It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Face to Face with a hoarder...Or hoarders...trying not to spew on the floor.

page: 1
18
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 08:08 AM
link   
Morning ATS'ers. I hope this Monday is a great one for you all. I have to tell this to you all today while it's still burnt into my mind. I do home-renovations and home repairs. From something as simple as a new light switch, to a room addition. I try not to judge folks when I go give a FREE estimate but some times you get smacked with something that just blows you away. This for me took place this past Sat.

I was called about giving an estimate on installing laminate flooring throughout a home, about 1600 sq ft. I actually know the folks who called, used to work with the wife when I was full time in the electrical industry. I was not prepared for the nasty that I saw. Out side the house looked "normal" that's where normal ended, at the front door.

I could not see the furniture due to clothes and laundry spread all over everything, It looked as if the dishes in the kitchen have been there since 1972 could not even see the sink for all the dirty dishes. The flooring in the kitchnen was torn all to pieces by three large dogs, as I walked though doing some measuring and such I realized the floor was pretty much rotten in some spots, and had not been swept in at lest my lifetime, that space under the edge of the cabinets at the floor, was jam packed with nasty, trash, food, dod food, cat food, dust, spills, you name it it was there.

There was food on the stove that looked like it was from Christmas time( well red pot with green fuzz growing on it looked like Christmas). The smell coming out of the laundry area was intense to say the least. Ever smelled mildewed laundry after about two years? Allmost hurled right then and there. But I moved on, wished I had not. Went into the Master bath, can't even be used. The shower was full of carparts and tools, the toilet was full out crapp, really crapp, the kind you should flush away three years ago when you laid it.

At this point I'm looking for a way out of this situation, I dont want to be rude or hurt some ones feelings, but Ive had enough. I mean there's kids living there, Their rooms werent as bad as the rest of the house, but were on there way to catching up with the rest of the house.

In the back yard the grass is so high, the dogs cant even find a spot to dump in. So they keep going to the same 5ft bare spot doing their stuff, it's becoming a mound. Now folks, I never said a word, I never asked why. I just did my thing got my numbers and left in a real hurry. I cannot do this work in this house. I want the work, could use the money, but if it's not cleaned up, find some one else. I have never in my life seen this amount of nasty in a house. If you meet these folks on the street, you would never ever know the nasty situation of which they choose to live.

So my rant is , why? why the hell do you folks choose to live like this? Clean up your damn house, my goodness it aint helping your kids. Mow your grass, clean up your yard and take some damn pride in your stuff. And that green fuzz growing on that pot cant be something good to breath. I have decided to give an inflated estimate hoping they use some one else. What would my fellow members do in this situation? Would you speak up? Would you do as I have and remain silent? Would you do work in the nasty I described? Send me some input folks, I need the advice. Thanks in advance and to all have a great day. OYM1262
edit on 5-8-2013 by openyourmind1262 because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 08:14 AM
link   
This sorta reminds me of my mom's boyfriend! He keeps really old belongings in his closet. He doesn't even use these things.! He also has a truck that's run down but he doesn't want to get rid of it.


OP you should watch this show on AE it involves hoarders bleh it made me gag alot and it was on tv!
edit on 5-8-2013 by Casualboy100 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 08:14 AM
link   
reply to post by openyourmind1262
 


You can't help those people. They need professional help.

Your way out is that. "You won't be able to install the flooring with everything on the floor. It must be cleaned up before you can begin."

Hoarding is a serious problem. Dealing with a hoarder isn't easy. I'm sorry you had to see that.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 08:15 AM
link   
reply to post by grey580
 


Why are they the way they are? That's what I dont understand.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 08:17 AM
link   
reply to post by Casualboy100
 


Ive seen the show, this house is like some on that show, not as bad as some but worse than others.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 08:29 AM
link   
reply to post by openyourmind1262
 


I can't tell you the why.
But it's definitely an a mental health issue.
If you ever watch the hoarder shows. You'll see how emotional they get when you want to help them clean up the trash in their home.

