Estate Clearing and Hoarding Remediation:
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s only natural to want to know more to determine if we are a good fit for you and your needs. Please contact us in the event your questions have not been addressed below. We return all calls promptly and courteously
Q: What types of clients do you typically work with?
A: The vast majority of those who contact us are in the midst of attempting to declutter/liquidate an estate after the death of a family member or in cases where they are legally appointed guardians or conservators.
We are also contacted by seniors themselves—or their legal representatives—needing assistance with downsizing the estate or with packing and making all needed arrangements to ensure a safe, smooth transition to an alternative residential environment.
We have provided help in clutter-clearing and hoarding remediation in Southern California since 1999.
Our goal and company mission is to establish realistic, achievable expectations from the very beginning in order to assure that your project has a successful outcome.
This process often involves family members, estate attorneys, realtors, senior service professionals, and fiduciaries. We are experienced in managing and working with relevant third parties to get the job done as effectively and professionally as possible.
Q: How is Clutter & Hoarding Pros™ different than crime scene or bio-hazard clean-up companies offering estate clearing services for cluttered or hoarded homes?
Crime scene/biohazard clean-up companies who also offer hoarding "clean-up services" do not specialize in or take the enormous amount of time needed to assure proper management and, when needed, inventorying, organizing, and coordinating the dozens of details involved in properly assuring a successful outcome for the client—be it a family member, executor, legally appointed conservator, or the hoarder him or herself, whether living or deceased.
At Clutter & Hoarding Pros™, our specialty is in the details—and that's what we do, best.
Q: What do your services generally involve?
At Clutter & Hoarding Pros™, our primary scope and focus is to assist family members who have lost a relative and are now left with the daunting task of decluttering the estate in order to prepare it for living or for sale.
We often help seniors (and their families) downsize to alternative living, such as assisted living or a nursing home. We insure that the property is quickly brought back to a highly livable state to prevent such further dangers as biohazardous conditions, fire dangers, health and safety concerns, and pest/vermin infestation.
Q: Do your services include the purchase or liquidation of estates?
A: No, we do not liquidate—I.e, purchase items—in an estate; however, we have excellent resources we can refer who provide these types of services.
Q: Specifically, how will your services help me?
A: We realize that helping families declutter a hoarded home is never “one size fits all”—and that’s why every single project we undertake is completely customized to meet the needs of the family, any imposed court ordered rulings, and the requirements of either the estate or probate attorney or the elder resident. The family and/or the owner are on-site during every project to assure expectations are fully met.
Clutter & Hoarding Pros™ works to fully remediate estates that have been affected by gross negligence and the accumulation of large quantities of personal possessions over an extended period of years or decades.
Our team is background checked and insured, nonjudgmental, professional, caring, respectful, and sensitive at all times to the special needs of those we serve.
Clutter & Hoarding Pros™ has a 100%
success rate in estate clearing of the hoarder's home creating a livable and/or salable environment.
Each and every project is personally managed by Michelle Quintana, the owner. She is always on site during projects, managing her team, answering your questions, facilitating, and assuring that things go as planned.
Q: How is Clutter & Hoarding Pros™ different from a junk removal company?
A: The difference between the our services and those of a junk removal or “clean-out” service is that we specialize in clutter management and full-service remediation of a property.
Specifically, this means we take the time to recover any valued items that might easily be tossed out as trash by a junk removal company. This includes important documents, cash, art collections, memorabilia—anything deemed of value or to be kept for sentimental reasons, for an estate sale, or for donation.
We execute an efficient plan of action and are able to complete most projects in a week or less. We also manage the disposal, donation, or redistribution of items that are not being kept.
Q: Why not just hire a junk removal “clean out” service?
A: A junk removal clean-out service will simply come into a residence and indiscriminately remove all contents into a dump truck within a day or two with little to no regard for contents management.
This means that if you believe there are valuable items in the home, or possessions you or your family choose to salvage and cannot quickly locate within a hoarded property, hiring a junk removal “clean-out” company would not be in your best interest.
