Have you ever watched the popular program “The Hoarders” and secretly worried that was you? That somewhere under all the “stuff” is the skeletal remains of your long lost cat?
Fortunately for us – most of us only fear that – we aren’t that. However – there is a very good reason to be aware of the amount of “clutter” that is around us – it affects our health. And – for the record – clutter is very subjective. What is my clutter and my junk may be very different from what you perceive as your clutter and your junk.
So why declutter for my health?
First and foremost excess clutter – especially OLD excess clutter – is a haven for dust and mold that can easily get out of hand in your house or office. Dust is unavoidable and happens naturally in our everyday lives. Our coffee tables get dusty – our end tables get dusty -our television screens collect dusty – that’s normal. But when is the last time you dusted the hundreds of books on your bookshelves? Is it time to get rid of some of those old books – for your health?
Books can be a haven for dust mites and mold. We may occasionally dust the outside edges of a book, however the insides of books, where all the dust mites can gather, is just as bad. So, what happens when we open the book? The force of the book opening send the dust particles straight into our noses. Yuk!
In addition, the very nature of living in our homes, with pets that go outdoors and shoes that bring mold and fungus inside out house, generates dust and other items that are hazardous to our health. If our houses are cluttered, these particles will go everywhere and stay on top of the clutter. Keeping the clutter to a minimum keeps the opportunity for the dust and mold to spread to a minimum as well.
Health Benefits of Decluttering
Can clutter keep you overweight? Yes – they’ve found a direct correlation between the over-consumption of things and the overconsumption of food! Want to lose weight? Clear the clutter! “As people begin to control the clutter, they begin to control themselves” states Lynne Gilberg, a professional organizer.
In additional to risking physical health, being a “hoarder” also affects our mental health. Clutter can actually interfere with your brain’s ability to process information. Scientists have proven that chaos keeps our brains from functioning at its optimum and keeps us from focusing. Clutter is chaos.
Feeling stressed? Take a look around at your world and do a “clutter checkup.” Do you feel unsettled in your car? Is it full of junk food bags or stuff on the floorboards. Do you have to clear the passenger seat to take your child to school? Having a cluttered car can cause stress. Make it a goal to clean out your car and keep a trash bag in your car. Most of the clutter in our car is actually trash! Throw things away when you stop to get gas. The 5 minutes you are waiting for the car to fill up is one great time to clear out and clean up!
How to Declutter
Finally, clutter keeps our homes from being truly clean. In my business, we see homes that have too much clutter. Pack up some of those treasured keepsakes and rotate them out. You don’t need to have ALL of them displayed all the time. Rotating keeps them fresh and keeps the clutter – thereby the dust – at a minimum.
Make a box for things you can’t bear to part with – pack them up in plastic storage boxes (not cardboard) and put them away for 6 months. In all likelihood it will be out of site and out of mind for most. If you didn’t miss these items for 6 months – you may not ever miss them! Just go ahead and donate them to your favorite charity.
Take one room at a time. This doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. One room, one closet, one drawer, one shelf at a time.
Now, relax and enjoy your nice – clutter free- stress free – clean smelling home!
What is YOUR favorite decluttering tip? Post your tip on my Facebook page! Watch for my continuing series “Your Healthy Home” on my website and my Facebook page. Who knows – posting your tip on my Facebook page may earn you goodies!!
Contact Maid in America if you would like for us to give you a FREE estimate to clean your home the healthy way!