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Are You Allergic to Your Own Home?

Are You Allergic To Your Own HomeAs a reader of the FastKlean blog I’m sure you’re already convinced of the benefits of having a clean home. Thanks to the fact you make use of professional cleaning services, the accessible areas of your house are likely very hygienic.

However, if any part of your home is at all cluttered the chances are high your living space isn’t as healthy as you’d like. Cluttered areas are very efficient at harbouring dust mites. It’s not too pleasant to consider that these microscopic creatures – which are present in all human living spaces – feed on dead skin cells or that their airborne droppings cause allergy symptoms.

If you’re allergic to dust mites (and the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology says dust mites are one of the most common allergens) you’ll experience allergic asthma, eczema or rhinitis symptoms when you breathe them in. Allergy UK estimates that at least 12 million people are allergic to their own home and decreasing the number of dust mites can help to reduce these symptoms.

Common places you’d find these mites are carpets, bedding and mattresses. However they’re prolific in any areas where dusts builds up. For example:

  • Ornaments or books on open shelves (the more ornaments or books the more dust mites)
  • Plant leaves
  • Piles of clothing
  • Soft toys that aren’t stored in containers
  • Piles of “stuff” that allow dust to build up on, around or behind them

Dust mites also really like warm, humid areas. Opening a window is an easy way to change this environment for them although perhaps not so if your clutter prevents access to windows in your property.

If you or a family member are allergic to dust mites, decluttering is one of the best ways you can keep the mites at bay to help prevent symptoms.

Decluttering isn’t always easy so here are some tips to give you a start:

Make a little plan of where you’re going to focus your decluttering efforts

Bedrooms can be a good place to start for this.

Don’t be hard on yourself

Clutter usually builds up over a period of time so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to sort through it all in one go.

Aim to reduce not just reorganise

When your home’s cluttered it negatively impacts your life in many ways, not just because of dust mites. Really your aim is to actually reduce the amount of stuff in your home, not just move it around.

Don’t start your decluttering with sentimental items as they are hardest to deal with. Decluttering can be hard work both physically and emotionally. One of the easiest ways to part with clutter is by enlisting the help of a friend, family member or professional.

Take a moment to consider your current storage

Often clutter builds up when it hasn’t got a proper home or it doesn’t fit there easily. Are you using the best type of storage for the your items? Having a switch around of your existing storage furniture could be a quick way to manage clutter that is used often.

Store things where they’re used

Another way clutter can build up is when items are used in a different place to where they’re stored. These things may have a perfectly good home but there’s always a delay in putting them back there because of the extra effort involved.

As I mentioned, decluttering can be quite emotionally draining. We usually have this build-up of belongings because it’s difficult to let go of the emotions associated with the items. Having a friend or family member to assist can be helpful for some people. However others feel more comfortable with a neutral professional who won’t judge them or get frustrated and can offer expert advice.

If you’re clutter’s mainly built up through a lack of time to deal with it then hiring a professional is also a good idea. You’ll have an efficient, extra pair of hands to swiftly move through everything plus a trained eye to look over your current organisation. Organising your home in a way that suits the flow of your lifestyle can be a great way to keep clutter at bay.

Clutter can have such a negative effect on your health that it’s truly something worth tackling. It might seem silly to pay someone to come in and help you “tidy up” but the service I offer is so much more than that.

As a rule, clutter is a result of unmade decisions and a reluctance to deal with challenging emotions. It’s easy to see why it can build up quickly but it’s also easy to see why it can be hard to address alone. Through my decluttering services I take clients through a process to change their mindset around clutter. The aim is to empower them to think differently about their clutter which in turn allows them to release these items much more easily. As a result this means lasting, long-term changes.

If you’ve been struggling with your clutter for a while or if you suddenly feel suffocated, get in touch for some help.

Avatar for Suzie Young

Written by Suzie Young

Suzie Young is a Professional Organiser and Holistic Declutter Coach based in London and can be booked via the FastKlean website.

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