There are cluttered houses, and then there are dangerously cluttered houses. Most of us live in ‘cluttered’ houses but see the dangerous variety on TV. The thing about clutter is that it can accumulate to the point of creating a dangerous situation without a homeowner ever knowing what is happening. It quietly creeps up over years of buying items and rarely throwing anything away.
But how do we know if our clutter – or the clutter of a loved one – is a safety issue? Here are some things to look for.
Clutter prevents movement
When the amount of clutter in a home causes you to climb over or maneuver around belongings in the course of normal living, there is a safety issue. A good example is a home where there is a narrow pathway around the home with stuff piled high on either side. This kind of situation is an open invitation for a serious fall.
Clutter is a fire hazard
A more serious issue is when clutter is a fire hazard. Stacks of old newspapers and magazines that have dried out over the years, create a virtual tinderbox just waiting for a spark to ignite a single page.
Clutter also presents a fire hazard issue if it blocks doors and windows that could otherwise be used to exit the home. You should have access to a clear door in the event of a fire.
Clutter is an invitation to pests
It doesn’t take much clutter to become a warm invitation to household pests including mice, rats, silverfish, ants, and cockroaches. These critters are not only annoying, but they also carry disease. Some can do structural damage to your home by chewing on wiring and creating holes in the walls and foundation.
Clutter encourages mold
The presence of mold in a home can lead to a variety of health issues, the least of which is respiratory illness. Mold grows in moist areas and is particularly fond of surfaces like paper, cardboard, wood products, carpets, fabrics and upholstery. Clutter encourages mold when it traps moisture by reducing air circulation. A cluttered home is many more times likely to develop mold problems than an uncluttered home.
If you are concerned your home might be unsafe, please contact Neat as a Pin® Organizing and Cleaning to learn more. Let us help you declutter for a cleaner, safer, and more enjoyable home.