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Clutter and Your Health

Clutter and Your Health

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – From stress about family issues, to stress about the job, stress is a part of all of our lives. It is important to know that there are some stresses in our life than can be managed by just cleaning up the clutter in our homes. An Extension professional offers information on how clutter can affects out lives and how to manage it.

Donna Shanklin, a Healthy Homes educator with Alabama Extension, said there are also obvious health benefits to managing the clutter in your home.

“Clutter holds mass amounts of dust mites, pet dander and dust, and blocked hallways and doorways are hazardous,” Shanklin said.

Stress increases when a living in an environment that is hard to “live” in. By living with clutter you are subconsciously reminded of work that is left undone. This can cause tremendous stress and fatigue.

Declutter Your Home

Shanklin offers the following step to reduce the amount of clutter in your home.

  1. Reduce the amount of clutter in your home or office as best you can. Try to de-clutter the majority of your home thoroughly.
  2. Compile three separate stashes: what to keep, what to shred (sensitive information) and what to throw away.
  3. Ask questions. Examples for clothes. Does it fit? Have you worn it in the last 12 months? Is there some sentimental value strong enough to keep it?
  4. Avoid accumulating clutter in areas where you have carpeting, on beds, or on sofas. These are areas dust and dust mites are more likely to be present. Dust-mite presence can increase allergic reactions and asthma.5. Keep clutter out of damp areas like basements. If you do use your basement as a storage
    area, keep clutter in waterproof bins or vacuum-sealed bags.

If the clutter feels overwhelming, identify one small problem area – a zone in the home. It may be the kitchen table top or one drawer. When you have success from the start you can move on to larger areas.

To learn more about keeping your home healthy, visit the Healthy Homes Partnership website.

About Donna Reynolds