In 2013, my grandmother died. It was due to old age and nothing tragic, we all knew she was going to pass and it was a matter of when. After she died, we all went to Singapore (where she lived) to clean out her house and take her things back to the United States and we were going to sort through it all there. Well, when we got to the house we opened the door and my uncle looked at my mother and asked “Should we be finding cleaning services in Singapore?” We all had no idea that Grandma was a hoarder.
Our grandma loved things and had a sentimental attachment to a lot of the items she had. I would guess it made things hard for her to give away. When we saw how had she actually was at it, a cleaning service was really the only option we had. Finding a company that was willing to deal with a hoarders home was a bit more of a challenge but still was doable. We ended up going with one of the first companies we called that had no issues with hoarder homes and didn’t charge an arm and a leg to go in and clean.
The day they arrived, we just told them toss everything. Nothing was worth saving since it had all been covered in leftover food and trash for who knows how many years. They accepted the challenge and told us that they would do the best they could with the home. We sat outside wondering how this happened to her and why didn’t she tells us it was this bad. A little while later, the staff cleaning would come out and ask a question about business papers or something that they didn’t know if we wanted to keep. Hours later, the manager of the staff came and said they would be back tomorrow but they had cleared out the trash and asked if we wanted to see the progress.
When we went in, it looked so different! They had taken the actual trash out but left all the goods that weren’t damaged at all. There was wooden tables, chairs, a desk, lamps, etc. The manager told us that a lot of the furniture could be saved because it wasn’t in bad condition at all. They made the decision to keep what they could salvage and the next day, some staff were going to work on cleaning those and everyone else was cleaning the home. We thanked her so much! We didn’t think anything could be saved and appreciated that the manager made the decision to save what could be saved.
In the end, we all got a keepsake of our own of grandma. We had the memories of this experience and furniture that was undamaged by her but cleaned up by the cleaning services. I highly suggest anyone doing something like a huge deep clean (either to your home or a hoarder’s home) get a knowledgeable cleaning service to help. It is well worth the money!