Dusted and Disgusted – Facts About Dust and Clutter

Hey Collectors!

Dust. Almost every cluttered home that I work in has a lot of dust. You name it; I have seen dust caked on its surface. My team once vacuumed 10 pounds of dust from one home. Many of my clients have some sort of breathing problem or challenge and must use a breathing machine. I believe that many of these breathing problems are because of the dust in the home.

I speak regularly about dust and clutter during presentations for the Better Breathers Club California American Lung Association. With the hotter months coming up, I wanted to share some important facts about dust. (Read further to see what is significant this month). We also perform detailed vacuuming using a HEPA filter high-grade vacuum when working with clients because of the impact of dust.

Clutter attracts dust. When our dust rag hits a surface it goes POOF like a bag of flour exploding. Without a mask I feel dust seep into my mouth, tongue, teeth and yes, lungs. The best I can describe this is as chalk like. When clearing and cleaning a lot of dust, it is very important to open up windows before we begin. We encourage everyone on our team, and this includes the client who is part of our team, to wear a N95 dust mask or a respirator.


Here are three interesting facts about dust I was surprised to learn:

Dust consists of particles in the atmosphere that come from various sources such as soil, dust lifted by weather, volcanic eruptions, and pollution. Dust in homes, offices, and other human environments contains small amounts of plant pollen, human and animal hairs, textile fibers, paper fibers, minerals

from outdoor soil, human skin cells, burnt meteorite particles, and many other materials which may be found in the local environment.1

Dust pneumonia is a medical condition that develops due to the excessive exposure to dust. This form of respiratory disorder affected a great number of people during 1930s in America when the Dust Bowl took place. The Dust Bowl was a period of dust storms that affected American and Canadian prairies during a severe drought in the 1930s. The Dust Bowl caused ecological damage, agricultural depression and consequently economic and social disaster. Enormous amount of dust in the air caused dust pneumonia in large portion of the population and many died.2

Dust mites grow best at 75-80% relative humidity, and they cannot survive when the humidity is below 50%. Dust mite populations’ peak during the hot, humid months of July and August. Depending on its age, your mattress may house between one million and ten million dust mites. Dust mites flourish in warm, humid environments.

Now that you have learned some facts about dust, I invite you to consider purchasing a mask or two. Not multiple masks as you still probably need to declutter and don’t want to create more dust. Use when you are cleaning or sorting and kicking up dust. Please make sure it has a particulate filter. Here are two examples of ones Collector Care recommends:

Has clutter caused your breathing problem because of dust? Are you ready to clear your clutter and kick your dust to the curb? Collector Care can help you declutter, whether you have extreme clutter, are a hoarder or need some minor help clearing your clutter. We also can get you organized.

Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how we can help you declutter.

Photo credit:

Sources 1 2

What NOW? What to do with important STUFF while decluttering

Hey Collectors!

To ensure success, I have broken down where to begin into many different steps. This month, we begin the second half of my series Where Do I Begin? If you are new to my blog, please check out previous blogs or my podcast Hoardganize: This second half of the series focuses on What Now?

Once you have the basic tools and steps down to decluttering and have generated some bags, you need to know what to do with everything. If you feel you still need help making decisions and decluttering, listen or read on my blog Episodes 1 through 5. Listen or read as many times as you need to have down. I want you to have complete confidence as you begin this next step.

Tune in to the Hoardganize Podcast every Sunday night!

Rachel Seavey, Host of Hoardganize

When you declutter you will come across important things need that you need to handle immediately after your decluttering session. It may be a phone number or a bill that needs to be paid. Try and not do anything until you have finished your decluttering session. I know the urge to handle it right now is very strong, especially if you have ADHD. Remember, you have dedicated this time to declutter to change your life. You have blocked it out on your calendar. Keep your attention and focus on decluttering, especially if you are only clearing clutter in small chunks of time, such as 15 minutes. More likely than not, you can wait to make the phone call or complete the other tasks that have come up in your important bag.

