Home Hoarding Hoarder House Cleanouts Start with Compassion, End with Relief

Hoarder House Cleanouts Start with Compassion, End with Relief

How we help hoarders and their loved ones clear or declutter a home

by Christopher Lancette
Published: Last Updated on

If you’re looking for the perfect company to help you tackle the burden of a hoarder house cleanout, you’ve come to the right place – and you’ve found the right people. No estate liquidation and home cleanout company understands better than we do the stress, horror, frustration and anger that reach a boil when forced to clear out a home owned by a living or a deceased hoarder. We offer a full range of services to help you and your family that starts with compassion and ends with your loved one’s hoarder house cleanout complete, your mountain of stress gone.

How hoarder house cleanouts work

We charge a labor fee and then make the mountains disappear. We sell what can be sold (you get the money), donate everything possible (providing you with a formal letter and itemized tax donation receipts), recycle, upcycle, and haul away the trash.

The process looks similar to our estate liquidation and home cleanout service but adds extra layers of sensitivity and work. We tailor our services to your family’s specific needs.

Some families simply want to clear their homes, processing the contents the way we normally do. Other families task us with trying to excavate items of great sentimental value or financial value they hope is buried in the rubble while we clean out a home. Yet others ask us to be their partners in the slower process of unearthing hoards one pile at a time so that they can see what the home holds and make decisions about what family members may want to keep. Some families ask us to help them declutter (removing/selling/donating/cleaning) so they can stay in their homes.

There is no hoarder house cleanout job that is too big for us to handle.

Other ways our service is unique

One of the many benefits we provide that make us different from a traditional junk hauler or hoarding cleanup company, however, is that we are in the business of finding and selling items of value on your family’s behalf, which helps offset some of the costs of the job. We have sometimes even performed our hoarder house cleanouts that uncovered so many items of value that families received back MORE in sales than they paid us to do the work. In effect, we paid them to clean out the house.

It’s not enough just to tell you about our hoarder cleanup services, though. You need to know a few things about what’s in our hearts and about what we’ve learned about hoarding and hoarders.

We’ve gained a ton since taking on our first hoarder house cleanout in 2011. Read co-founder Christopher Lancette’s Salon magazine essay about our work on hoarder houses. It’s a long and often somber essay, with names and details changed enough to protect the identities of people and families stricken by hoarding. If you’re struggling to enter the mind of a hoarder you love, this essay may give you the empathy you seek.

Many years would pass from that first job before Orion’s Attic actively began soliciting work with families afflicted by hoarding because each project took so much out of us. It’s excruciating to see that people suffer like that. The work seemed to find us, though, and it became a calling. No one treats hoarders, their families, their houses and their contents with more compassion, love and dedication than we do.

Most important things everyone trying to help a hoarder should know

We would like to share a few more thoughts here …

The first thing we advise family members when they call us about a loved one’s hoarding situation is to remember that hoarding is a mental disorder. People don’t become hoarders because they are stupid, lazy, ignorant, pathetic or any other insult thrown their way. They are afflicted with something that takes no prisoners – striking people of all ages, education levels, races, incomes, religions, and IQs. It is something for which they need professional psychological help that is beyond our scope of work of removing objects from houses, but you should feel no shame about asking us for our help clearing your house or a loved one’s home.

And no one should be ashamed of the people they love who are suffering from the disorder.

Read some of our hoarding case studies

  1. How to liquidate an estate the right way goes into deep detail on a Washington, D.C. hoarding house we tackled. It shows the tender loving care we put into these projects. The profile shows our expertise in everything from finding objects of surprising value to sell for our clients to going the extra mile to give things away.
  2. Clearing a hoarder house to reunite spouses. Doctors wouldn’t let a man’s wife return home from the hospital until he hired us to remove his hoards. Our patience with the client made it happen.
  3. Helping a child affected by hoarding. Just when we think we’ve encountered the most tragic hoarding situation, we’re wrong. But at least we got to solve another problem — and have a group of beautiful people restore our faith in humanity.
Hoarding Resources/Information



Washington, D.C.

National Nonprofit Organizations

News Articles

Need Help with Hoarding?

Do you know someone who needs help cleanout out a hoarder house after a loved one has died? Are you working with someone you care about to declutter a home overwhelmed by hoarding? We can help. Contact us today. Orion’s Attic is a full-service estate liquidation, downsizing and home cleanout company based in Silver Spring, Maryland. We serve the greater Washington D.C./Maryland/Virginia area including Silver Spring, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Wheaton all of Montgomery County; Baltimore County; Carroll County; Frederick County, Howard County, Prince George’s County; Washington, D.C., Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudon County, Prince William County and more.

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