Many people link poor indoor air quality to cigarette smoke, chemical pollutants, or the presence of mold or mildew. Although all of these airborne contaminants pose a serious threat to the overall quality of your home air, indoor air quality can be affected by clutter. Many people do not think of the dangers of clutter!
How does clutter affect the quality of your home air?
A cluttered room provides more surface area where dust, pollen, and other pollutants can accumulate.
The correlation is simple; the more items that you have lying around your house, the more places allergens and pollutants build up. If you have piles of items in various rooms throughout your home, you are providing a place for airborne particles to land and accumulate. The clutter also provides areas where contaminants can settle and go unseen. I cannot tell you how much I personally have tested high mold compounds in an indoor air quality test that was due to stacks of papers, books, and other long-time stored belongings.
A cluttered space is harder to clean.
Envision an empty bedroom. Think of how easy it would be to clean the entire room. Now envision the very same room cluttered with lots of furniture, piles of books, piles of clothing, and various other types of clutter. How much longer is it going to take you to clean the room filled with clutter? A space that is filled with clutter is harder to clean and requires much more frequent and thorough cleaning.
A room with clutter has less air circulation.
Good air circulation is necessary for healthy air. Ideally, you want to let fresh air in your home as often as possible. You can also use your ventilation system and fans to circulate air throughout the inside of your home. Clutter builds up in your home will reduce the flow of air and lessen the chemical clearing benefits of circulation.
Bottom line: cut down the clutter. Make a habit of getting rid of junk mail, old clothing, broken holiday decorations, and all other clutter on a routine basis. Don’t let these items accumulate inside your home. Take old electronics to be recycled. Donate wearable clothing, children’s toys, and useable household goods to charity. Take time, weekly, to clear out any clutter from your kitchen, family room, and bedrooms. Do not underestimate the dangers of clutter!
Even if you relegate your clutter to the garage and basement of your home, you are still allowing pollutants and allergens to accumulate. These contaminants can still make their way into your living spaces through your ventilation system and the airflow of your home. Clear the clutter and enjoy breathing healthier indoor air!