Ellen Martin, organizing consultant for TLC's "Hoarding: Buried Alive" series, shares 3 steps to help you de-clutter your life. Free your space and the mind will follow. Remember that getting organized is important to your overall health.
Step 1: Mold Prevention
Mold grows in the damp, cluttered areas of your home. It is overlooked as a cause of allergies and breathing problems because most people are unaware that mold is multiplying right under their own roof. One of the most common places that mold grows is under the kitchen sink, an often ignored storage space in many homes where a few drops of water can be the start of a very big problem. Don't let mold creep up on you.
- De-clutter this space so you can get to the source of the problem.
- Organize the space so that you can see all of the surfaces. Use bins to facilitate cleaning under the sink. Instead of fumbling with the 10 or 20 cleaning products or kitchen appliances under your sink, sort them into a few bins that are easier to move and stack. Clear plastic bins, for example, are great for helping you keep an eye on mold.
Step 2: Bacteria Prevention
By allowing clutter to build up, you are basically inviting bacteria into your home. Bacteria grows quickly, and if it gets into your food, it can be very dangerous. Show unwelcome bacteria who's boss by taking out the trash more frequently.
- Use a smaller trash bin. The garbage can will fill up more quickly, forcing you to take out the garbage more often.
Step 3: Dust Removal
Dust is a universal problem; everyone has it in their home. Dust is made up of skin cells, pet dander and insects. Dust can cause a scratchy throat, burning eyes and breathing problems, but taking care of dust is a chore that's often neglected. De-cluttering is the first step to keeping dust in check. The desk in your work or home office is a dust hotspot.
- Get rid of paper. Sort through your papers and see what you should keep and what you should toss.
- Organize the papers you do keep into folders. Shred the rest, especially if these papers contain confidential information.
- Move the trash swiftly out of your space.
- De-clutter your desk on a daily basis to prevent pileups.
Click here to watch a web-exclusive video of this De-Clutter Checklist in action.