Bio-One Of Orange decontamination and biohazard cleaning services

Are you just disorganized, or is it something more? Understanding the hoarding spectrum.

The word “hoarding” probably evokes a particular image, made more common by shows like Hoarders that highlight extreme examples. In reality, not all hoarders have rooms full of items piled high to the ceiling.

The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (now, there’s a relatable title!) has classified hoarding behavior into five levels on their Clutter-Hoarding Scale.Level 1 Hoarding

At Level 1, a home is not pristine, but the space is still easily accessible and sanitary. There is clutter, but no concern for safety. Most, if not all of us, have been in Level 1. Many people spend most of their time in this stage.

Here are the defining characteristics of this level:

  • All stairways, doors, and windows are accessible, not blocked by clutter.
  • The home has good ventilation and is free of bad odors.
  • The number of pets in the home is appropriate and compliant with zoning regulations.
  • Pet hair and waste is cleaned up and disposed of properly.
  • There are no visible pests like insects or rodents.
  • Appropriate alarms like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed.

At Level 2, the home is still very livable, but there’s more evidence of disarray. The home is in need of cleaning and may be starting to overwhelm the residents. The hygiene level isn’t optimal.

Most of us bounce between Level 1 and Level 2. However, here are the more defining characteristics of Level 2:

  • One important exit is blocked with clutter.
  • Pet waste and hair can be found in the home.
  • Electrical and/or plumbing issues are present. There may be a major appliance that has been broken for more than one season.
  • Garbage containers are overflowing.
  • Some mild odors are present, related to overflowing dishes, laundry, uncleaned bathrooms, etc.
  • Occasional presence of household pests in the home are quickly dealt with

Level 3 is considered the turning point between manageable household disorganization and a more serious issue. Level 3 homes show extreme disorganization and indicate hoarding behavior.

Here are the defining characteristics of this level:

  • Mild insect infestations from pests like lice, cockroaches, ants, or bedbugs are present.
  • Piles of objects are obstructing key living areas.
  • Multiple appliances in the home are broken and unusable.
  • Spills may be left uncleaned for several days. Food preparation and eating areas are left visibly dirty.
  • One room is no longer being used for its intended purpose, like bedrooms being used exclusively for storage.
  • Noticeable unpleasant odors are present in the home.
  • Dirty laundry is left throughout the home.

Level 3 households should consider hiring outside help. Although, it’s still possible to get it under control with a concerted effort from the whole family

At Level 4, the home shows excessive clutter.Those living in Level 4 conditions need professional help. At this level, part of getting help includes professional cleaning to transform the house into a safe, hygienic space where people can thrive. Mental health counselors and social workers may also step in to help residents change their habits.

Here are the defining characteristics of this level:

  • Structural damage is present, such as water damage, broken doors, and plumbing issues.
  • Excessive pets and pet waste may be present.
  • Clutter is blocking access to stairs, rooms, and exits.
  • Expired and rotting food is present in the home and contributes to odors.
  • Multiple rooms are cluttered to the extent that they cannot be used for their intended purposes.
  • A medium level of insect infestation is present. There may be bats, squirrels, and/ or rodents in the attic or
  • basement.
  • Sewage is backed up

Level 5 is the highest level of hoarding behavior. Level 5 homes are alarmingly hazardous.

They require professionals with safety equipment and training to clean.

Here are the defining characteristics of this level:

  • Extreme indoor clutter makes important living spaces unusable.
  • There is no ventilation in the home.
  • Structural damage is irreparable.
  • Water and/or electrical services have been disconnected.
  • Pets living in the home are at risk due to living conditions.
  • Occupants of the home in danger due to pet behaviors, numbers, and/or health conditions.
  • Household appliances are unusable due to disrepair or being blocked by clutter.

If you or someone you know is struggling with these levels of hoarding we are here to help. 

You can find more information at or contact us at (714) 397-8375

Communication Tips From Hoarding Helpers in Orange County

Are you struggling to communicate with a loved one who is dealing with hoarding or in need of cleanup and decluttering services? Finding hoarding helpers in Orange County can be difficult, but help and support are available.

At Bio-One, we understand the importance of communication when addressing such sensitive issues. That's why we've put together some key tips to help facilitate clear conversations between clients and their family members. From understanding the intricacies of compassionate dialogue to relying on professional help, this blog post will provide insight into how best to approach these often difficult conversations.

Establish a trusting relationship with the victim and their loved ones.

Establishing a trusting relationship with the victim and their loved ones is crucial for any hoarding cleanup job. As professionals, we understand that hoarding disorder is a delicate issue that affects not only the individual but also their family and friends. It is important to approach the situation with empathy and respect.

Building a strong relationship with the victim and those close to them is key to successfully executing the job. Our team understands the significance of this step and is committed to making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Communicate the expectations, rules, and guidelines to everyone involved.

