Chipping Away At the Piles or Home Clean Out; Which Method is Better for De Hoarding a House

There are two very different ways to handle de-hoarding a home. One is to chip away at the piles little by little and the second is to do a full house clean out. In my nine years of organizing, I have done both.

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There are advantages and disadvantages to both these methods. You have to look at the costs, benefits, and the emotional state of the hoarder. Here is a look at both methods of de-hoarding.



When you chip away at the piles in a home, the cost will be more managable. Most organizers schedule 3 to 5 hour sessions with their clients. An average organizer charges $40 to $120 per hour.

The hoarder is able to go through the stuff and make decisions with the guidance of some professionals.


This project can take a lot of time. I have worked on hoarding projects that have taken up to a year to complete. Many times, the hoarder will get bored with the process and decide to quit. They don’t want to dedicate the time.



A crew will come in and clean out the whole home in a matter of days. Items are taken out of the home and sorted. All the trash is discarded.

The hoarder doesn’t generally have to do the work. They are on site to answer questions. Before the project begins, the hoarder will provide the crew leader a list of what they want to keep.


43% of hoarders that choose the home clean out method go back to hoarding.

The up front cost is large. The total cost to dehoard a full home can be anywhere from $5000 to $12,000 dollars.

Some hoarders get traumatized watching crews clean out their homes. We have all seen the TV shows.

Which method will work best for you? Do you have a time frame? Is the city threatening to evict? Is the hoarder not in the mental and physical shape to handle spending time going through items?

Evaluate the above before making your choice. Either method will help them renew their lives.

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