Clutter is a huge hazard for aging adults. Depending on how bad the clutter is in her home, it can range from making storage of items she uses often difficult or it can literally be piled up around her home, threatening to trip her. If it’s time for your senior to work on that clutter, these tips can help.
Talk about the Goals of Decluttering for Your Senior
Decluttering is a lot easier if your elderly family member has some well-defined goals around the project. Sit down and talk with her about why decluttering is important to her and what she wants to accomplish. If the goal is to make sure she has safe passageways throughout her house, define that so that you both know when you’ve gotten to that goal.
Make a Commitment and Enlist Some Help
Once you and your senior are ready to tackle this project, make a commitment. Set up a schedule and if necessary, make sure that your senior has some help. That might mean bringing in a caregiver to assist with other tasks while she’s focusing on her decluttering project. Or it might mean that other family members pitch in.
Declutter First, and Then Reorganize
It’s tempting to reorganize and declutter all at the same time. After all, you’re already knee deep, right? But that gets confusing. When you declutter first, that can help your senior to get to the point where it’s easier for her to see where like items would be easier to access and store. If you’re doing that all at once, you might miss a prime opportunity for switching things up to work better for your senior.
Start with Less Sentimental Items
Another big tip is to keep the more sentimental items for last in the decluttering journey. By the time your senior gets to them, she’ll be able to be a lot more objective about what she can reasonably keep and whether some of those items need to go to new homes. If these are items that she wants to pass down to people she loves, now might be the time to do that so that she can tell the stories that go along with the items.
Decluttering can be really hard for a lot of people. Some of the items that your elderly family member has been holding onto for a long time may no longer be serving her well, but that doesn’t make them easy to let go of now.