Digging Out a Hoarder in Seattle, Washington

Digging Out a Hoarder in Seattle, Washington.  Does someone you love hoard?  Do you worry about their ability to safely navigate in their home?  Does it concern you that they may be eating expired food or not storing food properly in the refrigerator?   Are the papers stacked so deeply a small kitchen fire could turn into a disaster?

Moving Forward has been digging out hoarders in Seattle, Washington, since 2004.  We received a call from Kim (not her real name) after her mother, Agnes (not her real name), had passed on  and left behind a very full home.  Kim and her brother and sisters wanted help digging out their hoarding mother’s home in Seattle, Washington.

It was a nice home structurally, and you could see that at one time it had been tidy and well decorated.  But Agnes was so devastated by her husband’s passing that she started to drink heavily.  Things began to accumulate.  She was a strong-willed woman and refused her children’s offers to help her “throw out the junk”.

As you might imagine, even though her children wanted to help, Agnes felt criticized.  To Agnes, protecting her

Digging out a hoarder in Seattle, Washington

dignity meant defending her right to keep whatever she wanted.  No one will ever know if Agnes would have accepted help if the word “junk” had not been used to describe her possessions.  But now she was absolutely set against it.  There would be no digging out this hoarder in Seattle, Washington.

Her children had no choice but to wait until the home became such a serious health hazard that they could call on the authorities to intervene.  Fortunately, Agnes passed away from natural causes before her home reached that level.

When the children saw the state of her home after her passing, they felt completely overwhelmed.  They were overwhelmed by the amount of stuff, but were even more overcome by emotion when they saw how their mother had chosen to live.  They called on Moving Forward to help them dig out this hoard in Seattle, Washington.

Three people from Moving Forward joined the family for two days.  The family pulled out financial records and photographs.  Moving Forward cleared debris from the stairways so they could access the basement and the second floor.  The family salvaged old keepsakes while Moving Forward removed all the expired food from the kitchen.   The family scavenged garden tools and equipment from the garage while Moving Forward bagged trash and shoveled spilled bags of dirt and seeds.   At one point, there were eight people digging out the hoard in Seattle, Washington.

Underneath all the accumulated papers and trash, we found some rather nice furniture and a vast quantity of sewing, knitting and crocheting supplies.  As soon as we could, we scheduled with an estate sale company.  It took another 2 days working side by side with the estate sale company to finish digging out the hoard in Seattle, Washington.

The rule of thumb is don’t throw anything away until the estate sale has a chance to look!!!   You can throw away food, liquor, and newspapers and magazines that are newer than 40 years old.  But leave everything else.  In an estate sale, the money is in the clutter.

After the sale, Moving Forward returned to the home to donate all the items that didn’t sell and to have a final cycle of junk removal.

Agnes’s children were effusively grateful to be relieved of the burden of emptying their mother’s home and were pleasantly surprised that the estate sale generated several thousand dollars.

Moving Forward was proud to help this family in digging out the hoard in Seattle, Washington.

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