The average cost of cleaning a hoarder house is between $2,000 and $10,000. The cost can be much higher in some cases.
For example, if the house is infested with pests, or if there is structural damage, the cost of cleanup can be tens of thousands of dollars. Cleaning a hoarder house can be a daunting and expensive task. There are a number of things you can do to make the process more cost-effective.
In this blog post, we will discuss average cost, cost factors, cleaning process and more. Keep reading.
Outline of Contents
What is a Hoarder House?
A hoarder house is a dwelling that has been excessively accumulated with personal belongings, to the point where the clutter makes it difficult or impossible to use the home for its intended purpose. Hoarder houses are often characterized by:
- Excessive clutter: Clutter may be so extreme that it makes it difficult or impossible to move around in the home. Floors, stairs, and furniture may be hidden under piles of belongings.
- Unsanitary conditions: Hoarder houses often contain unsanitary conditions, such as piles of dirty laundry, unwashed dishes, and pet waste. This can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can cause respiratory problems.
- Fire hazards: Hoarder houses are often fire hazards due to the excessive clutter. Fires can start easily in these homes, and they can be difficult to escape from due to the clutter.
- Health risks: Hoarder houses can pose a number of health risks to the residents, including:
- Respiratory problems: Mold and mildew can cause respiratory problems, such as asthma and bronchitis.
- Injuries: Residents of hoarder houses are at risk of injuries from falling or tripping over clutter.
- Infections: Unsanitary conditions can lead to the spread of infections.
- Mental health problems: Hoarding disorder is often a mental health condition that can cause social isolation, depression, and anxiety.
Importance of Cleaning a Hoarder House
Cleaning a hoarder house is important for a number of reasons:
Health and Safety: Hoarder houses can pose a number of health and safety risks to the residents, including respiratory problems, injuries, infections, and mental health problems. Cleaning a hoarder house can help to reduce these risks by removing clutter, improving sanitation, and creating a safer living environment.
Quality of Life: Hoarding can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. It can make it difficult to move around, find belongings, and maintain relationships. Cleaning a hoarder house can help to improve a person’s quality of life by making their home more functional and livable.
Financial Stability: Hoarding can also have a negative impact on a person’s financial stability. It can make it difficult to sell a home, rent an apartment, or maintain a job. Cleaning a hoarder house can help to improve a person’s financial stability by making their home more presentable and habitable.
Emotional Well-being: Hoarding can also take a toll on a person’s emotional well-being. It can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and isolation. Cleaning a hoarder house can help to improve a person’s emotional well-being by creating a more positive and supportive environment.
The factors influencing the cost of cleaning a hoarder house
Severity of Hoarding
- Levels of Hoarding:
- Mild hoarding: This is characterized by clutter that is manageable and does not significantly interfere with daily activities. The cost of cleaning a house with mild hoarding will be relatively low.
- Moderate hoarding: This is characterized by clutter that is more severe and makes it difficult to move around in the home. The cost of cleaning a house with moderate hoarding will be higher than mild hoarding.
- Severe hoarding: This is characterized by clutter that is so extreme that it makes the home unlivable. The cost of cleaning a house with severe hoarding will be the highest.
- Impact on Cleanup Efforts:
- Mild hoarding: The clutter is relatively easy to remove and does not require extensive cleaning or restoration.
- Moderate hoarding: The clutter is more difficult to remove and may require some cleaning or restoration.
- Severe hoarding: The clutter is very difficult to remove and will require extensive cleaning or restoration.
Size and Layout of the House
- Square footage: The larger the house, the more time and labor it will take to clean, and therefore the higher the cost.
- Number of rooms: The more rooms in the house, the more time and labor it will take to clean, and therefore the higher the cost.
- Accessibility challenges: If the house has stairs, narrow hallways, or other accessibility challenges, it will be more difficult to clean and therefore the cost will be higher.
Type of Items Hoarded
- Biohazardous materials: Biohazardous materials, such as bodily fluids, animal waste, and sharps, can be hazardous to clean up and require specialized equipment and training. The presence of biohazardous materials will increase the cost of cleaning.
- Vermin infestations: Vermin infestations, such as cockroaches, rats, and mice, can be difficult to eradicate and require specialized pest control services. The presence of vermin infestations will increase the cost of cleaning.
- Structural damage: Structural damage, such as holes in walls, broken floors, and water damage, may require repair or replacement. The presence of structural damage will increase the cost of cleaning.
- DIY vs. Professional Services: Cleaning a hoarder house can be a DIY project, but it is important to be aware of the risks and challenges involved. Professional cleaning companies have the experience and expertise to safely and effectively clean hoarder houses.
