There are cluttered houses, and then there are dangerously cluttered houses. We have seen them all in our years as a concierge service helping people solve their clutter issues. 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 just creeps up on you after years of amassing possessions and rarely throwing anything away.
We get a lot of calls from people who need assistance in decluttering. Interestingly enough, a lot of our clients find themselves asking if their clutter problem has created a safety issue. Sometimes it has, other times it hasn’t. The few points we have listed below should give you a good idea of when clutter does present a genuine safety issue.
Clutter is a safety issue when:
It Impedes Free Movement Around the House
When the volume of clutter in a home rises to the point that it is impeding the free movement of the home’s occupants, there is a safety issue. For example, consider a family or living room that has so much stuff in it that occupants only have a narrow walkway of a foot or two to navigate their way through. This kind of situation is an open invitation to a serious fall.
Every year, more than 1.6 million seniors take trips to the emergency department after suffering injuries from a fall at home. Some of these falls are the direct result of having too much clutter in the home. The older you get, the more room you need to safely move around your home.
It Presents a Fire Hazard
A more serious issue than impeded movement is clutter that creates a fire hazard. One example would be stacks of old newspapers and magazines that have dried out over the years, creating 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. Remember, you may not have access to the front door in the event of a fire. What would you do if your only escape in a house fire was a first-floor window you could not reach because stacks of clutter blocked it?
It Invites Household Pests
Sometimes clutter can become so pervasive that it invites household pests including mice, rats, and cockroaches. These household pests are not only annoying, but they also tend to carry disease as well. Some pests can even do structural damage to your home by chewing on wiring and creating holes in the walls and foundation. Any home where the clutter is extensive enough to invite household pests to take up residence is a home that is unsafe.
It Allows the Growth of Mold
Lastly, the presence of mold in a home can lead to a variety of health issues, including moderate to severe respiratory illness. Mold growth is promoted in areas where moisture levels are high, and it tends to grow very easily on surfaces like paper, cardboard, wood products, carpets, fabrics and upholstery.
The problem with clutter in this regard is that it traps moisture by reducing air circulation. A cluttered home is many more times likely to develop mold problems that an uncluttered home. Therefore, clutter becomes a safety issue when it allows mold to grow.
My Divine Concierge offers expert decluttering services that can help you rid your home of clutter to rectify an unsafe condition. If you are concerned your home might be unsafe, please contact us to learn more about our service. Let us help you declutter for a cleaner, safer, and more enjoyable home.