Reason: In Case of Emergency
Along with advice, benefits and tips, I want to give you good, flat-out reasons why you should let go of your clutter and have a more organized home. This first one could very well be the most important one of all.
Every time I talk with someone who is or is related or married to a firefighter, police officer or other emergency response personnel, this topic comes up the moment they know what I do for a living. Just recently, an EMT's wife asked me to write about it. I was reminded of the topic again when I saw this photo yesterday on Facebook:
If your home is a raging hot mess of clutter, emergency personnel can't enter the home to help you when you most need it. I've heard from many that, no matter how much it pains them, absolutely will NOT enter your home if their lives are in danger.
Not to be overly dramatic, but the long story short of it is that in you have an intense, true-clinical-hoarder amount of clutter, it can kill you. It can fall on you and suffocate you. You could fall and hurt yourself and nobody can get to you to help you. Or because it all goes up in a truly hot mess of flames and firefighters can't get to you.
And now to sound like a cheesy PSA - if you or someone you love's home is in a state of extreme clutter...so much so that emergency personnel cannot properly do their job, I implore you to start dealing with it immediately if not sooner. I know it's overwhelming but it can be done. Start at the front door and start throwing things out. Clear wide - W I D E - paths that people can easily maneuver while carrying equipment. Do at least a little something every. single. day. until it's done.
Seek out a professional organizer whose expertise and personality is a good fit for you. That level of clutter almost always comes with other psychological issues so seek out a good therapist as well. I have one that I refer to clients all the time. She and I have very similar views on clutter as a symptom and addressing the causes so it's a great, unified message for our clients.
But no matter what, do something.
Your life could depend on it.