A house becomes a home when it is full of memories and the important things we accumulate over the years. The problem is that these belongings can clutter the home if left unorganized. This clutter can lead to increased risks of hazards that can put your home – and your memories – in danger. Fortunately, there are many ways you can make your home safer without letting go of the things you hold the dearest.
Let’s explore how organizing your home can make it safer.
How Decluttering Helps
You wouldn’t think that the general detritus of everyday life would be a risk to you or your family’s health. We’re surrounded by our belongings every day and don’t see any overt problems. The reality is that the more we fill our homes, the more dangers there are.
- Clutter can lead to mold – the longer the washing up is left in the sink, or food and drink are left around, the greater the chance for mold to grow. The same goes for untreated leaks and humid areas in bathrooms and basements. Mold can spread quickly and lead to allergies and respiratory problems.
- Clean up quickly– if you don’t do it now, you’ll just have to do it later, and the delay could make things harder. Fix leaks and address excessive humidity with open windows, dehumidifiers, etc. If you do end up with a mold problem, DO NOT ignore it. Call Davis County mold clean up specialists to eliminate mold safely.
- Clutter can create fire hazards – stacks of paperwork, books, or rubbish can become fuel for a fire if one should break out. Covered ventilation grilles or wiring can lead to excessive amounts of heat that might combust at any moment. Other items can also block entryways, leading to danger in escaping a fire.
- Clutter can be dangerous for children – Childproofing is an important part of welcoming a child into the home. This task will only become more difficult if your house is full of potentially dangerous clutter. Clear away stray objects, which could become choking or trip hazards. Any prescription or over-the-counter drugs should always be kept out of reach. Household cleaning products can harm children in many ways. Keeping all these items stored safely out of reach is a must when opening your home to your or others’ children.
- Clutter can be dangerous for the elderly – As we get older, we become more susceptible to injury from less dangerous sources. Trailing wires or bulky furniture can become easy trip hazards. Too many loose items can become difficult to move at a moment’s notice should you need to clear a path in a hurry. Messier areas can be harder to clean when we’re less able to move around.
Clearing out clutter also provides a few benefits for you psychologically. As the old saying goes, “A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind.” This has more truth than you’d think. Keeping your living spaces clear of clutter can help reduce stress and prevent you from succumbing to the dreaded hoarding mindset.
Tips for Decluttering Different Areas
So now you know the benefits of decluttering, how can you go about doing it? We’ll go room-by-room and discuss the best ways for tidying up your home.
The first and last room we see every day helps set a precedent for our state of mind. Try to avoid filling your bedroom with unnecessary items – keep books, DVDs, and knick-knacks in other rooms in the house. Ensure that all laundry is neatly put away in drawers and cupboards, and things like jewelry and makeup are kept in sorted caddies or boxes.
If you have children, have them tidy up each day when they are done playing. Toy boxes, bins, or baskets are a must for organizing toys and games, and shelves can keep books and creative materials off the floor. If toys become too worn or broken, remove and recycle them. Use the space for toys that are of the most interest today.
The Living Room
As the room most used by you and your loved ones, keeping the living room neat and clutter-free is important. Bookshelves are ideal for organizing books, DVDs, and decor items, as well as keeping the less child-friendly items out of reach.
Coffee tables come in many styles that include functional storage spaces. You can use them to house loose items such as TV remotes. Try to avoid having cables from extension cords trailing through the middle of the room. If possible, secure them to the skirting boards or feed them under furniture to keep them out the way.
If you are looking to limit the number of potential fire hazards, switching any physical books and letters to their digital versions will save you excessive paper. If this is not an option for letters, scan them upon receipt and shred and dispose of them. Never keep anything made of paper or flammable materials near plug sockets or heaters.
The kitchen is easily the most dangerous room in the average household, and so it is the most important to keep clutter-free. Keep all utensils and storage caddies far from the edges of your countertops to prevent them from being in reach of children or at risk of being knocked off. Regularly clean out your fridge and freezer to prevent water from leaking and creating slip hazards or from reaching electrical sockets.
Ensure that all washing up is done swiftly to prevent mold growth and keep windows open during cooking to stop moisture buildup. If you have young children, having child locks on all cupboards will prevent them from accessing dangerous chemicals or other tools inside.
Always make sure that any doors that lead to and from the kitchen remain clear to facilitate easy exit if a fire should occur. It is also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher handy either beneath the sink or by the door.
Ideally, do not keep medicines in the bathroom, as heat and moisture can damage them. Try not to overstock on medications, and make sure they are all kept locked away in a cabinet. Dispose of out-of-date medicine quickly.
Keep any cleaning chemicals safely locked away and regularly clean in and around your toilet and drain plugs. Mold can grow quickly in the warm and damp environment created by baths and showers, so regularly wash towels and bathmats. It is also a good idea to buy a rubber mat or stick-on grips for the base of your bath or shower to prevent slips or falls.
Tackle your home clean up a little at a time. Consider devoting 30 minutes to decluttering each day, and reward yourself when you’re done. Decluttering need not be overwhelming if you tackle it in chunks, but it can go a long way to minimizing your risks for accidents and disasters.