Categories: Hoarding

The 5 Levels Of Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding severity varies greatly between individuals with the disorder.  Specific criteria has been outlined to categorize five level of hoarding with level one being least severe and level 5 being the most.  The criteria for each level is as follows:

Level 1:

  • All stairs and doorways are easily accessible.
  • Clutter is minimal.
  • Household pets are healthy and sanitary.
  • No more than 1-3 pet accidents can be seen.
  • Rodent and other pests may be minimally present.
  • House has a safe level of sanitation and healthy housekeeping habits are observed.
  • House is free of offensive odors.

Level 2:

  • One exit is blocked.
  • One major heating, cooling, or ventilation device has not worked for six months or more.
  • Two or more rooms appear to be cluttered.
  •  Function of living room and bedrooms is seemingly undefined.
  • Pathways throughout the home seem to be slightly narrow.
  • Light to moderate evidence of pest and rodents.
  • Light pet waste and dander present.
  • Three or more leavings in litter boxes.
  • Limited care evident for fish, reptiles, or birds.
  • Light offensive odors.
  • Limited housekeeping practices present (overflowing garbage, light to moderate mildew, moderately soiled food contact surfaces).

Level 3:

  • Visible clutter on porches or yards, including indoor items like appliances and furniture.
  • Two non-working appliances or more in the home.
  • Excessive use of electrical extension cords.
  • Light structural damage to home occurring in the past 6 months.
  • More pets than local limits allow (not including new puppy or kitten litters).
  • Visibly neglected fish, reptile, or bird habitats.
  • Audible evidence of rodents.
  • Light flea infestations and moderate spider-webs evident.
  • Clutter that causes narrow passages in hall and stairways.
  • One bedroom or bathroom is unusable due to clutter or trash.
  • Small amounts of hazardous spills and substances.
  • Excessive dust, dirty bedding, and no evidence of recent sweeping or vacuuming.
  • Heavily soiled food prep areas with offensive-smelling, overflowing garbage cans.
  • More than 3 full hampers per bedroom of dirty laundry.
  • Strong offensive odors throughout the home.

Level 4:

  • Structural damage to home more than 6 months old.
  • Mold and mildew strongly evident throughout home.
  • Inappropriate appliance usage.
  • Dangerous use of electrical wires.
  • Damage to at least 2 walls.
  • Inadequate weather protection.
  • Evidence of sewer backup.
  • More than 4 pets in excess of local limits.
  • 3 or more instances of old pet waste.
  • Pet dander covering furniture.
  • Excessive spider, flea, and rodent infestation.
  • Bats or raccoons in residence in attic or basement area.
  • Unusable bedrooms or bathrooms.
  • Hazardous material stored inside the home.
  • Flammable materials packed in living area or an attached garage.
  • Rotten or moldy food on counter tops.
  • One to fifteen old canned goods with obvious buckled surface.
  • Kitchen lacks clean utensils and dishes.
  • Beds have no covering and/or evidence of lice.

Level Five:

  • Obvious damage to structure of home.
  • Disconnected or non-working utilities (water, electric, sewer, etc.).
  • Standing water inside the home.
  • Fire and other hazards beyond legal ordinances.
  • Pets that are dangerous to occupant or visitors.
  • Visible rodents.
  • Infestation of fleas, spiders, cockroaches, mosquitoes, or other insects.
  • Regional animals such as squirrels, raccoons, or opossums in the home.
  • Kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms are unusable because of excessive clutter.
  • Occupant of home living or sleeping outside.
  • Evidence of human feces inside home.
  • Rotting food throughout house.
  • More than 15 old canned goods with damaged surfaces.

The above criteria is normally applied on a case-by-case basis, and not all items on the list may be applied when diagnosing the level of hoarding.

Removing Hazardous Waste

When the level of rotting food, pet or human waste, mold, or hazardous chemicals becomes too excessive, it becomes difficult and dangerous to properly clean without professionally trained sanitation personnel.

There are many sanitation and hazardous waste removal services available throughout the United States, such as BioteamAZ, Arizona’s leading service provider of hoarding cleanup.  Contact BioteamAZ today if you are in need of professional help in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, or any surrounding area in Arizona.