I saw one episode where there was so much trash on the floor that the people walking on it could almost hit their heads on the cieling.
It's a serious issue. And they need help. But professional help.


edit on 5-8-2013 by grey580 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 08:45 AM
link   
reply to post by openyourmind1262
 


I would have done the exact same thing you did. Price extremely high and make sure you have a list of conditions for which you expect to walk into before you'll start the work, if they accept the bid.

As for why? From what I can tell (IMO), most of these people have suffered some traumatic loss or have deep insecurities in which they think hoarding everything gives them some sense of "control" over their lives and their surroundings, in which they feel they have no control over otherwise.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 08:48 AM
link   
reply to post by grey580
 


That screen shot is what I dealt with, not as bad not as much on the floor, but the countertops look the same. I sent an estimate to them via e-mail. I was polite and let them know that if they accept my proposal, they will have to clean all floors as to where they are totally clean . That the only items i move is furniture. We shall see. On a side note, I really like your signature, Catchey lil saying. If I may can I use it on a bumber sticker, I have a friend who is in that business graphic art for cars and such, make signage and such. I would be happy to send you one if you allow me to use your saying. My quote was quite high for the job, now I'm faced with if they accept, then I am sort of "burning them a new one" with my price.
edit on 5-8-2013 by openyourmind1262 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 08:53 AM
link   
reply to post by Deetermined
 


Im trying to discern hoarding from just being nasty and un-clean. This looked like just nasty, not saving things or keeping things because you cant break away from it. Just nasty and not wanting to clean your enviroment. Man there was a damn carburetor in the shower stall in the masterbath!
edit on 5-8-2013 by openyourmind1262 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 09:01 AM
link   
You need to be honest - it's just business.

Tell them you will have to sub-contract a cleaning company as part of prep to lay the floor because you obviously can't demo it in it's current state...you simply can't get the floor in & out cleanly.

You don't have to make it sound like it's something you don't normally do but hit them with an estimate on that & then with your estimate & they either say no or they say yes & you make a cut on the clean up (percentage or referral fee or something) & the job & on top of that those kids get a little better place to live...

Most likely they will say no...but that's what you probably really want anyway...so...win-win right?



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 09:01 AM
link   
It is a mental illness. I once lived in an upstairs apartment above a woman who had some form of mental illness. One day, all of the sudden my living room filled up with the smell of feces, and it just stayed. After two days of this, I called the landlord to come and check things over. He went downstairs but the woman would not open her door to him, so he had to call the police.

Once they got into the apartment, they found that she had stacked adult diapers up in a corner of her living room, and that the entire apartment was filled to the brim with magazines and curios from Salvation army. Now she began collecting her diapers. They also found 5 cats running around that had no litter box.

She was taken out of her apartment and placed into a group home, and the apartment had to be completely gutted. Carpeting removed, the floor sanded and refinished, new everything. The smell was horrendous when they opened up the apartment to begin work on it. The workers were all wearing masks.

I felt bad for this woman who was living this way. She was alone and not being checked in on.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 09:05 AM
link   
Nobody has ask you this yet, but because there are kids in the home, have you thought about calling protective services?
May seem like a harsh step, but the kids need to be protected, and they may get the family the help they need?



