Who, What, When, and Why?
Whether you’re a concerned family member, or a professional working with old, infirm, disabled or vulnerable people. Hoarding and clutter may be a problem for you now or in the future.
The phenomenon has grown over the years for several reasons, they vary from the care of elderly people in their own homes, and the isolation of vulnerable people due to social changes, such as families moving away from the parental home, (for work or cheaper accommodation), the independent living policy of the mental health sector, and the simple fact that we now live longer.
Any of these may mean professionals will become involved in our lives and in turn become aware of issues hitherto unseen by others. In fact, many hoarding and clutter issued remain undetected until a person is admitted to hospital, needs domiciliary care or, is visited by someone in an official or unofficial capacity who flags up the issue.
Each of these has its own unique pattern but the general rule of thumb is set out by the London Fire Brigade in their publication Hoarders and Fire Risk /April 2014 and they class this person as a P1 (Priority 1) person at risk. It is recognised by Fire service professionals and social / Environmental practitioners that a certain sector of society is both prone and vulnerable to Hoarding and collection of clutter in their homes. They consider all the following.
The London Fire Brigade and other involved agencies have developed a system called the Clutter Image Rating (CIR) which allows those responsible for making decisions regarding the safety of any occupants of a property where cluttering and hoarding are taking place to accurately evaluate the risk factor, and required remedial action.
The above-mentioned publication is available at http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/hoarding.asp and shows the choices of action available once hoarding and cluttering have been identified.
There are also publications available online at
What can we do?
As an experienced company with over 6 years hands-on experience of dealing with Hoarding and Cluttering, we are the best people to turn to. We will help you with our unique 5-part plan that involves
Meeting the client or their representative and ascertained their needs and vulnerabilities
Identifying the type of hoarding
Carry out a full risk assessment
Outlining the best methods of de-cluttering and making the environment safe
Cleaning the premises to leave a safe habitat.
Please contact us for further information, free advice, and quotations.
CAs every client and their situation is different it is important that we follow the above plan and as thoroughly as possible to ensure that all the factors detailed are dealt with as effectively as possible.
Meeting the client or their representative will enable us to assure them that we have their best intentions at heart and that we are their e “not to judge but to help.” We do this by gentle communication and fact-finding based on our extensive experience. Many Hoarders and people who live in clutter are ashamed, confused, frightened, and vulnerable, and it is our policy to ensure they never feel we will add to their already considerable anxieties.
Identifying the type of hoarding will allow us to discuss and put into action the best forward plan to resolve the immediate problem, if the client doesn’t want their belongings removed we will look at alternative ways of tidying, storing and safely retaining their treasured possessions whilst improving a difficult situation.
To ensure everything is done with the safety of everyone involved in the process at the forefront .we will carry out both generic and site-specific risk assessments before commencing our evaluation and prior to the decluttering process , these risk assessment will be carried out by an IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) qualified safety manager , and will identify Trip hazards , risk from falling objects , heavy objects and the risk of crushing, risk of infection due to poor sanitation , needle pricks , broken glass , dangerous or noxious substances , bodily fluids etc.
All of which will be recorded for future reference. At this stage, we may also take photographs which are used for anonymous reference purposes only and safely stored by us. (if we use these for publicity or public reference we will ask for your permission).
After assessing all the above, we will prepare a budget quotation giving a brief outline of the best way forward and the estimated cost of doing this. Should you then wish us to move forward the next stage will be to draw up a full quotation along with a schedule of works, a generic or site-specific method statement and an indication of our programme of works and availability of resources. Once all this has been provided and we have your written confirmation instructing us to start and agreeing to the price and payment terms we will arrange our team to carry out the work.
An essential part of completing a hoarding and cluttering job is to give the client a fresh start, and this is always welcomed in the form of a thorough clean. In fact, sometimes it is essential due to the condition of the property, but it is our policy to always leave the property clean on completion, and hopefully looking a bit more like the home the client and their representatives remember.