Everybody accumulates stuff, and many of us have cluttered closets and drawers. But when seemingly useless possessions and even rotten food pile up, blocking exits and filling beds, sofas, sinks and bathtubs, it's evidence of a psychiatric condition called compulsive hoarding.
Compulsive hoarding is a widespread psychological disorder characterized by a number of different types of behavior. The biggest behavior that is associated with this disorder is the inability to throw away any thing in ones life. The other type of behavior associated with compulsive hoarding is the person who actively seeks out new possessions rather than hold onto their own belongings. It is recommended that anyone who has a compulsive hoarding problem should seek professional help for their problem.
Warning Signs of Hoarding
Hoarding is not limited to any age, race, gender or nationality. Hoarding behavior can begin early in life but is more prevalent in older adults. Hoarders can be of any educational or socio-economic level. They are unaware that their living circumstances pose a danger to themselves and to others. They are unable to change unsafe conditions on their own.
•Extreme collection and storage of items in the home and in the yard.
•Accumulation of combustible materials (newspapers, magazines and rubbish).
•Blocked exits (doors/windows).
•Narrow pathways in the home.
•Rat and/or insect infestations.
•Rotting food and/or used food containers.
•Human and/or animal waste.
•Long-term neglect of home maintenance.
•Non-working utilities, such as heat, running water, sewer and refrigeration.
Helping The Hoarder
How can family members and friends help a hoarder? As tempting as it may be, experts say forcibly cleaning out a hoarder's home is bound to backfire-and in some cases, cause severe psychological trauma. Hoarders tend to feel violated and simply repeat the process in a new location. "Shaming a person is never the answer," says Deb Stanley, a professional organizer in Clinton Township, Mich., who is also training to become a mental-health counselor. Instead, experts counsel patience and understanding, and letting the hoarder make his or her own decisions as much as possible.
One option is to hire a professional organizer, particularly one experienced with compulsive hoarding. The Web site of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization has a list of organizers who have had training. Ideally, they can help the hoarder learn to prioritize the possessions and, even if an eviction or health citation is imminent, they still will often give the client as much say as possible over their things.
We Can Help
Are you being consumed by junk and can not decide what to keep and what to throw away?
Do you know someone who has extreme clutter and is prevented from enjoying a higher quality of life? We can help. We come in to sort, bag, load and haul away the rubbish. After years of accumulation, it may be a large and overwhelming job for an individual or even a family to manage. Our understanding and patient staff are equipped with the tools and experience to effectively help sort through and get rid of unnecessary clutter. We deal with all types of situations professionally and efficiently on a daily basis.
Help someone use The Junk Pros as a vehicle on the road to a better quality of life. As a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) we work closely with professional organizers, as a team we understand the difficult situation that hoarding presents.
We make rubbish and junk removal easy for you. Also, we work hand in hand with our sister company, Omega Cleaning, which specializes in heavy duty residential cleaning. We can help in stopping health and fire violations and eviction.
While an executor may think he or she is completely capable of taking care of the responsibilities that go with the role, it would be wise to consult legal counsel when appropriate. After the will has been located by the executor, a lawyer will prove useful when it comes to submitting the will to probate court. Probate can be a long process that, on average, can take from 7 – 9 months. An experienced lawyer should also be brought in to double-check bank accounts before any are closed by the executor. This will help prevent poor decision making that could lead to serious legal ramifications.
Sorting through the belongings
As executor your responsibility may include liquidating a large amount of the household items the person owned. You will need to separate the items into four basic categories:
Distribute to heirs
The first step you may want to take is to hire a professional Organizer (NAPO), or even a junk removal company who is qualified to sort through and separate the items with compassion and sensitivity. After the selected items have been distributed to designated heirs, the remaining items can be liquidated, donated or discarded.
One very popular way to liquidate household items is by having an estate sale. The services of a professional organizing company could prove useful in this task.
Select a charity to receive the items selected for donations. Items not liquidated at an estate sale can also be donated to a charity.
A professional junk removal and rubbish removal company can discard of the items that are unwanted and expedite the process of preparing the home to be sold or returned to the management company.
As an executor you must be able to act impartially on behalf of all beneficiaries. You must also have the presence of mind to take care of many tasks very soon after the decedent's parting.
It is crucial that as an executor you have the time needed to devote to settling the estate. The tasks involved can be very demanding and you may have to meet with different experts, including a lawyer, financial advisor and insurance agent.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
Arrange the funeral:
As the executor you must obtain the death certificate and make the funeral arrangements.
Locate the most current will:
After you find and review the will, you may needed to meet with a lawyer to apply for probate, which confirms your authority to act on behalf of the estate.
As soon as possible, you must let beneficiaries know they were included in the will. As the process moves forward, the executor should keep everyone informed about the progress, as well as any delays, and when heirs might expect to receive their inheritance.
