Declutter: Five Home Clutter Culprits and How to Fix Them

Living with clutter starts to become the norm the longer you have lived in your home, but have you yearned for the cleanliness and open feel of a decluttered living space? There may be several factors causing your clutter. Today we will discuss the top five home clutter culprits and how to fix them so you can truly enjoy your home.


Culprit: Kitchen Countertops

Over the years of using your kitchen, you start to end up with a lot of things that just pile up on the countertop, like daily use items that are too inconvenient to constantly put away. But never fear, there are several things you can do to fix your kitchen clutter issues. One of the best ways is to invest in some kitchen organization items to maximize the amount of space you can use in your cabinets and drawers. For convenience items you would prefer easily accessible, store them in stylish boxes or baskets to keep them out in the open while looking tidy.


Culprit: Bookcases and Shelves

Bookcases and shelves are great organizational furniture, but over time you can lose control of them. One of the best ways to fix clutter on bookcases and shelves is just to get rid of things you haven’t used in a long time, then sort books and items by size, colour, and type. Place alike items in piles with good spacing between them to give a sense of openness. A nice trick for bookshelves is only use half a shelf for books, and the other half for decorative items. Anything you don’t need on display, place in stylish boxes and store on the top or bottom shelf.


Culprit: Entryways

Entryways in homes can quickly get slogged with daily items such as keys, mail, clothes, boots, backpacks… the list goes on and on. A great way to start fixing this is to get a nice shelf where thing can be placed, and maybe a decorative bowl for your keys. Next, you’ll want to make sure you have hooks easily accessible for coats, a boot rack for any shoes and boots that come off right in the door, and a basket or two for other items like umbrellas. With modern living, having a charging station for mobile devices right at the entryway can be a convenient addition.


Culprit: The Closest

As you buy clothing over time, your closest can start to become a cluttered mess. A great way to solve this is to keep track of items you have worn over the last year or two. If you haven’t worn an item in a while, it may be time to consider donating it. Hanging rods aren’t often the most efficient use of space, so consider boxes, baskets, shelves and drawers. For seasonal items consider storing them in boxes or bags in the higher shelving areas when not in use.


Culprit: The Garage

Garages inevitably end up being the last resting place for a lot of boxes in your home. When decluttering a garage, you need to be realistic and get rid of anything you aren’t likely to use anymore, have a garage sale or donate the items. Once you are down to the essentials, start working on garage organization ideas, like shelves, pegboard systems and labeled storage bins. Hooks on the walls also work great to store things like bikes.

Once you’ve decluttered these five major problem areas, you are well on your way to an open and clean home you can feel more comfortable in.

Making a Water Damage Claim

Surprise: you have water damage! What do you do? Although water damage can affect your home at any time of year, spring is generally when most claims happen. Once things start to thaw, and you add in a little rain you can have water seeping into your basement on through your roof in no time. Here’s what you do when water damage hits home:

1. Stop the damage as quickly as possible! Try in any way you can to put an end (at least a temporary one) to the situation. If your hot water tank has burst, cut the water. If your foundation is leaking or your sump is overflowing, try to sop up or block the mess to prevent further damage. If a plumber is required, call immediately.

2. Call your insurance broker –they can then direct your claim to the appropriate person at the company you are insured with. If it is after hours, call your company’s 24 hour claim line. They will help you assess whether your deductible is higher or lower than the amount of damage.

3. Start the drying process immediately. Black mold can appear within hours of water damage. If you are going forward with your claim your insurance company will send a preapproved restoration company over to dry everything out.

4. Make a list of your damaged items for the insurance claim. Try to include serial numbers and/or warranties if possible.

5. The next step is to clean up and restore using the restoration company. These companies will generally pack your belongings, remove any damaged items and then restore your property.

The most important thing to remember when making a claim is to do it quickly so your broker or agent can assess the situation.

Here are some tips to avoid a flooded basement this spring:

  • Test your sump pump to make sure it is still working.
  • Grade your yard to slope away from your home.
  • Clean out your eaves troughs.
  • Keep your valuables and boxes at least 6 inches off the basement floor.
  • Inspect your roof and repair any damaged shingles.
  • Install mainline backwater valve on the sewer line to avoid sewage backup.

For more information on home insurance in Edmonton or to get a quote, click here.