"Digital hoarding is a huge problem. There is so much available storage, we don't have to make decisions anymore." This is a quote from a great article I read about digital files and storing them. Check it out:
Not only is cluttering/collecting/hoarding a health & safety hazard, it can also be detrimental to ones life. Just recently in the news there was a report about two, elderly men who lost their lives because the firefighters couldn't maneuver inside the house allegedly due to clutter and debris blocking doorways and halls.
Not only was it hard to get into the house, but the clutter possibly fueled the fire as well. It is just a sad reminder that our living spaces really are our "living spaces" and should not be a contributor to our death, but contribute to a healthy life.
If you know someone who struggles with collecting, cluttering or hoarding and it has become a health & safety hazard, there is assistance. Several organizations can assist, mentor and provide the help that is needed to address this disorder. One that I am familiar with and also recommend is the Human Services Agency of San Francisco. Please check out their website http://www.sfhsa.org/397.htm.
A few months ago I attended a NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) meeting where the gave a presentation on their services. It was not only educational, but emotionally moving listening to all the success stories from mentors who are recovering clutterers.
You have heard the saying "it takes a village to raise a child"? Well it takes a well equipped organization and time to assist with the disorder known as hoarding, but it can be done.
I know I have said this before, but organizing shouldn't cost a lot of money. Look around your house, do you have old shoe boxes, bank boxes (the ones your checks come in) or maybe you have a bookcase that just needs a new coat of paint? What I am getting at is these items can be used to organize areas in your house.
Idea#1: Old shoe boxes can be covered with shelf/liner paper and can be used as
Idea#2: Bank/check boxes can be separated, placed side by side and used as drawer dividers in a desk, junk drawer or jewelry drawer.
Idea#3: Putting a new coat of paint on an old bookcase can spruce up any closet or bedroom and can be used for stacking sweaters, gym clothes, tennis shoes or whatever item you would like to put on the shelves.
If you aren't crafty and don't want to put liner paper on the shoe boxes, just make sure you label the outside in a way that is recognizable to you. If you don't have the patience for paint buckets and brushes, there are some great colors that come in spray cans, just make sure you prime the bookcase first.
Check out Second Hand stores in your area for baskets and or storage boxes. This is a great way to keep your costs down and to stay within your budget. I found some great baskets for 50¢ ea. that looked like any new basket you would buy at Michael's. I used this idea with a client who wanted to keep all of her medications on top of her bathroom counter. She hated how unsightly all the medication bottles looked on her counter, but wanted to keep them there so she didn't forget to take them. The basket worked perfectly! It doesn't matter how they look in the basket, they are all in one kempt place. It also makes for easy clean up for the counters. All you have to do is pick up the whole basket and wipe under it!
Live in a small apartment or studio with limited storage space? This idea also works for other items like toothpaste, mouthwash, hairspray & deodorant for small living spaces that don't have much storage. In my studio I have a basket under my sink that houses all my hair products, brushes and hair clips. When I need an item, all I have to do is pull out the basket and grab it. This cuts down on me knocking over items under the sink like bowling pins, which just drives me crazy.