Notify organizations and business associates:
All the financial institutions and organizations the deceased dealt with must be informed of the death. This includes banks, credit card companies. investment companies, insurance companies, and landlords. It also includes club memberships, charities previously donated to, magazine subscriptions and service providers such as telephone, cable, etc. Any pre-authorized payments will have to be stopped. As executor, open a bank account for the estate so any credits made payable to the estate can be easily accounted for.
The executor must apply for life insurance benefits and pension plan death benefits, if applicable.
Compile a comprehensive list of estate assets:
One of the most time-consuming tasks an executor must complete is to create a list of all assets- every bank account, registered plan, investment, pension, property and other items in the estate. Then you must locate each asset, secure value and insure it, if applicable. As executor you will manage the assets in the estate until they are disbursed according to the responsibilities assigned to the executor in the will. The executor must keep detailed records of anything that is bought or sold on behalf of the estate, for the courts and beneficiaries.
Pay estate debts and expenses:
The executor is responsible for paying all debts an expenses owed by the estate, including funeral bills and taxes. Generally, the money to pay theses costs come from the estate. However, if an executor distributes all assets of an estate and then discovers an unpaid bill, he or she can be personally liable for the expense.
File the final tax return:
File outstanding tax returns from past years and a final return for the year of death. In addition, each year the estate retains any assets, an estate tax return must be filed.
Administer trusts set up in will:
If there are any assets in trust for a beneficiary – for example, until a child turns 18 years old – and the executor is appointed as trustee, the executor must manage the assets for as long as the trusts exists.
the 4 most obvious task of an executor is to distribute the bequests. This includes personal items, such as family heirlooms, and financial investments such as property, stock and bonds. While smaller items may be disbursed right away, the remainder of the estate should generally remain in the executor's hands until the final tax return has been filed and a tax clearance certificate is issued. This ensures the executor will be able to pay any taxes due from the estate.
How is the executor compensated:
Fulfilling all of the responsibilities of an executor can be difficult and time consuming. In many cases, an estate will not be settled for many months or even years, during which time the executor could spend hundreds of hours working out the details, Legally, an executor is entitled to compensation from the estate, even though friends and family often forgo payment.
Settling an estate, even a simple one, involves plenty of loose ends and detail. For your own protection, you should keep a copy of all records for at least two years. Don't hesitate to seek the guidance of a professional if you need help or become overwhelmed.
The person you select to manage your estate and carry out your wishes is an executor or executrix if a female. An executor may also be appointed if one has not been chosen by you. Choosing your executor is one of the most critical decisions you have to make when you draw up your will. The executor controls the estate from the time of death until the last federal and state tax returns are filed and all assets have been distributed to the beneficiaries.
Generally, an executor takes charge of the decedent's assets and/or property and ensures all outstanding debts, charges and taxes are paid before distributing the net assets to the beneficiaries of the will. The executor is entitled to be reimbursed from the proceeded of the estate for expenses incurred in settling the estate.
A financial professional such as a CPA can be named co-executor to help guide a family member through the process.
You don't have to spend all your time indoors this spring – enjoy the weather and take your spring-cleaning outside! Have fun uncovering that summer furniture and preparing the outside of your home for summer entertaining.
During the winter, the garage tends to be a place where things seem to get stored. Separate items in piles depending on category. Gardening tools, winter equipment, sporting equipment and tools should all be separated. During the sorting process put into action the phrase "when in doubt, throw it out." Make a note of which items you use more often, such as the lawn mower, bikes and pool/beach items, and keep those items in a more convenient and easy to access location.
Check shrubs and trees for winter damage and prune accordingly. Remove deadwood or broken branches. Replant any shrubs that have come out of the soil during a freeze-thaw cycle. Give the yard a fresh look by cleaning mulch in the yard. Remove the top layer of mulch, pull any weeds and put down a fresh coat or your favorite mulching material. Plant some spring flowers and prepare pots for new plants and flowers. Some plants may have to be potted indoors so they start out healthy before moving outside. Mow the lawn if it is tall in some areas, but don't cut it as short as you normally would in the summer.
Sweep away leaves, dirt, and twigs that have accumulated over the winter from your patio, porch or deck. You may want to spray the area with a garden hose if the debris has piled up significantly or if it is difficult to remove. once the area is clean, tackle your outdoor furniture. Wipe down each piece with a wet cloth before applying your cleaning solution. With the right cleaning solution and a little elbow power, you can restore your outdoor furniture to its pre-winter condition.
Clean the grill to ensure a safe barbecue. If you use a gas grill, first you want to be sure the gas connection is still safe. Mix some dish soap and water and brush it onto the connection. If any bubbles form when you turn on the gas, you will know there is a leak and it is not safe. When using a gas grill or charcoal grill, the next step is to use a wire brush to get off as much of the baked-in grease and food that you can. Sometimes it is easier to do this if the grill is hot.
Now you re ready for the long lazy days of summer. Enjoy!
