January 10, 2020

New Decade, Less Clutter

As the New Year as well as a new decade begins, many people are looking at ways to de-clutter and organize their homes and lives as a way of moving forward and de-stressing hectic schedules. Furthermore, after a holiday visit to your parent or grandparent’s homes, families may be considering to downsize for their loved ones or prepare for a move to long-term care.

Clutter is all around us and it seems to get worse as we age or health diminishes.  Let’s look at some successful strategies for de-cluttering.

  • Tossing or donating items you no longer have need for or broken items will be an easy place to start.
  • Make a donation pile as well as a trash pile for easy sorting.
  • Sentimental clutter is the hardest to downsize – start by grouping items into piles or storage bins for items such as photos, old love letters or other paperwork that heightens emotions.
  • Don’t tackle everything in one day or weekend; however work toward a goal of organization within a short timeframe.
  • Remember to sort through those junk drawers that seem to creep over into drawers you need for other things. If you haven’t used or needed it within a year, it’s time to let go.

Whether you are downsizing or organizing your home, the New Year is a popular time to get started.

For those helping aging parents, an organized home, free of clutter, may help them care for themselves a little longer and be independent for as long as possible. Remember to take their needs and desires into consideration and get them help in the process if possible.  If not, other family or neighbors may be able to assist you with this process.

Happy New Year from the Center on Aging Northeast and Schmieding Home Caregiver Program.