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How Much Does Hoarding Cleanup Cost?

Updated: Apr 12


How Much Does Hoarding Cleanup Cost Graphic

Whether you've inherited a hoarder house or you want to help a hoarding family member sort out their living situation, you might be in for a financial surprise.


A hoarding cleanup service can cost between $1,000 and $3,000, depending on the size of the home and the severity of the situation. As a rule of thumb, you can calculate the cost at $2 per square foot.


This article will look at the factors determining the cost of hoarding cleanup and where you can save.


Average Cost For Hoarding Cleanup Services


It can be tough to determine average hoarder cleaning costs as each hoarding situation is so different. Junk removal companies usually provide quotes based on how many skips you'd need and the type of trash, but it can be impossible to determine this before starting the cleaning process.


If you're hiring professional cleaners, the cost can range from $0.75 to $2.50 per square foot. You'll also pay about $25 to $60 per hour for labor.


These costs are based on straightforward cleaning projects - and hoarding situations are often anything but straightforward.


8 Factors Influencing The Cost Of Hoarder Cleaning Services


Let's look at some factors that will influence the cost to clean a hoarder house.


1. Size of the home


The size of the living space will have a big influence on the cost, especially since average costs can be calculated using the square footage of the home.


Large, double-story homes will be more expensive to clean than studio apartments.


2. Scope of the cleanup


Although the size of the property influences the cost of the cleanup, the scope is just as crucial.


Some hoarders may have a big home, but only stashed belongings in a couple of rooms, while someone in a smaller property may have items in every room as well as in a yard.


The severity of the hoarding situation is also part of the scope. It could simply be a dirty property filled with trash, or a home with lots of keepsakes, items that can be donated, and junk.


Lastly, the scope includes why the house is being cleaned. Cleaning a home so someone can continue to live there is different than cleaning a home because the court ordered it.


3. How much is hoarded


The volume of the hoard is also a big influencer of the cost of cleaning.


Some hoarders spread out their hoard across a large area, so it looks like it is less, while others pack items into every corner and up to the ceiling.


Most family members are not aware of just how much junk has been collected and stored.

If you're hiring dumpster skips from a junk removal service company, you're going to have to pay per dumpster, which can cost $500 to $600. Therefore, the amount of trash thrown out will significantly impact the cost of cleaning.


4. Type of hoarded items


As mentioned, not all hoarding scenarios look the same. Hoarded items include:


  • Trash

  • Mail

  • Magazines and newspapers

  • Food

  • Toys

  • Clothes

  • Animals

The type of hoard will determine how many people - and how much time - are needed to clean the home.


For example, dealing with animal waste and the animals themselves will take much longer and cost more than sorting through some papers.


5. Hazardous materials


Hoarding is a mental disorder, and there is shame attached to it. Oftentimes, necessary maintenance of the home does not occur because of this shame, which means the plumbing can stop working. Naturally, this can result in a toxic living situation, as urine, feces, and animal waste can build up in the rooms.


If the person is hoarding animals or food, there will also be pests, bacteria, and fungus present in the home.


From the above, it is evident that a hoarder house can be filled with hazardous materials. When you enter the house and start sorting through items yourself, you need to wear personal protective equipment.


Dealing with biohazards can be dangerous, so it is best to contact a biohazard decontamination company like Chore-ology to safely clear and dispose of hazardous waste.


6. Difficulty of the cleaning process


This factor ties in with a lot mentioned above. "Difficulty" can be tough to assess, as it depends on the size, scope, and types of items hoarded.


The difficulty of cleaning the home mostly depends on how much was hoarded and how quickly hoarding services can clear all the items. For example, lots of small items will be much more difficult to clear than a couple of larger items or belongings stored in boxes.


7. Storage and disposal fees


Legally, all the items you're sorting through still belong to someone, which can make it complicated when it comes to throwing things away.


Family members can rent a storage unit (which should be factored into the cleaning costs) and store items for a certain period, during which time the hoarding homeowner can access the items and retrieve what they need.


If the hoarder has passed away, there might be a will stipulating what needs to happen with their belongings. This might also include storage of certain items, for which a storage unit will be needed.


Cleaning companies will ensure proper disposal of items deemed trash. The cost of disposal is usually included in the cleaning quote.


8. Location of the hoarder house


The location of the house will influence the cleaning cost since transportation will play a role.


A house located in a major city means the cleaning company won't have to travel too far, so transportation costs will be cheaper.


Houses in rural or remote locations will cost more to clean because the cleaning company will have to drive further to get to them and haul trash loads away.


How To Save On Hoarding Cleanup Costs


The easiest way to save money when paying for cleanup services is to minimize the amount of items that the professional team must deal with and dispose of:


  • Sell items that are in good condition and have value.

  • Donate clothes, appliances, and furniture that can't be sold.

  • Separate belongings into three piles: "Keep", "Donate", and "Trash". This simplifies the cleanup process for professional cleaners.

  • Recycle paper, plastic, and metal.

  • Ask family and friends to come help sort through items to reduce labor costs.

  • Look for community programs that might help with hoarding cleanup for free.

  • Negotiate with the cleanup team for the best rates.

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