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7 Ways to Triumph Over Clutter

Decluttering and organizing one's home can be overwhelming, especially when you are overtaken by too many things collected over the years. Stuff piles up! When that happens, and you can’t take it any longer, it’s time to act. Here are a few ways to triumph over clutter.

Set clear goals: Before you begin, have a clear goal. Why should you get rid of “stuff”? Are you looking to improve appearances or make room for more “stuff”? Having an objective in mind is going to help with this.

Plan and prioritize: Keep this manageable. Don’t try to do the entire house in one session. Break it down into manageable tasks. One room at a time. Prioritize based on which areas are most in need or which will provide the most satisfaction once organized.

The famous four-pile method: You have heard it before. Put things in designated piles. But this is the modern era, so use boxes instead. Have four boxes labeled: Keep, Donate, Trash, and Recycle. You know how you value items so putting them in appropriate boxes should be easy. This will help you stay focused.

Organize systematically: Once you’ve decluttered, keep the momentum going. Use containers to keep it all in the proper place. Use labels. Zone your spaces, maximizing the use of closets, cupboards, and drawers. Everyone should know where stuff is when they need it.

Documents: Documents and papers are “stuff” as well. Most opt for digitizing these unless there is a legal reason to have a paper copy. Don’t throw away papers unless you are sure you won’t need them. Photographs, scanned copies into your computer, and all kept in the cloud… use digital technology to help save space and keep documents organized.

One on…one out: This is a philosophy many have found beneficial. If you add a new item to a pile, remove an item. Think about items you have kept for a while and if you really need them. Have you actually seen them recently? Odds are, you don’t need them.

A family affair: Keeping a house organized is a group effort. Inform and educate your family members on the systems you've put in place and why it's important to maintain them, to work together as a team.

And remember, decluttering is just part of home maintenance. Cleaning is essential. And when you need professional cleaning of your floors, furniture, or any other task, do the right thing. Call your professional cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!

How Adjusters Work

When a storm wreaks havoc on your property, assessing the damage and beginning the recovery process can be overwhelming. You may not know where to start. And you certainly wonder who will pay for it all, either your insurance company or you. You have insurance for your home, so you hope everything is covered.

Much of that comes down to the adjuster and the details of your insurance policy. All things being equal, though, what plays out is often based on people. And the decisions they make.

Understanding what an insurance adjuster is and how one operates will help you in the event of the unimaginable happening to your home, whether fire, flood, or other damage. You want a smooth transition from damage assessment all the way to repair and getting back to normal.

What are ‘adjusters’?: Property insurance adjusters, or claims adjusters, evaluate property damage to determine how much an insurance company should compensate the policyholder and even scarier … IF they should. They inspect the damaged property, review policy details, and determine the validity and worth of a claim. In the past, adjusters visited all sites. Now, they may do it remotely. But odds are a visit to your home for the inspection and evaluation is what you can expect.

The process: Once a claim is filed, the insurance adjuster will contact the policyholder to discuss the details of the damage. The adjuster visits the damaged property to assess the extent and cause of the damage. They will take photos, measurements, and notes. The adjuster should review the insurance policy to see what is covered, any exclusions, and the policy limits.

Based on the policy details and the assessment, the adjuster will either approve or deny the claim. If approved, they will provide an estimate of the repair costs. Once an agreement is reached, the insurance company will pay the claim directly to the policyholder or the repair contractors. If you are paid, you are responsible for paying the contractors. Each state has unique laws regulating payment.

In the process, be sure to document everything. Take as many pictures as you fee you need, then take more. Use video. Protect yourself. The more information you have documented, especially photos and videos, will help your case if you have any issues with coverage.

You have an ace in the hole, as well. That would be your favorite disaster restoration firm. Call them if you ever have damage to your home. They will walk you through the process and be there for you, and do the cleanup and repair work, and most likely bill your insurance company. After all, it pays to call a pro!

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