The best way to start spring cleaning is to first clean out all of the clutter from the house. You may need to recruit the help of a professional junk and rubbish removal company to help remove all of the items from the attic and basement. When you are in the process of removing items, you will want to separate everything into piles. Put the items you want to keep into one pile. Put the items that can be recycled or donated into another pile. The last pile will be for all the items you no longer want or use. The professional junk and rubbish removal company could cart away this pile for you. By separating the items as you bring them down from the attic or from the basement, you will find it a lot easier to get everything organized.
Once all of the items have been removed from the attic you will want to take the time to clean it out thoroughly. Now is also a good time for a through inspection. You will want to see if there are any holes or leaks. Holes in the attic could mean there are little critters living there. If the attic is small you may need to do a little crawling around to see if there are any holes. If you do find holes, even small holes, you will want to make the time to repair and patch them properly. You should also check the insulation to see if anything needs to be fixed or replaced. Be sure to check for leaks. If you see signs of a leak, the roof may need to be repaired.
Once you have finished checking the attic you will want to put the items you need to store back in an organized way. Be sure to store the items in plastic bins, and not in cardboard boxes. Cardboard boxes usually don't last as long as the plastic storage bins and plastic will keep small pests from rummaging through your items.
Even if your basement is the least visited area of your house, keeping it clean and organized is important. If you have things like chemicals or paint, check how long they are good for. If you know you won't use them by the expiration date, look at the label for the proper disposal technique. Also make sure you read the label to see what the chemical should or should not be stored with.
Even if you don't notice any mold in your basement, spores can hide in the tiniest of creases. A suggested mixture to clean and sanitize is 1 cup of bleach and 1 gallon of water. Clean the walls and floor thoroughly and dry them as well as you can. Use a dehumidifier for at least the next few days to reduce the risk of mold growth.
Install a shelving unit that will work best with your storage items. Arrange the objects and materials you want to put on the shelves by size and weight. Remember to put heavy items closer to the bottom of your shelving unit. For items that you will place on the floor, consider building or buying a small platform to put in a corner of the basement. The platform will prevent your items from getting dirty and, if your basement has a flooding problem, this will also protect your items from water damage.
Once you have decided which items you will keep in your attic or basement, you will want to put them back in an organized manner. The assistance of a professional organizer could prove to be helpful.
Winter is behind us and summer is ahead. Spring is a great time to get your home ready for summer, inside and out.
When it comes to spring cleaning, it should include your attic and basement. These areas can be a huge task to start but should be done at least once a year, preferably in the spring when the weather is not too cold and not too hot.
When spring is in the air the season for outdoor living is approaching. Now is the time to get a head start on reconditioning the things around the yard that you use during the warmer weather.
So why not get started at the top, work your way to the bottom and finish with the outside. Then relax and enjoy!
- Create designated holding bins for each type of recycled product and place them in a convenient location in your home/garage.
- Set you thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and a few degrees lower in the winter to save on cooling and heating costs.
- Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills as well.
- Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Bring a reusable water bottle with you when traveling or at work.
- Often, old electronics ends up in basements, attics and closets, never to be seen again until it is fully obsolete, at which point it goes into the trash and perhaps into a landfill. If you have electronic items to recycle, the assistance of a professional junk and rubbish removal company may be helpful. For information on recycling your old electronics visit NYC Waste LE$$.
Research shows a person creates approximately 4 pounds of waste per day. As the population grows, there are fewer places we can store the tons of garbage we create every day of every year, over the decades. The concept of "reduce, reuse and recycle" is to utilize goods that are already manufactured rather than continue to use raw materials to produce replacement goods.
To "Reduce" is relative, you reduce when you cut back from what you currently have. When you shop, do so differently. Buy products in bulk, with less packaging, or with packaging that is reusable. Look for things that will last longer, things that are not only durable and well-made, but also useful and enjoyable, or that you would be pleased with for a long time. This will help to save the environment and save you the money you would spend to replace the item. What is good for the environment can be good for your pocket as well. Although, the most effective way to reduce waste is to prevent unnecessary waste in the first place.
Before you recycle or dispose of anything, consider whether it has any life left in it. Reusing items is a way to stop waste because it delays or avoids that item from being put into the waste collection and disposal system. By reusing material and re-manufacturing them into new products, we are reducing the amount of natural resources that we need to use.
Recycling saves energy, land space, money, and reduces air and water pollution, as well as reserve the wildlife habitat. It is one of the best ways for you to have a positive impact on the world in which we live.
"Going green" is a popular phrase these days. Some consider green to be a drastic life-style change. But it does not have to be that complicated. Going green means making a conscious effort to become environmentally friendly and making ecologically responsible decisions. Thus helping to protect the environment and sustaining is natural resources.
Start with small steps. Some simple changes you can make in your daily routine can have a very positive impact on the environment, as well as your wallet. Try using reusable grocery bags, water bottles, and plastic containers to carry your lunch to work. These changes will save you money and reduce on the trash that will ultimately end up in a dump.