The critical difference is in the time and attention we spend on the details of the contents management.
Q: Will you outsource my projects to other assistants?
A: We never outsource to anyone. When a project requires a team or another individual to assist because of time constraints or a large scope of work, this will be discussed in detail with, and approved by, all responsible parties before we begin.
Q: How can I assure my confidentially will be respected?
A: We have a strict policy of never discussing
your business with anyone unless you agree well in advance as to the exact purpose and nature of the conversation. You may sign a client confidentiality agreement, if you so choose.
Q: Are your vehicles marked and what type of identifying clothing do your assistants wear?
A: We understand and respect each and every client request for anonymity. None of our vehicles are marked. Additionally, the client always has the choice prior to the start of any project to advise us whether or not they would like us to wear our company logo shirts.
Q: What do you charge for your services?
A: Clutter & Hoarding Pros™ works with clients on a per-project, fixed-fee basis only after a thorough in-home assessment is conducted. We absolutely CANNOT give estimates or quote service fees over the phone, because these projects have so many factors that must be considered before we can accurately submit a project proposal.
Email or call us for an estimate.
Q: What if my family and friends think I should do this on my own?
A: We understand our clients and the challenges that massive decluttering present. Because we use proven systems that have succeeded with hundreds of individuals and families for almost two decades, we know how to solve the "I'm stuck, perplexed, and overwhelmed" feelings that often accompany reaching your goals.
Hiring us is a commitment to the estate clearing of the hoarder's home within a very short amount of time. We assess the issues, provide an accurate project proposal for all work to be completed, then get to work!
Q: What resources do you have for larger projects?
A: When we use additional help, our team members are courteous, professional, and non- judgmental, and have worked with us for years. We do a thorough background check on all team members for your increased peace of mind.
We have excellent resources available for many types of service professionals: estate and elder care attorneys, handymen, licensed contractors, pest control companies, real estate service providers, etc. These are dependable referrals that we have personally known or worked with for years and can confidently refer to our clients. We do not accept any commissions or fees from these referrals.
Please contact us for the names of these service companies, whether you choose to hire us or not.
Our goal is to assure you that every aspect of the estate recovery and remediation is completed with a one-call solution.
Q: What areas do you service?
A: Clutter & Hoarding Pros™ offers services throughout Southern California. Services outside of this area are offered; please call for details.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept? Are your services covered by my Homeowner's insurance?
A: We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, checks, and PayPal. We know of no home insurance that covers this type of service.
Q: I have many more questions about your services—how will I know the right questions to ask so that there are no misunderstandings and our project runs smoothly?
A: It’s completely normal for our clients to ask a wide range of questions, since this is definitely not a “one size fits all” type of service.
Click here to view a list of the 25 questions
most commonly asked during an on-site assessment.
These questions and all others will be answered during our in-home assessment.
What Clients Say About Michelle and Clutter & Hoarding Pros™
Our company is Trust Properties USA. We're realtors specializing soley in probate & trust real estate. We have sold over 400 estates, so we know about hoarders and trash. I met Michelle recently at a business event, and I am very glad I did. As a first assignment I assigned Michelle a true hoarder's home filled to the rafters with trash and refuse. Michelle and her crew got to work immediately. The work was done quickly, on time and on budget! Bottom line, Michelle DELIVERS!! I look forward to a long-term relationship with Clutter & Hoarding Pros.--Paul Hargraves, Woodland Hills, CA
TRUSTWORTHY, PROFESSIONAL, EFFICIENT! Michelle and her team are unparalleled in stressful situations and clutters that seem impossible to clear. As a trust attorney, my clients need a dependable company to come in and clear out their loved ones' or their own homes! We have used Michelle in a variety of situations, and every time she and her team have proven worth every penny. They take the hard work off our our shoulders—and the client's—and this is very important, especially in light of the things that families face (illness, death, hoarding, etc.). Thank you Michelle and Team!--Shadi A Shaffer, Esq, Aliso Viejo, CA