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What to Do if You Inherited a Hoarder House in Florida: 10 Tips

Inheriting property can come with emotions and responsibilities, especially if your inherited home is a hoarder house. The clutter and disorganization can seem overwhelming, but with the right approach, you can transform the space into manageable and valuable. Read on as we guide you through the essential steps on what to do if you inherited a hoarder house. From assessing the situation to understanding legal obligations, we’ll cover the top 10 tips you need to get started. So, if you’ve been wondering what to do if you inherited a hoarder house, dive in to find practical solutions and advice tailored to your unique situation.

With years of experience in real estate, Steve Daria and Joleigh have successfully managed numerous hoarder house transformations. Their expertise is priceless when it comes to navigating you through assessing the condition of the inherited property and devising a plan for its cleanup and renovation. Trust their professional advice to help you maximize the potential of your inheritance while minimizing the stress involved.

10 Tips on What to Do if You Inherited a Hoarder House in Florida

Taking ownership of a hoarder’s property can be a daunting and emotionally taxing experience.

Here’s what to do if you inherited a hoarder house:

1. Evaluating the Situation

what to do if you inherited a hoarder house

When faced with inheriting a hoarder’s house, the first step is to evaluate the property thoroughly. 

This involves assessing the extent of clutter, identifying hazards such as mold or structural damage, and understanding the home’s overall condition. 

Knowing what to do if you inherited a hoarder house, you can develop a strategic action plan tailored to the property’s needs. 

This initial assessment will help determine the resources required, whether professional cleaning services, repairs, or additional support from family and friends.

2. Securing the Property

Before embarking on the cleanup process, it is essential to make sure that the property and its contents are secure. 

This includes changing locks to prevent unauthorized access and verifying the functionality of security systems. 

Securing the property protects valuable items and sensitive documents and creates a safe environment for those involved in the cleanup efforts. 

Taking these precautions can avoid theft, vandalism, or further damage to the property.

3. Organizing a Walk-Through

Organizing a walk-through of the hoarder house with close family and friends can be a valuable step in the cleanup process. 

This collaborative effort allows everyone to identify sentimental or financial value items and uncover hidden treasures that may have been overlooked. 

Additionally, conducting a walk-through helps prepare everyone mentally for the challenges ahead and fosters a sense of teamwork and support. 

By involving loved ones in the process, you can share the emotional burden and work together to reclaim the space.

4. Understanding the Emotional Aspect

Inheriting a hoarder’s house often comes with a significant emotional burden for all involved.

It’s essential to recognize and empathize with the feelings of those who lived in the home and understand the attachment they may have had to their possessions. 

Additionally, navigating the cleanup process can evoke emotions, including sadness, frustration, and overwhelm. 

Seeking expert support, such as therapy or counseling, can provide a safe space to process these feelings and develop coping strategies. 

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5. Creating a Cleaning Plan

A strategic cleaning plan is essential for efficiently tackling the clutter and restoring the hoarder house to a livable condition. 

Start by identifying cluttered areas and setting specific goals for each room or section of the home. 

Determine the cleanup logistics, such as renting dumpsters for disposal or securing storage units for items to be kept. 

You can maintain focus and momentum until the end of the project by breaking the cleanup process into manageable tasks and establishing clear objectives.

6. Hiring a Professional Cleaning Service

Consider including the help of experienced professionals to assist with the cleanup process. 

Professional cleaning services specializing in hoarder house cleanouts have the experience and resources to manage the task effectively and safely. 

Research local companies read reviews, and request references to find reputable cleaning services that align with your needs and budget. 

By outsourcing the cleanup to professionals, you can alleviate much of the physical and emotional burden associated with the process and ensure thorough and efficient results.

7. Sorting Belongings into Categories

As you progress through the cleanup process, categorize items into keep, donate, sell, or discard to streamline organization and decision-making. 

Use labeled boxes or containers for each category to maintain clarity and organization. 

Consider sentimental value, practicality, and marketability when sorting belongings. 

Systematically categorizing items can declutter the hoarder’s house effectively and efficiently.

8. Addressing the Property’s Condition

Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the property’s condition to identify any issues that require attention. 

Check for damage, structural concerns, or safety hazards that may impact the property’s marketability or pose risks to occupants. 

Consider hiring professionals, such as inspectors or contractors, to evaluate specific areas of concern and provide recommendations for repairs or improvements. 

You can enhance the property’s overall appeal and value by proactively addressing its condition.

9. Renovating if Necessary

Depending on the condition of the property post-cleanup, you may need to undertake renovations or improvements to maximize its marketability and appeal. 

Refreshing paint, updating fixtures, or addressing structural issues can significantly enhance the property’s aesthetics and functionality. 

Prioritize renovations that offer the greatest return on investment and align with your budget and timeline. 

what to do if inherited a hoarder house

10. Deciding on the Property’s Future

After completing the cleanup and any necessary repairs or renovations, it’s time to determine the property’s future. 

Consider your financial goals, lifestyle preferences, and long-term plans when deciding whether to move in, rent or sell it. 

Evaluate each option’s potential benefits and drawbacks, such as rental income, property appreciation, or personal use. 

Frequently Asked Questions

To provide further guidance, here are some common questions related to inheriting a hoarder house in Florida:

How long does cleaning out a hoarder’s house typically take?

The process varies depending on the extent of hoarding and the resources available. 

It could range from several weeks to several months.

Are any financial assistance programs available to clean a hoarder’s house?

Some local government agencies or nonprofit organizations may offer assistance or resources for cleaning hoarder properties, but eligibility criteria vary.

What legal obligations do I have when inheriting a hoarder house?

As the new owner, you’re responsible for maintaining the property and complying with local ordinances and regulations regarding property upkeep and safety.


Dealing with an inherited hoarder house in Florida requires patience, empathy, and strategic action. Following these ten tips and knowing what to do if you inherited a hoarder house simplifies the process and transforms the property into a valuable asset. You can effectively manage the physical and emotional challenges by carefully evaluating the extent of clutter, securing the property, and organizing a collaborative cleanup effort. With diligence and informed strategies, you can navigate the complexities of an inherited hoarder house and achieve a successful outcome in Florida’s competitive real estate market.

**NOTICE:  Please note that the content presented in this post is intended solely for informational and educational purposes. It should not be construed as legal or financial advice or relied upon as a replacement for consultation with a qualified attorney or CPA. For specific guidance on legal or financial matters, readers are encouraged to seek professional assistance from an attorney, CPA, or other appropriate professional regarding the subject matter.

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