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 09:25 AM
link   

Originally posted by openyourmind1262
reply to post by grey580
 


That screen shot is what I dealt with, not as bad not as much on the floor, but the countertops look the same. I sent an estimate to them via e-mail. I was polite and let them know that if they accept my proposal, they will have to clean all floors as to where they are totally clean . That the only items i move is furniture. We shall see. On a side note, I really like your signature, Catchey lil saying. If I may can I use it on a bumber sticker, I have a friend who is in that business graphic art for cars and such, make signage and such. I would be happy to send you one if you allow me to use your saying. My quote was quite high for the job, now I'm faced with if they accept, then I am sort of "burning them a new one" with my price.
edit on 5-8-2013 by openyourmind1262 because: (no reason given)


Sure by all means use the saying. Spread the word lol

And don't think of the quote as high. You will probably have a tough time cleaning up the floor so that what you lay down will stick.Good luck with that job.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 09:32 AM
link   
reply to post by chiefsmom
 


My wife & I discussed this over our Sunday. It has crossed my mind, but that's a step I really do not know if I am ready to take. IMHO it's not my place to do this. These people have relatives & friends, it should be something they do not me. But I have thought about a way around that situation. I did in my e-mail let these folks know I felt like some of the floor substructure was dangerous and could break thru. I could call the building inspection dept and make a claim of unsafe living conditions. I fear this will cause more damage than any good that would come from it. And they would know who made the call.

I am just going to wait & see what they decide on my quote. Then I will with good concience, turn down the work.Just cant get involved with DSS & their kids, It would way to heavy on my mind if I did that & those kids were taken from them.
edit on 5-8-2013 by openyourmind1262 because: (no reason given)

edit on 5-8-2013 by openyourmind1262 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 09:34 AM
link   
My brother's like this and so were a couple relatives that are gone now. He goes into anxiety spasms if anything of his is thrown away and suffers from an overwhelming inability to 'know where to start' if he ever did get the urge to clean things.

It's a mental illness, plain and simple. He told me once he thinks people with clean houses actually have two houses; the one where it's clean for company and the other one, that looks like his place.
Weirdly, he managed to hold down a well paying technical job for 25+ years. His office looked highly cluttered but at least wasn't garbage-filled. I once agreed to take him to the docs for a procedure and he gave me his house keys to hold. Later on he accused me of having the house key copied so I could get into his place although I had never left the doctor's waiting room the whole time. When I said no, I hadn't, he said that I must have because 'the keys were out of order'; this with maybe 60 keys on the ring. It weighed pounds! It was an odd bit of paranoia I'd never seen before in someone who was otherwise very mild mannered and bland.

Basically, he needs a keeper like an animal in a zoo; he's completely incapable of cleaning anything himself for whatever reason. I gave up worrying about it years ago, there's nothing I can do.

To the OP, report them to the humane society for the sake of the animals, if they have children to CPS; at some point they're a threat to the public health especially if it's a connected building to others. And you don't have to even bother putting in a bid on that mess. Like someone up above said, you couldn't do the work until the place was cleaned up and that will never happen.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 09:39 AM
link   
reply to post by signalfire
 


Now I can do that. I certainly can call Animal Control out there. Then they would see the conditions & either report or no. Thanks for that thought, it had not came to me yet. But even in that I have a quilty concience.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 09:49 AM
link   
reply to post by openyourmind1262
 


It's definitely a tough call, but even if you were to report them, they would be given a chance to clean things up before the agencies would act, so I doubt that you would have to worry about them having their kids taken away.

Also, you'd probably be surprised how many "family and friends" aren't even allowed in their home to even know what kind of conditions they are actually living in. They are good at making excuses for why no one should just drop by or come over for a visit and they probably meet family in neutral territory.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 09:53 AM
link   
reply to post by grey580
 


Add $2000+ line item for labor to clean out the work area ON top of your estimate. Doing that sends the message you want and gives you an excuse to turn it down or an opportunity to go forward with the work. A couple of willing workers from Home Depot parking lot and you can clean out the house.

I installed hardwood floors in a previous life and seen my share of peoples nastiness. $5000 is what our charge was to move stuff out of a room. A pile of books or a full on horder mess. At that price it kept us floor people out of the moving or cleaning business.

