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The Health Risks of Clutter in your Home

It is true that being surrounded by excessive clutter can contribute to stress, feeling overwhelmed, and tired, but it also leads to becoming physically sick and negatively affecting your indoor air quality for you and your family.

The more stuff (papers, boxes, books, furniture, knickknacks, etc.) you have piled up in rooms, draws, closets, basements, and attics, the more chance those things are to collect dust and dust mites, pet dander as well as mold growth that all contribute to poor air quality and the overall health of all that breathe it.  The EPA states that indoor air pollution is the number one environmental health concern, as well as The American Lung Association, which has stated that indoor air pollution is widespread making it more likely to get sick from your home than from the outside air.  Some symptoms of indoor air pollutants are nasal congestion, irritation of the throat, mouth, and eyes, sneezing, wheezing, asthma, and respiratory concerns.

When mold spores grow and become airborne, those with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease such as COPD and asthma may have trouble breathing. Additionally, adults and children with immune suppression are at increased risk of adverse effects of long-term mold exposure.  Mold growth is common to grow on wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products as well as other materials such as dust, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.

When clutter accumulates, it prevents proper air circulation and inadequate light which are key factors needed to ward off the growth of mold.  Remember, that poor ventilation, dark and damp places are where mold grows and thrives!

The more stuff piled in every available space makes it increasingly hard to clean properly which not only promotes the above issues, but also leads to bugs and possible rodents to take up residence especially in stacks of papers, newspapers, magazines, and even overcrowded pantries.  These pests are not only gross but can leave behind bacteria and droppings continuing this unhealthy and unsanitary vicious cycle.

Aside from the negative effects of clutter and indoor air quality, it is a serious safety issue leading to tripping, falling, and sustaining broken limbs or head injuries.  Blocking hallways, rooms, or doorways is a fire hazard that should a fire do start, the presence of clutter will quickly assist in fueling the fire as well as hinder or prevent a swift and easily accessible escape route.

If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and tired and not sure where to begin to start the process of clearing out the excess, click on the link below for easy steps to declutter your home.

Helpful Household Decluttering Tipis from GLAD

At Coastal Air Assessments, we work our way from the outside in, first identifying potential issues at the exterior of the home that could be causing poor air quality inside the home. Our Mold Assessments and Air Sampling Tests are timely, accurate, and a true asset for Florida homeowners. Contact us today for your free consultation.