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When dealing with a hoarder house we tend to wonder “why?”. Why keep certain things that to most people would be rubbish or even worse. But it goes deeper than just keeping for keepings sake. Children collect for collecting sake. They tend not to care about monetary or emotional value but instead items they simply like. However, pathological hoarding can break out later on in life.

Neurologists suggest that hoarding behavior stems from the neurological drive to collect supplies, as with many animals in nature collecting food. However, with collecting amongst hoarders, it tends to be based off emotional value. The problem is; hoarders have no cognitive assessment of real value. Therefore, they collect anything whether its valuable or rubbish and find it has value.

Why animals collect?

Humans share many characteristics with an array of animals, especially higher order creatures. The need to find food sources, shelter and desire to socialize. Naturally collecting things falls into this also. Animals often collect for hibernation or periods when there may be shortage, keeping it hidden so other animals cannot steal it. This attitude is similar to that of a hoarder, hiding their collections in their homes and often being very private and even reclusive about it. No matter the item, its all precious to them.

What triggers hoarding?

Compulsive hoarding is the process of accumulating a large collection of items of all varieties no matter how seemingly worthless and irrational it may seem. It is generally agreed that hoarding can be caused by a traumatic event like the loss of a loved one. Hoarders often think the items they are collecting may have some value to them in the future no matter how worthless.

The levels of hoarding

PPS have seen every aspect of hoarding you could imagine. If you can think of something that could be hoarded we’ve seen it! However, some cases are worse than others as there are actually 5 different levels of hoarding.

Level 1 – Starting with the least severe, a hoarder with level one tendencies may have light amount of clutter that does not give off any odors. Their homes will be in sanitary and safe condition with access to doors, windows and stairs.

Level 2 – A step up from this would be a major exit to the house being blocked with belongings. House hold appliances may also be out of use. House keeping becomes inconsistent with odors starting to form due to things like dirty dishes and lack of cleaning. The house will generally be more congested along with evidence of pets.

Level 3 – Someone with a level 3 hoarder house may be embarrassed to let someone in their homes. The outside of their homes may start to build up rubbish from inside their homes as well. Whole rooms may no longer be functional due to clutter. The number of pets may exceed animal regulations and animal waste would have built up. General sanitation is severely lacking with overflowing bins and even bug infestations.

Level 4 – Mold and mildew will have built up around the building and even structural damage can be present. There is a lot of damage to level 4 houses including water damage, broken windows and damaged walls. Most rooms are inaccessible. There may also be signs of rotting food, rodents, excessive bugs and spiders, a plethora of furniture, no usable dishes and utensils. Occupants in these houses may have very poor hygiene and may not wash for long periods of time.

Level 5 – This is the most extreme variant of a hoarder house. Structural damage will be severe and may even mean no electricity or running water. Rodents and bugs are plentiful with even bats in the loft. Even bathrooms will be inaccessible which causes a lot of human feces around the property in places you wouldn’t wish to find it. Due to so much clutter they may not even live at their property and instead stay with a friend or relative.

We have seen every kind of hoarder house. We work professionally to clear your property and get it to a respectable state. If there is an probate property you are dealing with do not hesitate to contact PPS no matter its condition.Please follow us on LinkedIn for more blogs on the probate proeprty sector.

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