Cleaning Up After a Hoarder Moves Out

For some people, a little break from work or school around the holidays provides a chance to binge-watch their favorite guilty pleasure TV show. Is yours “Hoarders”? C’mon – you can tell us.

What is, for some, a fun break from reality is, for others, a difficult and sometimes dangerous way of life. And for property managers, a hoarder’s move-out date can be particularly difficult. If you have a hoarder living on your property, cleaning the apartment for the next tenant can take some work.

The first thing to do is look at the apartment logically and with a clear head. Figure out how to break the project up into small jobs. For example, clean out the closets or take care of the pantry. Tackle large sanitation issues next. Often, hoarders ignore everyday cleaning until it becomes a huge problem. Clean bathrooms or the kitchen next, especially if they pose a health risk for the clean-up crew.

Once small spaces, bathrooms, and the kitchen are clean, you’ll likely feel a sense of accomplishment and feel ready to move on to the other areas in the property. If your tenant left a lot of items behind, quickly divide those items into two piles – trash and donate. If you have a dumpster on your property, that’s a logical place for the trash pile. If not, rent one. The donate items you can drop off yourself, or you can call around to donation centers. Many of them will send out a pick-up crew to help you get rid of the extra items.

Tackling a clean-up job after a hoarder leaves your property is a huge undertaking, but you’ll rest easier knowing that your property is safe from the fire, health, and safety hazards a tenant with a hoarding problem can create.

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