Clear communication is essential in any project, particularly when it comes to hoarding cleanups. Before starting any project, it is vital to communicate the expectations, rules, and guidelines to everyone involved. This ensures that each team member is on the same page, and it helps to create a shared sense of purpose that is essential when working through the project.

Clear communication also eliminates any confusion or misunderstandings that might arise, which can save time and resources. Furthermore, providing clear guidelines and rules from the beginning helps all parties to set realistic expectations for the project and creates a framework for addressing any issues that may arise over the course of the hoarding cleanup.

Ask open-ended questions to better understand the reasoning behind hoarding and what items they are most attached to.

Asking open-ended questions is a powerful tool when it comes to gaining insight into hoarding behavior. It can reveal much about the motivations behind this behavior, as well as what items hold the most meaning and attachment for those who hoard. Open-ended questions allow for free-form responses that don't limit answers and provide a deeper understanding of the individual behind the act of hoarding.

By asking questions like "Can you tell me more about why you feel the need to hold onto these specific items?" or "What emotions do you experience when you think about parting with certain belongings?", professionals can gain valuable insights into the thought processes that drive hoarding behaviors. This understanding is crucial when it comes to providing effective support and treatment for individuals struggling with hoarding tendencies.

Let your client know that it is okay to feel overwhelmed, but also provide them with solutions and strategies for managing stress.

Hoarding cleanup can be an emotionally taxing process, and it's completely normal to feel overwhelmed. It's important to recognize and address those feelings of stress in order to effectively manage the cleanup.

Seeking support from loved ones or a professional therapist can provide valuable emotional support throughout the process. Remember, it's important to prioritize self-care during this physically and mentally demanding process.

Provide support throughout the entire hoarding cleanup and decluttering process.

Hoarding can be a daunting and overwhelming challenge for both the individual living in the cluttered space and the people supporting them. That's why it's essential to provide support throughout the entire cleanup and decluttering process. It's not just about getting rid of clutter. It's also about creating a safe and livable environment, assisting with decision-making processes, and providing ongoing emotional support.

At Bio-One, our hoarding helpers in Orange understand the importance of a compassionate and non-judgmental approach to help our clients overcome the challenges of hoarding. At every step, we're committed to working with clients to develop a customized plan that addresses their unique needs and goals, making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Never leave them alone in their home or make them feel bad about their decisions.

When it comes to dealing with hoarding disorder, it's crucial to approach the matter with sensitivity and respect. While it might be tempting to try and forcefully clean up the individual's living space or nag them into changing their ways, this is not only ineffective but can also be damaging to their mental health.

Instead, it's essential to emphasize the availability of treatment options and resources and let them know that they're not alone. By creating an open and non-judgmental dialogue, individuals struggling with hoarding disorder can feel empowered to take the necessary steps toward recovery. It's vital to prioritize their well-being and mental health above all else.

Give reassurances and be aware of their emotional state, and offer empathy without judgment.

Cleaning a hoarding situation can be a delicate and emotionally charged process. It's important to understand and acknowledge the emotions of those involved while giving reassurance and offering empathy without judgment.

Being professional and insightful can help build trust and create a safe space for the cleaning process to take place. Remember to listen without interrupting and offer support for any difficult emotions that arise. With patience and compassion, the hoarding cleaning process can be a positive step towards a healthier living environment.

If you need reliable hoarding helpers in Orange County, Bio-One is your partner!

Ultimately, our ultimate mission is to help those in need and restore peace of mind. We believe helping those suffering from hoarding disorder starts with trust and compassion. Being patient and considering their needs throughout the entire process will make them feel more comfortable as you work together.

Our hoarding helpers in Orange are here to provide support and find solutions that work for everyone involved. We understand it can be difficult to trust someone with such an important task, and we make sure to establish strong relationships with our clients, implementing clear expectations and guidelines so everything runs smoothly.

Our commitment is to make each one of our clients as comfortable and stress-free as possible while offering them our expertise and kindness while they go through this emotional stage of their lives.

Hoarding scenarios pose several health and safety threats.
Hoarding scenarios pose several health and safety threats.

Lifting the Load.

Bio-One of Orange offers solutions to life's most challenging and unexpected situations. We guarantee a quick response time, so you can rest assured that help is always on the way. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Bio-One prides itself on providing top-quality service and support. If you're facing a difficult situation, don't hesitate to contact the Bio-One team. We're prepared to help you every step of the way, all the time:

Disinfection, Sanitation & Decontamination Services 

Hoarding Cleanup Service & Clutter Removal Services


Bio-One of Orange is a family-owned company that takes pride in providing quality care for residents throughout California’s Southern region. From Aliso Viejo to Costa Mesa and beyond. As members of the Orange Chamber of Commerce, our certified, professional hoarding remediation technicians are ready to help. Bio-One is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Contact us at 714-397-8375.