With rising prices and living costs, people are less likely to donate to charities. With services diminishing, and criteria changing for who is mentally ill or solely delusional or simply homeless, people with severe mental health challenges are falling through the crevices and cracks.
Many years back, when someone was hallucinating, whether auditory, olfactory, or visual, the goal was to get them on psychiatric medications and stabilized. Now the new model is to let them be the way they are. This philosophy or mode would be like saying if a child wants to wander out the front door and cross a road, they should have the free will to do that. With this new way of handling intense mental health, psychoses, and our most vulnerable elderly, many wandering souls are taking over our streets, uncared for and often left dying in a park, under a bridge, or on a sidewalk.
People with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, PTSD, OCD, and schizoaffective disorder absolutely should have free will yet be allowed to get stabilized. Sometimes though, when people are fully psychotic, they will not choose to get the help they deserve and for what we all pay taxes for to help them. What do we do then, let them roam around barefoot in the winter without a coat or shoes? Digging up some warm clothes and donating to shelters will be a good deed for 2022.
The homeless population is primarily people with mental health challenges, drug addiction (which is a mental health challenge,) and sometimes people with a low IQ who do not know how to care for themselves on their own. What is our responsibility as tax-paying citizens? It is to make sure our government agencies are responsible for our hard-earned money. The tax dollars earmarked for mental health services are significant when we make sure they find their way to the most vulnerable and at-risk people. Moreover, we want the money to go towards worthwhile programs that create long-term solutions and ends homelessness, abuse while increasing tolerance and acceptance for taking care of our most high risk human beings.
Many great leaders have suffered from mental health challenges, or a family member or friend they know has suffered. If a loved ones find their way to a nice neighborhood in a tent, with very little food and water, would the more fortunate amongst us think that is okay? When the low down, locked down, and thrown out folks, the millions of strangers remain unknown by us, is it okay?
No one wants these folks in their palatial neighborhoods; that is understandable. However, where should these wandering souls end up?
Will each taxpayer, individual or corporation make their dollars count towards the care of mental health in this country? Will the dollars get to the mental health services that provide care that will end the madness, the wayward lives lingering in front of all of us? What kind of housing solutions do we have long-term before all of our sidewalks and even a home's driveway become the resting place for the people that never rest?
Figuring out the best place to donate money is a grand New Years' resolution. It is also important to consider calling the congressperson in the area. Ask them to explain how the money winds up helping those that deserve to be cared for by all of us.
As more people work from home, apartments and households get more crowded. Living spaces often become more cramped, and you can become more depressed and, despondent. Decluttering the home is therefore now more important than ever. Fortunately, with creative space planning, storage space for all the dislodged items can be found in many places around the home and beyond it, even for residents of small apartments.
Clutter takes many forms, from kids toys and magazines to all the clothes you bought which didn’t quite fit in the wardrobe. Then there is the paperwork that you want to sensibly get organized. Most papers can be tossed or shredded, yet for important papers you want to find the correct spot for easy access. Marla Stone, CEO of I-Deal-Lifestyle and author of The Clutter Remedy: A Guide To Getting Organized For Those Who Love Their Stuff, will certainly get you uber organized. Stone will find places to store all the that are important so you will manage your life and live in harmony with the others in your household. This can be easier in some places crowded spaces that others, and access to storage space at home varies across the country. Although, solutions are available, and a nearby self storage unit can be rented to act as a helpful garage or storage space a meaningful and successful decluttering process is important to see what is actually important enough to store.
Living Space in US Homes Have Become More Cramped
The pandemic sent employees home to telework from their bedrooms, and many of them would like to keep working that way. And then, with college kids no longer able to live in their dorms and seniors sometimes preferring to receive care from relatives, multigenerational living is now increasingly seen. All those family members take up space, with many households increasing in size and living space becoming more cramped. The other issue is that everyone has moved out, and yet they have left behind their belongings in your precious space. In addition, homes haven’t necessarily become bigger over the years to accommodate larger households. Certainly builders are creating smaller cabinets with tiny shelves, instead of deeper shelves, smaller pantries, and not enough place to stash things away.
New apartments were built with less space between 2010 and 2019, losing 90 square feet — equal to the size of a small bedroom — and ending at an average of 1,156 square feet. Also, with increasing accommodation costs, many Americans are not able to move to larger homes, so they want to be more cognizant of how they will keep their living spaces free from clutter.
Utilize All Your House’s Storage Solutions
If you have a house with a basement or an attic, there is potential storage space. Be aware that conditions there may not be ideal in terms of temperature extremes and humidity, which can damage paperwork, clothes and wooden furniture. A garage or a garden shed are also tempting places to use as storage rooms, but they are even more exposed to the elements, so are only suitable for tools, tires and those windsurfing boards.
Regions are not equally equipped with storage options for house owners. Basements are often built beneath houses where the frost line necessitates deep foundations. Therefore, cold-winter cities like Milwaukee, Boston and Pittsburgh, and New York feature basements in around 90% of houses, while Texans and Floridians rarely see them. Garages are more fairly distributed, but this time metros in the West and Southwest fare better, with around 90% of houses having them.
Your Apartment Building May Have Storage Options
Apartment dwellers are obviously more squeezed for space. But their buildings increasingly provide storage options, perhaps lockable units in the basement or more informal partitioned spaces. Other buildings have outside lockers where tenants can keep bicycles and maybe other outdoor items. These options are more common in the West and Southwest, with over half of the multifamily buildings in the California, Phoenix, AZ, Dallas, TZ, and Portland, OR, metros having them.
Other storage options for apartment dwellers are parking garages on their block, friend’s houses or storage units, though this tends to be in the more high-end buildings. These are more common in the metropolitan areas of the spacious West, but even the metros centered on Dallas, TX, Kansas, MO, Milwaukee, WI, and Denver, CO, only offer the facility in 16%-18% of their multifamily buildings. As well as keeping your car there, some landlords allow items such as bicycles to be stored.
Get Clever Finding Extra Storage Space
When your home doesn’t provide storage space outside the living area and your cupboards and shelves are fully utilized you want simple and economical solutions. Corner storage cabinets, spaces above doors, shelving, ceilings and corridor wall units are places in the home that can be used for additional storage. Ottomans are types of furniture that increase your storage options. And restyling your home to add new levels and even storage rooms are good ideas.
Renting storage may also be a good solution for you. For example, the average street rate for a standard 10’x10’ storage unit is $128/month, and that will hold all the contents of a small apartment. Also, when revamping your home for added storage, you will be able to keep your prized furniture and other items out of the way. Self storage is much cheaper than residential space, and with the rapid expansion of the industry, you will find a facility near your home.
Decluttering is certainly a feature of many Americans’ lives right now, especially when they are coping with increasingly cramped living space. Fortunately, there are some effective storage solutions to cope with space challenges. Residents of multifamily buildings can maximize their options. Happy decluttering!
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Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of