Spring Cleaning Tips: Decluttering


It is that time of year again. Some people love it, some people hate it, but either way, it has to get done. Yes, we are talking about spring cleaning. This is an opportunity to declutter your home. You should take this opportunity to get rid of somethings and organize the rest.

Consequences of a cluttered home:

  • Poor air circulation– Clutter can restrict airflow and/or obstruct ventilation and increase the risk of moisture buildup from humidity and condensation. Moisture buildup can leave you with conditions perfect for mold development.
  • Difficult cleaning– More stuff means more surfaces to clean and more obstacles to maneuver around for cleaning access. Clutter makes it difficult to get into all the nooks and crannies to make sure everything is cleaned thoroughly. That is, if you can reach it at all.
  • Hidden problems- All that clutter can be covering up hidden property damage that should really been addressed as soon as possible. As you declutter, you may uncover signs of water damage or mold development that would have, otherwise, gone unnoticed.
  • It is just plain stressful– Clutter means chaos. The stress of rummage through stuff to find that one thing that you need or the constantly lingering thought “I really need to get rid of some stuff” (but never doing so), it’s enough to drive a person mad.

Home Decluttering Tips:

  • Make a list:
    • Lists are great for three reasons:
      1. It is incredibly satisfying to cross things off a list once they are completed.
      2. It establishes a game plan and keeps your end goal in perspective.
      3. It holds you accountable and increases the likelihood of you actually completing the tasks.
  • Know your limits:
    • Set reasonable expectations for the project. It is easy to get overly excited at the start and set too high of expectations for the final results.
    • Unattainable goals will only leave you overwhelmed and drive you to give up on the task before completion.
    • For example: Do not run out right away and buy all these fancy organization and storage systems right away. Take some time to assess what you have and what you want to get rid of. THEN determine the most practical approach to organizing and storing everything.
  • Sort your stuff:
    • Establish a sorting system for your stuff.
    • For example: Set up boxes and label them: “keep,” “storage,” “donate,” etc. Once the boxes are full, transport them to the designated locations.
    • Sorting your items will help the break down a large cleanup into smaller, more manageable tasks.
  • Rule of Thumb:
    • Develop general guidelines of what to get rid of.
    • For example: A good rule of  thumb for clothing– If you haven’t worn it within the last year, chances are you won’t ever wear it. Get rid of it! Or old, unused electronics– most likely they don’t work or are too dated to be practical anymore. Get rid of it!
    • Be honest!
  • Practicality:
    • Some organizational tools and methods work great for some and not so great for others. Make sure you organize your stuff so that it is most suited to your needs and most functional for your daily routine.
    • A practical system will help you maintain the organization year-round and avoid the need for a major cleaning project once a year.
    • Also, be practical about what you bring into your home everyday. Just because it is on sale, does not mean you NEED it.
  • Don’t forget the attic, basement and crawl space:
    • It is easy to forget to organize these spaces, but remember that these spaces are the most vulnerable to moisture buildup and mold development.
    • IMPORTANT: when organizing your main living spaces, DO NOT simply toss all your unwanted items into your attic, basement or crawl space and consider that “storage.”
    • Attics, basements and crawl spaces where not meant to be storage spaces (as convenient as that may be). These spaces need sufficient ventilation, continuous air circulation and consistent moisture control. Storing an excessive amount of stuff in your attic, basement or crawl space can negate all moisture and mold preventatives.
  • Regular Maintenance:
    • Make a it habit to routinely assess your stuff.
    • Regularly assess your home and get rid of anything you think you don’t need. Don’t put it off and convince yourself that you will get rid of it eventually… you won’t.

As you declutter your home, you may uncover suspicious staining, discoloration or signs of water damage. If so, these could be signs of a potential mold problem. You should consider consulting a professional to have your home inspected for mold. Uncovering home in your home can be rather stressful, the professionals can help. For more information on mold inspections in Eastern PA, call 1-215-876-7037.

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