New Programs for 2017

— Written By Sherrie Peeler and last updated by Kerri Rayburn
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Isn’t it a great day to be in Jackson County! I hope each of you had a Merry Christmas and are looking forward to an even happier New Year. As you begin putting away your Christmas decorations, it is a perfect time to begin your Spring cleaning. Each January during my Extension career I have presented a “Clutter Bug” program.

When we first began we used the University of Kentucky program on “Clutter Bugs.”  This program has no hand outs; so you begin right there at our program to eliminate clutter in your life. Managing paper is one thing I personally do not handle well. The UK program reminded us of the reasons and illnesses that can be associated with clutter. People hoard because they believe that an item will be useful or valuable in the future. Or they feel it has sentimental value, is unique and irreplaceable, or too big a bargain to throw away. They may also consider an item a reminder that will jog their memory, thinking that without it they won’t remember an important person or event. Or because they can’t decide where something belongs, it’s better just to keep it. Hoarding may be associated with an eating disorder, hoarding also causes anger, resentment, and depression among family members, and it can affect the social development of children. Unlivable conditions may lead to separation or divorce, eviction, and even loss of child custody. Hoarding may lead to serious financial problems, as well.

Then we learned to Mount Vernonize our homes. This method is the way George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon is managed. Enter one room and going to the right or left – clean and organized each item in the room. Clean that room completely before moving on to the next room. Once each room in your home is cleaned and organized you spend time each day maintaining one room at a time. This method allows your home to be “company” ready at all times.

Last year we studied the “Art of Tidying Up.”  This method taught us to clean our clothes closet first then proceed through the rest of our homes looking at each item and asking if it brings us joy. If it does not bring you joy, then it must go. You are then left with a home that brings you nothing but joy.

Our homes are the largest investment we will make and many times our homes are not given the attention of routine maintenance required to keep them in good order. If a leak or washer is in need of repair or replacing do so when it is first noticed. Then expensive repair bills may be avoided later on. Information on DIY (do it yourself) repairs or cleaning will be provided to you as requested at your Jackson County Extension Center by calling 828 586 4009.

With January quickly approaching it is time again for Radon Awareness. Radon is a colorless odorless gas that enters our homes through the rock formations below. Radon is present in many homes throughout Jackson County. When I tested my own home, the Radon level was below 4. Therefore, mitigation was not required. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer next to smoking. When checking the Radon level in your home do so in a room where you spend the most time. We have Radon test kits available at the Jackson County Extension Center located at 538 Scotts Creek Road Suite 205. We are open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday – Friday.

May you and your family have a clean, safe, happy, and healthy New Year,

Sherrie, Agent Family and Consumer Science