- Specialized cleaning techniques and equipment: Depending on the severity of the hoarding, specialized cleaning techniques and equipment may be required, such as biohazard cleanup equipment, pest control equipment, and heavy-duty cleaning equipment. The use of specialized cleaning techniques and equipment will increase the cost of cleaning.
The costs involved in cleaning a hoarder house
Professional Cleaning Services
1. Cleanup companies and their pricing models
Professional cleaning companies that specialize in hoarder cleanup typically charge by the hour or by the square foot. The hourly rate will vary depending on the company and the severity of the hoarding. The square footage rate will also vary depending on the company and the severity of the hoarding.
2. Average costs per square foot
The average cost of cleaning a hoarder house is $2 to $5 per square foot. However, the cost can be higher or lower depending on the factors mentioned above.
1. Waste disposal fees
The cost of waste disposal will vary depending on the amount of waste that is removed from the house. The cost can be as low as $50 for a small amount of waste to $1,000 or more for a large amount of waste.
2. Repairs and renovations
If the house has any structural damage, such as holes in walls, broken floors, or water damage, it will need to be repaired or renovated. The cost of repairs and renovations will vary depending on the severity of the damage.
3. Biohazard cleanup
If the house contains biohazardous materials, such as bodily fluids, animal waste, and sharps, it will need to be cleaned up by a professional biohazard cleanup company. The cost of biohazard cleanup will vary depending on the amount of biohazardous materials that are present.
4. Pest control services
If the house has a vermin infestation, such as cockroaches, rats, or mice, it will need to be treated by a professional pest control company. The cost of pest control services will vary depending on the size of the infestation and the type of pests that are present.
Average Cost to Clean a Hoarder House
|Property Size (Square Feet)
|Average Cost Range
|Less than 1,000
|$1,000 – $2,000
|1,000 – 2,000
|$2,000 – $3,500
|2,000 – 3,000
|$3,500 – $5,000
Tips for Cost-Effective Cleanup
Cleaning a hoarder house can be a daunting and expensive task, but there are a number of things you can do to make the process more cost-effective. Here are a few tips:
Planning and organizing the process
- Start small. Don’t try to tackle the entire house at once. Start by cleaning one room or even one area at a time.
- Sort belongings. As you clean, sort belongings into three piles: keep, donate, and dispose of.
- Create a budget. Be realistic about how much you can afford to spend on cleanup.
- Get multiple estimates. Get estimates from several professional cleaning companies before making a decision.
- Do some of the work yourself. If you are able, you can save money by doing some of the cleanup work yourself.
- Consider donating or selling items. You can offset the cost of cleanup by donating or selling items that you no longer need or want.
Negotiating with cleanup services
- Shop around. Get quotes from multiple companies to compare prices.
- Be flexible. Be willing to negotiate on the price and terms of the contract.
- Ask about discounts. Some companies offer discounts for seniors, veterans, and low-income families.
- Consider bartering. You may be able to trade goods or services for a discount on cleanup services.
Preventive measures for future hoarding
- Identify and address the underlying causes of hoarding. Hoarding is often a symptom of an underlying mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression. If you think your loved one may be hoarding, encourage them to seek professional help.
- Develop a decluttering plan. Help your loved one develop a plan for decluttering their home. This could include setting small, achievable goals, breaking down tasks into smaller steps, and seeking support from friends or family.
- Establish clear boundaries. It is important to establish clear boundaries with your loved one about hoarding. This could include letting them know that you will not help them clean up their home or that you will not allow them to accumulate more possessions.
- Seek professional help. If you are concerned about your loved one’s hoarding, you can seek professional help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in hoarding disorder.
Cleaning a hoarder house is a challenging task that requires a lot of time and effort. The cost can vary widely based on several factors such as the size of the property, the extent of the hoarding, the location, and the condition of the property.
It’s important to get a detailed quote from a professional cleaning service that specializes in hoarder cleanups to get an accurate estimate of the cost. Additionally, it’s important to address the underlying issues that led to the hoarding in the first place to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Here are some resources that can help you find professional cleaning companies that specialize in hoarder cleanup:
- The National Association of Clutterers and Hoarders (NACCH): https://clutterersanonymous.org/
- The American Cleaning Institute (ACI): https://www.cleaninginstitute.org/
- The National Pest Management Association (NPMA): https://www.npma.org/
A writer who explores the costs of everything, from everyday expenses to massive projects. He dives into the world of budgets, offering insights into what it takes to make things happen. Coulter’s curiosity knows no bounds, and he’s always excited to share the numbers behind the scenes.