The never-ending task of having to tidy and organize the things in your home or office may not be a spring cleaning project you look forward to. But, letting things pile up could lead to more than just not having a clear space from which to live or work. It can actually cause injuries and emergency hazards.
"Many may not realize that clutter can actually lead to a number of problematic situations, including falls and other bodily injuries, as well as blocking areas that can prevent one from exiting or entering a building in an emergency," said John Capponi, Vice President of Operations for PuroClean. "The inability to leave a building in an emergency quickly because of cluttered hallways and door entries, or the inability to locate important items like a fire extinguisher, is dangerous.”
As spring cleaning becomes top of mind for individuals, Capponi suggests the following spring cleaning checklist to help homeowners clear clutter to make their homes and offices safe:
- Start in small increments. To clear the clutter your home or office, it's best to start with closets or other storage areas first. Once you've freed up space in those areas for storage, you can then clear rooms, corners and other open spaces and put leftover items in your now spacious closets. It is better to have items in your closets than in trafficked areas.
- Clear clutter in the kitchen. The kitchen is probably the most common place where fires start. Your kitchen should always be clear of clutter. And, you should make sure you never have flammable objects near the oven and stove area, such as billing statements, grocery lists and other paper items, as well as dish rags, sponges or other flammable kitchen items.
- Trash junk mail. Some of us have an area in our home or office where junk mail and other unnecessary papers seem to pile up. To avoid the collection of clutter, and the potential of a fire hazard, discard of unwanted mail as soon as you get it. Don’t let it pile up. If you receive a lot of bills and bank statements in the mail, consider paying bills and reviewing statements online only.
- Donate, donate, donate. If you find that you have clothes in your closet that you haven't worn in six months or longer, it's best to get rid of them. One way to do that is by donating them. Find a homeless shelter in your neighborhood where you can drop them off. Or, consider having a garage sale to sell clothing and other unwanted items at a low cost.
- Got books? Don't let them collect dust. Some individuals may find that they purchase many books, but end up reading them only once. Instead of letting them collect dust and use up space, have a book exchange party where you can get rid of them, or donate them to your local library. For future reads, consider borrowing books from friends or simply getting your books at your local library instead of purchasing new ones.