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Is your clutter dangerous?

Is your clutter dangerous?
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Operations - Store and Insure

Get organised for safety’s sake

Clutter at home is definitely unsightly and often inconvenient but did you know that it can also be dangerous? More accidents happen at home than anywhere else , according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and clutter plays a role in many of these mishaps.

Here are some examples of ways in which clutter can be hazardous. But don’t worry: we’ve got some solutions to help you reduce the risk of home accidents.

1.       Your clutter may be a fire hazard

It’s not very pleasant to think about it, but a cluttered living space can put you at risk during a house fire. As well as being potentially flammable, clutter can slow you down as you try to exit; and it can block doors and windows from opening wide enough for escape.

Solution: Keep hallways clear of items not in day-to-day use. Make it a household rule that your external doors must all open fully.

2.       Your clutter is a trip hazard

If you’re stepping over it, you will trip over it at some point, guaranteed. Think how embarrassing it would be to have to ring in sick because you have injured yourself tripping over a shoe or slipping on a newspaper left in the middle of the floor. Trailing cables are another hazard to watch out for.

Solution: Look at your space and identify the regular walkways. Keep them clear; and make it your rule never to step over anything twice. Organise your living areas so that you don’t have to trail cables across high traffic areas. Tape down cables, or use cord covers or hooks to run them along the wall. You might even want to get more sockets installed.

3.       Your clutter can cause head injuries

It does make sense to stash possessions that you don’t use often in storage spaces that are harder to access like high shelves or the tops of wardrobes. But you should take great care when getting your items down. Manipulating a heavy, bulky item above your head is difficult, and that goes double if you’re up a ladder.

Solution: Avoid storing heavy items such as hard-shell suitcases in high places like the top of wardrobes. If you must use high-level storage spaces, get help when you bring items out, particularly if you need to go up a ladder. Possessions that you don’t use often might be better put into self-storage, rather than kept up high in your home.

4.       Your clutter could be a lifting hazard

If you’ve ever experienced a back problem, you are probably now very careful about how you lift. But even with the best lifting techniques , you will put yourself at risk if you strain to pick up a load larger than you can manage. Possessions stored in large, heavy containers are a hazard when you try to lift or move them.

Solution: Opt for smaller, manageable storage boxes or baskets instead of larger crates. If your self-storage unit has hand trucks or trolleys available for clients, make use of them.

As you can see, decluttering is not just about appearances: it is worth keeping a tidy home for safety reasons, too.