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Lifestyle
Why Clearing Your Clutter Matters to Your Health
Learn how a messy house affects your mind, body and finances.
Written by Lindsey Steffes

Overstuffed closets, messy junk drawers and piles of paperwork? Create stress-free spaces with these insider tips. Clutter comes in all forms—garage sale bargains, family trinkets and treasures, overdue bills and unfinished projects—touching every part of the house. Not only does clutter affect your livable space, it also affects your mindset, productivity and bank account. But fear not.

Photo by Ken Stabile

Pro-organizer Geralin Thomas teaches readers how to conquer clutter for good in her latest book, “Decluttering Your Home: Tips, Techniques and Trade Secrets.”

Begin with a clear mind and a focused plan. Tackle the process by moving from room to room, or by zoning rooms into different projects: closet, pantry, drawers, etc. When it comes to specific rooms like entryways, kitchens and bedrooms, determine what actually needs to be there, depending on your family habits, styles and preferences. When examining objects, Geralin suggests asking yourself these questions: “Do I love this? Do I use this? Do I need to keep it for legal or financial reasons? If it’s not working, is it worth fixing? Is it worth the space it occupies?”

Photo by Ken Stabile

If you decide you can live without the objects, label them “Toss,” “Donate,” or “Sell” to help streamline the process. Further organize unwanted objects with donation boxes, trash bags, recycling bins and “For Sale” containers.

Photo by Ken Stabile
Window Seat
Photo by Bret Gum

Less Stressful Spaces

Does the thought of finding your spare keys, an old family recipe or an overdue bill in a stack of paperwork make you squirm? Tackle those issues first; by rethinking your home and reorganizing your busiest spaces, you can reduce those panicked, last-minute searches.
Health Hazards

Dust, mold, germs and allergens thrive in overstuffed spaces. Crowded stairways, mantles or living rooms may increase the risk of fire and make it harder for family members to escape quickly.

Late Charges

By organizing your bills in mounted wall cubbies or designated desk spaces, you can avoid those painful late penalties. Don’t let clutter get in the way of your finances. If you’re looking for a little extra cash, consider sorting through your wardrobe and storage. Sell those items to a secondhand shop or throw your own garage sale.