by the accumulation of things in their home. When they are ready to receive help with making their home liveable again, it is important to not try and take care of the cleaning on your own. 

There are many risks involved, which is why it is best for a cleanup company that specializes in hoarding and biohazard cleanup services to come and help with the home.

It’s hard work!

There will be large piles of recyclable items, trash items, keepers, and donatable things. The professionals at Rock Emergency specialize in sorting and restoring items. Going through your home with you and figuring out what needs to go where will allow you to rest assured things are taken care of and restored or disposed of properly.


Hoarding homes often have hazardous materials which can include human waste, pet feces, mold, rotten food, and other infestations of pests. These hazardous wastes are full of bacteria and without the proper cleaning equipment and PPE, the spread of these materials can cause other serious health issues.

It is Unsafe!

In these situations, it is hard to know exactly what you are dealing with. Conditions can be very unsafe and result in injury. Piles of items can fall, or the structure of the home may be unsteady due to the environment.


Why Choose Rock Emergency for Hoarding Cleanup?


There are a lot of cleaning companies in the Rochester area, however, not all are trained in hoarding cleanup. Rock Emergency has a process that not only restores your home to pre-hoarding conditions but also does it safely and efficiently.

Following our process checklist, you can rest assured that you and your privacy are what matters most. Some of our most valued points include the following:

  • Total home walkthrough and evaluation of items to keep, donate, toss
  • Safety evaluation
  • A thorough inspection of all items
  • Bring ALL cleaning and organizing supplies (including dumpster) to make the process more efficient
  • Disposal of all biohazard materials including waste, mold, and sewage
  • Salvageable items will be taken to our warehouse and restored and kept safe until they can be returned to the home
  • Any damage to the home will be repaired and restored (if applicable)
  • Disinfection and Deodorization for the entire home
  • Confidentiality and Compassion by all professionals at Rock Emergency

Not every professional cleaning company is capable of working through hoarding situations. Trust that not only are all the professionals at Rock Emergency compassionate, but they are also IICRC certified and OSHA compliant.

If you or your loved one needs help with any hoarding or clutter situation, just call Rock Emergency today. We’re in this together, and we are here to help!