The person living in a hoarded property may have been suffering from depression, or an illness that as a result me be unable to keep their home clean and disinfected.Hoarder clean up understands that it is often hard to throw things away, and this only gets worse as time progresses.
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Although not commonly used by clinical psychologists, criteria for five levels of hoarding have been set forth by the NGSCD entitled the NGSCD Clutter Hoarding Scale.Using the perspective of a professional organizer, this scale distinguishes five levels of hoarding with Level I (Roman numeral one) being the least severe and Level V (Roman numeral 5) being the worst. Within each level there are four specific categories which define the severity of clutter and hoarding potential:
Household is considered standard. No special knowledge in working with the Chronically Disorganized is necessary.This level is minor compared to conditions of other hoarding scenes.
Household requires professional organizers or related professionals to have additional knowledge and understanding of Chronic Disorganization.
Household may require services in addition to those a professional organizer and related professional can provide. Professional organizers and related professionals working with Level III households should have significant training in Chronic Disorganization and have developed a helpful community network of resources, especially mental health providers.
Household needs the help of a professional organizer and a coordinated team of service providers. Psychological, medical issues or financial hardships are generally involved. Resources will be necessary to bring a household to a functional level. These services may include pest control services, "crime scene cleaners," financial counseling and licensed contractors and handy persons.
Household will require intervention from a wide range of agencies. Professional organizers should not venture directly into working solo with this type of household. The Level V household may be under the care of a conservator or be an inherited estate of a mentally ill individual. Assistance is needed from many sources. A team needs to be assembled. Members of the team should be identified before beginning additional work. These members may include social services and psychological/mental health representative (not applicable if inherited estate), conservator/trustee, building and zoning, fire and safety, landlord, legal aid and/or legal representatives. A written strategy needs to be outlined and contractual agreements made before proceeding.