The Clean Around technique focusses on addressing health and safety in the home with minimal attention to discarding. It involves removing obvious rubbish, flammable materials and rotting food, sanitising food prep areas and bathrooms, laundering dirty clothes and linens, removing spider webs, cleaning kitty litter boxes, dusting and cleaning floors.
This technique is most frequently used when the client is working with other professionals to address issues in the home but these people are unable or unwilling to enter the home because of the hazardous conditions.
Out in the Real World
We met Clare earlier in Module 3. She could not use her bathroom because of the layers of cat faeces and urine. Fast forward six months and Clare’s landlord discovered the seriousness of her hoarding and was making moves to evict her. She desperately needed help and was willing to work with a Professional Organiser in an effort to avoid eviction. However, the cat faeces had made her home too dangerous to work in. Specialist cleaners were required to remove litter trays and soiled laundry and sanitize the affected areas so that it was safe to work in.
You don’t need to put yourself at personal risk to help someone in a hoarded or squalid home. There are ways to make the home safe before members of the care team enter.