In my years as an organizer, I have de-hoarded quite a few homes. Sometimes I have done it in a matter of days, other times in a year. Everyone is on a different time schedule based on their needs and finances.
Here are a few different ways to work on a hoarding project:
1. Hiring a junking company to come in and clean out the whole house. They don’t organize or sort. They specialize in bagging stuff up and hauling it out the door.
2. Hiring a professional organizer to help the client go through the items in the home. Depending on the clients comfort level, a team of organizers can be brought in to speed up the process. Beforehand, the client will advise the organizer of what needs to be kept, what they are looking for, and what can be tossed. The client may choose to be there or not. I have de-hoarded homes in a matter of days or a week with a team.
3. The professional organizer leads the project and the client brings in family members and friends to keep costs down. Everyone gets a room or a project to work on.
4. The professional organizer sets up a game plan, and works a few sessions with the family. After this time, the family takes over following the organizers plan of attack.
Now lets talk price!
1. Trash bags-You will need lots of them. Contractor bags are great! They fit alot of stuff in them and cost approximately $15 per box of 30. The only downside is that they can get really heavy. Unless you have some serious muscles helping you, I would go with the forceflex trash bags. They are smaller but easier to carry and move around the space. Those retail for around $6.99 per box of 25. DO NOT USE CHEAP BAGS!! THEY WILL BREAK!!
2. Zip lock bags- On my jobs, everyone carrys a zip lock bag. Money or jewelry gets put in these!
3. Dumpsters- A good size dumpster will cost you $375 to 500. I have worked in a houses in which I filled a dumpster per day.
4. Junk Hauling Companies-These companies either charge by the hour or the size of the pick up. Its approximately $400 per truckload. If you want them to provide labor in the home, that is based on an hourly rate.
5. Professional Organizers- A professional organizer charges between $40 and $120 per hour per person. Most organizers charge per hour but a few will charge a project rate.
Other resources you may need in the dehoarding process:
1. Estate sales people or Antique sales- Set up appts before you start on the home. This will give you goals.
2. Consignment stores- For clothes or home items that are still in good shape
3. Ebay or Craigslist professional- Someone to help you sell misc items.
It’s important to keep things moving out of the home. In severly hoarded houses, its tougher to work because of the lack of space(its a good thing this gal is flexible). You need to create space for staging, and sorting. If possible, at the end of each day or session, remove the trash and donations from the home.
Before you start this very important and sensitive project, line up your resources. The more you plan and prepare, the more smoothly things will go!