$2k is change compared to what the GOV. will charge to have CPS remove kids and a HASMAT cleanup.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 12:09 PM
link   
Whilst I agree it can be a mental illness or a psychological crutch, for some its pure laziness and lack of pride. I had a neighbour who was just plain filthy, her house was disgusting beyond belief. When she went into hospital me and another friend cleaned the place for her, 2 bedroomed house tooks us 6 days and the stuff we found wasn't hoarding....it was just pure laziness..too lazy to put stuff in the bin or wash up and her excuses were she was toobusy with the child she had or busy going out having a good time as she was only 19yrs old and we should understand! When she came home she was overjoyed but within a month it was back to how it was. The smell hit you like a brick when she opened the door and then she had the nerve to get 2 dogs which she never let outside so you can imagine what the carpet was like! Eventually, she had her child taken from her because she was out clubbing all night leaving the toddler alone in bed.

Not ill just lazy stupid and selfish



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 12:27 PM
link   
OP, please listen to me, I GREW UP IN A HOARDER HOUSE and my mother still lives this way despite our best efforts to clean up and get rid of things in that house.

First, I like the recommendation that another member put out there about having a specialty company come out and clean the house before you start your work. There are companies that specialize in cleaning up hoarding houses and a simple web search should bring up something in your area. If you try to just have the home owners clean up enough for you to be able to work, it WILL NOT BE CLEAN. There will probably be toxic mold and mouse poo in your work area there and both can make you very ill. The future medical bills will far outweigh any money you actually get from completing the job. (my family still suffers from continuous "colds" from exposure to black mold)

If there are children in the house, it is best to notify someone about the conditions they are living in. I know I would have loved for someone to have reported what we were living in. I would look at the repair men coming into our house the few times it was allowed and would just wonder if they would be the one to speak up. I can tell you that CPS will take longer than if there is an elderly or handicapped person in the house that you could report to Adult protective services. The animal route may work well too, but I haven't had any experience with that, you might give it a try if that is what you feel more comfortable with. If you do notify CPS, they will assess the situation and may or may not remove the children from the home. Most of the time they will try to work with the family to get the house cleaned up first without the drastic step of removing the children. (My husband has worked for both APS and CPS)

From my own personal experience, my mothers house never was "found out". She and my aunt still live there, but we have done all that we can to make it livable for them. This is a nice 5 bedroom home about 2500 sq. feet and looks perfectly normal from the outside. The floor in the living room finally completely fell through a few years back due to the weight of all the stuff combined with termites. (Mom tried to get the house sprayed years ago, but they couldn't because all of the stuff) We were able to take out a great deal of the mess and toss it after the floor gave way and we able to put new joists and flooring in. The same happened with the bathroom last year and we replaced the flooring in there too, as well as putting in a functioning shower that is no longer a collecting place for stuff. We also found black mold that was covering the inside of a stuffed full closet next to the bathroom and were able to remove the drywall and replace it. We currently have the house down to about 3 of the 5 bedrooms are filled to the ceilings with stuff, but the main living area is mainly free of extra junk. It is now to where my kids can go there, but are off limits to the three bedrooms.

Right now, their main problem probably isn't the flooring, it is probably the stuff that you don't see. The floors should be one of the last things to be replaced after the hoarding is dealt with and environmental issues have been addressed. I know it is a stressful situation for you to be in, but if you do act on it, you will be saving the children from years of having to "clean up" and suffering the health consequences of it, plus helping the adults to address the mental issues that led them to living like this. If they get mad, then they get mad, but you have the free conscious of knowing you did the right thing.

So to be straight to the point, I would make them a fair offer for the work you will be doing, but I would include a quote from a company that specializes in hoarding houses. Be honest with them, let them know that you will not start work until the house is safe for you to work in. If they refuse to get their home professionally cleaned, then I would put a report in with DHS and let them handle it from there. If they are able to clean up the house to livable standards, then good for them! If not, the trained professionals will know what to do that will be in the best interest of the children. Good Luck and if you have any other question, don't hesitate to ask.

~OkieDokie



new topics

top topics



 
18
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join