Lose Your Junk Or Lose Your Home!
The above title is an unfortunate situation hoarders sometimes face if they are on a fixed income and need to refinance. In order to refinance, the homeowner must pass an inspection by the bank. The Junkluggers help people do more than dispose of junk and pass on donations – in many cases the Junkluggers even change lives! Chris Schuman, veteran lugger and his fiancé, Tara (a certified life coach), teamed up to share the love with a hoarder faced with losing his junk or losing his home!
JLNEWS: How dire was the situation?
CS: It was pretty dire, the older gentleman had lived in this house his entire life. He grew up there, his parents grew up there– his family had literally been at this location for the past 80 years. The gentleman’s home was riddled with years of junk and three feisty cats, to top it all off. With the client on a fixed income from disability, he needed money to refinance. The bank told him to clean up or get out.
JLNEWS: How often have you encountered a situation like this?
CS: Often enough, but it’s in helping people in situations like this that we are at our best. Similar cases occur when the town is going after a homeowner because the neighbors are complaining about the mess, or in a hoarder situation, a family may be performing an intervention due to health risks, etc…
JLNEWS: What services did we provide?
CS: Our normal scope of service is to assess the situation, manage the customer’s expectation, and perform removal. Most people have a good idea of what they want gone and let us know, sometimes we’ll sort through things with the customer – in an overwhelming situation, we hold the customer’s hand – so in a scenario like this, it’s on the Junkluggers to be the shoulder the client needs to lean on. We help them by identifying junk, managing donation expectations, and disposing of excess items.
JLNEWS: What services were provided that went above and beyond?
CS: Above and beyond situations occur when a client doesn’t even know where to start. In this specific hoarder situation, you could barely open the door. My fiancé, Tara, would refer to this as “project paralysis”: you see the mess, you know it’s there, you know something needs to be done, but you don’t know where to begin. Project paralysis is a situation in which a professional organizer or life coach would help a client overcome their issues – The Junkluggers are fully capable of offering that on a smaller scale, but sometimes people need the expanded attention. Ultimately, the more we get the customer involved, the more they’re able to let go.
JLNEWS: What was the resolution?
CS: The bank loan officer came down to the residence after the work was completed and was very excited. Four hours after we began, a truck was filled, the floor was visible, the cats were in good spirits, and even the homeowner was stunned; he hadn’t realized how much space his items were taking up until they were no longer there. Once the clutter was gone, his space was less stressful, there were places to sit, and you could see out the windows.