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Did You Know... How Experts classify Hoarding Levels?

Did You Know... How Experts classify Hoarding Levels?

Hoarding affects millions of people worldwide. It's a mental health condition where individuals experience difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. Hoarding typically results in hazardous environments, as homes become packed with clutter and debris. It also worsens any pre-existing medical conditions, as hoarders may be exposed to unsanitary living conditions.

Experts have developed a scale to classify the severity of hoarding behavior. This scale, known as the Hoarding Levels are based on five levels and helps professionals assess the degree of hoarding in an individual and provide appropriate treatment or intervention plans.

Understanding Hoarding Levels

Experts typically classify hoarding into five levels, ranging from mild to severe:

#1: Minimal Clutter

  • Clutter: Not excessive
  • Accessibility: All doors and stairways are accessible
  • Sanitation: No evidence of sanitation issues

#2: Clutter Builds Up to Moderate Level

  • Clutter: Three or more rooms affected
  • Accessibility: Major appliances and heating/cooling systems are usually accessible but may not be in working order
  • Sanitation: Mild odors, evidence of inadequate cleaning
Level #2 and partially #3 example
Level #2 and partially #3 example.

#3: Hoarding Environment

  • Clutter: Clutter inhabits living spaces, making them unusable
  • Accessibility: At least one exit is blocked, and/or major appliance or HVAC is not working
  • Sanitation: Visible clutter outdoors, moderate pest infestation

#4: Severe Hoarding

  • Clutter: Structural damage to the residence
  • Accessibility: The sewer system not functioning properly
  • Sanitation: Poor hygiene, significant pest infestation, rotting food on surfaces

#5: Extreme Hoarding

  • Clutter: The occupant is at risk of being removed from the premise
  • Accessibility: The kitchen and bathroom are unusable
  • Sanitation: Human and animal waste present, extreme neglect
Level #5 Extreme Hoarding
Level #5 Extreme Hoarding

Identifying Hoarding Levels

To identify the level of hoarding, look for signs such as the extent of clutter, accessibility of rooms and exits, and the state of sanitation. Behavioral patterns may include difficulty throwing away items, severe anxiety when attempting to declutter, and significant distress or problems functioning due to hoarding.

We covered it all in our post: Hoarding Symptoms: Why Early Intervention is Crucial | Bio-One of Modesto

How to Approach Hoarding Levels

Recognizing the levels of hoarding is crucial, but understanding the importance of seeking professional assistance cannot be overstated. Hoarding is not merely a matter of physical clutter but often stems from deeper emotional and psychological issues.

modesto hoarding cleanup technicians

Professional organizers or hoarding cleaning services may address the immediate environmental concerns, while mental health professionals can provide the necessary support to tackle the underlying issues leading to hoarding behavior. Intervention by trained professionals can not only ensure a safe and healthy living environment but also offer the individual a path toward recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with hoarding:

How Bio-One of Modesto Can Help

Recognizing and understanding the hoarding levels are crucial steps in addressing this disorder. With compassionate support and professional help, individuals struggling with hoarding can reclaim their homes and lives.

hoarding cleanup example before and after

At Bio-One of Modesto, we're here to help. Our team is trained to handle hoarding situations with the care and dignity everyone deserves. If you or someone you know needs assistance with hoarding in Modesto or any city in or near Stanislaus County, contact Bio-One for a free, on-site estimate.

Bio-One | Help First, Business Second!

At Bio-One of Modesto, we dedicate ourselves to being more than just a cleanup company; we actively help families through some of life’s most challenging moments. With compassion at the heart of everything we do, our team of experts provides specialized cleaning services prioritizing safety, privacy, and respect above all else.

Recovery Services

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Hoarding Cleaning Services

  • Hoarding cleanup
  • Animal hoarding cleanup
  • Gross filth cleanup
  • Deep clean
  • Junk removal
  • Homeless encampment clean-out

Our mission is to restore peace and cleanliness to any space affected by unexpected events. Serving Modesto, Stanislaus County, and all surrounding areas, we're here to ensure that no one has to face tough times alone.