5 Really Good Reasons To Declutter Your Home
Life is busy and it can get messy in a hurry! If you look around your home right now, do you see an area that is cluttered? If you’re like most people, you probably have a designated spot for all the stuff that quickly turns into an overwhelming pile of clutter. It doesn’t take long before small piles in your home become large piles which spill over into multiple rooms in the house. Piles of papers, clothes, boxes, toys, and anything else that needs to be organized can be problematic for many reasons.
If you’re looking for a good reason to declutter your house, here are 5 of them:
Prevent Mold Growth
Mold is more likely to grow in areas that are poorly ventilated or have reduced airflow. You can lower the chances of mold growing in your home by keeping parts of the HVAC system free of clutter. Boxes, bins, and piles of clutter can disrupt air circulation in your home by blocking vents and parts of HVAC systems.
Clutter seems to accumulate in attic crawl spaces or basements because people tend to store miscellaneous items in these spaces.
Other areas of the house that might be cluttered are the bedrooms. AMD Environmental’s mold inspectors often see vents blocked due to storage containers placed directly on or near ventilation outlets.
If a home is not properly ventilated, it throws off the relative humidity and can trap moisture inside. Too much moisture can create a nice place for mold to grow.
Does this sound like you? Itching, sneezing, wheezing, sniffling, coughing, or generally feeling unwell most of the time? Your clutter could be harboring allergens that are causing you to be symptomatic.
Dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander accumulate in areas that are not cleaned regularly. Oftentimes, it’s the “stuff” we leave in piles that make certain areas hard to clean. Allergies and asthma symptoms may worsen as a result of unclean spaces, leaving you to scratch and sneeze your way through your day.
The less clutter you have in your home, the better chances you’ll have for improving your allergies.
Reduce exposure to harmful pathogens
You may not realize that your home contains harmful pathogens that are lurking under, around, and behind all your clutter. Pathogens (viruses and bacteria) are organisms that cause disease or infection to its host. Pathogens cause infection in a couple of ways:
- Direct damage of tissues during replication, generally through the production of poisonous toxins
- Excessive immune response that indiscriminately kills healthy and affected cells
Dust mites and bed bugs especially love to hide in cluttered laundry piles, carpets, and bedding, while other types of bacteria hide out in kitchens or bathrooms. Look around these spaces in your home to determine the best approach to decluttering.
Perhaps adding more shelving to a bedroom closet will eliminate the piles of laundry on the floor. Our consultants have also seen bathrooms that are cluttered with self-care products and bins of bathroom items, rendering it impossible to spot a small leak under a sink. Bathroom clutter also makes it hard to properly clean counter surfaces.
Create More Space
Anyone that has moved into a new home or apartment has experienced a growth in personal belongings. Some people are really good at getting rid of unnecessary household items. Others not so much. If you fall in the “not so much” category, you’re not alone. Over half of people who move into a new home accumulate more within the first year. And according to one recent survey, 51.9 percent of American homeowners say they need more space after just five years in a home. Americans must accumulate a lot of stuff given the fact that the average home size is larger than it was thirty years ago!
Remember, the goal is to declutter each room so you can create more space.
Peace Of Mind
A mess equals stress! Clutter tends to make people feel like there’s constantly something to do. This could be because of the external stimuli affecting the brain or just the idea that something needs to be cleaned up. It’s like a never-ending reminder that something needs to be done.
Clutter can cause additional stress by distracting you from accomplishing what you really need to focus on for the day. Do yourself a big favor and start purging!
How To Get Started
Start small. When you start to declutter your home, make three piles. One pile for items you want to keep, throw away, or donate. Go room by room so you don’t overwhelm yourself or your family members. You can do anything in small, manageable chunks.
Once you establish which items stay and which items go, determine how to dispose of the discard pile. One suggestion is to call a junk removal service to pick up and haul away your items in one big swoop. This convenient service will make it easy for you and give you the peace of mind you’re looking for.
Some items are not so easy to discard. Cans and containers of paint, lacquers, and chemicals require specific disposal methods, often regulated by the local government. As environmental consultants, we see a lot of garbage and clutter that contain harmful chemicals. If you’re not sure how to properly dispose of hazardous waste, call our experts for advice.
The next step to decluttering your home is to find a space for the items you decide to keep. We do not recommend using cardboard boxes for storage. The problem with this storage method is that cardboard is made of paper, and mold loves to feed off the organic compounds in paper. If the boxes get wet or the humidity is high, the boxes become a haven for mold growth. Mold spores simply need moisture to start the feeding frenzy.
A good way to store items in your basement or attic is in plastic storage bags or plastic bins. They are easily stored, stackable, and moisture resistant.
One last bit before you get started. Decide who will help you. You’d be surprised how willing your family members will be to help (after the initial groans). Organizing your space with family or friends can actually be fun – just don’t spend all your time looking at old photos (it happens).
Now that you have 5 really good reasons to declutter, it’s time to get organized!