If, and only if, it is an absolute emergency, make that call. You should have your phone next to you at all times as I mentioned in Episode 1 to keep from getting up. Make the call and then resume decluttering.

You might have also found money, change, and gift cards. You most likely will. I cannot tell you how many boxes and bins I have found filled with money. After each decluttering session, put away your money. Commit to doing this after each session. Respect your money and put it away nicely. It might not have an official place to live like a wallet or piggy bank. If you are coming across lots of money, find a separate sturdy container to keep it

all together. A paper bag might break. Also, money could be dirty and you don’t want it mixed in with other important stuff.

What if you find important documents like a passport? At the moment, you don’t have a designated spot because you have no room to put it anywhere. I suggest labeling the heck out of your important bin. You might have several important items and that is okay. It’s better to keep important stuff in multiple labeled containers than unleash stuff into the clutter again.

As you continue to declutter your home, make sure that you keep your important containers staged in the same place. Don’t leave these boxes and bins out and around because they could get lost in the chaos. Have an area you can remember and easily access. It might not be pretty; find a corner in the kitchen, a closet…whatever feels good to you. Put all your important bags and containers there and keep them in one area. That way if you are looking for something important, you have it narrowed down to one area where it could be.

It is OK to have multiple important containers in a stacked pile. Remember, this is only temporary. I know it is not perfect, but ultimately in the future you won’t have a corner full of containers. Right now, take it step-by-step and day-by-day. In the future, all of your important items will have a home.

How do you designate important items when you declutter? What is your biggest challenge when you find significant stuff when clearing your clutter? Share your comments below.

Next month our What Now? focuses on sorting your keep containers.

Collector Care can help you will all of your decluttering and organizing needs whether you need a tune up, a complete decluttering or are a Hoarder. Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email to schedule your free 30-minute consultation to discuss how we can help you clear clutter, get organized, tackle extreme clutter or hoarding.

Procrastination and Chores

Hey Collectors!

Have you been putting off things that need to get done? Are you procrastinating on your chores? What stops you from going from to do to completed? Are you distracted? Would you rather be doing something else?

For many of you, you may associate chores with negative feelings from childhood. Household chores = bad memories. You might be reminded of being forced to do chores as a child, or like many of my clients, you were never shown how to do many chores, so you don’t really know how. Maybe your parents avoided chores and you are imitating them subconsciously. Maybe your stomach tightens at the thought of doing chores because you associate chores with being painful.

Let’s create a new pattern. It’s time to shift the way you think. Chores = happiness. Think of all the wonderful things that completing your chores would allow you to do. You can finally have people over because your home will be clean. You won’t be late because you can find things easily. You will save money because you aren’t buying duplicates.

For most of us, messy = yucky. Messy also equals embarrassment, guilt, humiliation, shame, stress and more.

Let’s define chores:


The everyday work around a house or farm.

The word “everyday” is key, as being organized requires a conscious, steady effort. You have to maintain your routine for it to last.

Rachel Seavey, Professional Organizer and Coach

Rachel Seavey
Professional Organizer +Coach

Instead of moving towards happiness, we stay in the land of procrastination, watching TV, scrolling through Facebook, and doing anything but what needs to get done. Avoiding. Procrastinating. Staying in a rut. Stagnate. No forward motion.

Do you want to remain unhappy not doing chores? Or find happiness by maintaining your nest?

At what point does being unhappy suffocating in a mess become worse than actually picking up and getting rid of the clutter?

How would you answer these questions, Collectors? Remember, you deserve to be happy! Stop procrastinating and start

What is the hardest part of you for starting a chore? What would you do it you got rid of your clutter? Share in the comments below.

Do you need help getting started? Are you ready to have more happiness in your life? Do you want help establishing new systems and routines? Collector Care works with hoarders, extreme clutter and getting people organized.

Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how we can help you compassionately clear your clutter, establish routines and get organized.

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