Organization 101 – Tips for decluttering, downsizing and “letting go” of unneeded items
There has been a lot of buzz lately around the Marie Kondo method of tidying up and letting go of things that do not spark joy in one’s life. Despite the hype, the message is solid — particularly when it comes to seniors that are downsizing from their family home, relocating to a senior living community or that simply need to do a little organization and decluttering to create a fresh look and feeling in their current living space. Fellowship Square offers the following “organization 101 tips” to help seniors get started.
Whether caregivers and family are assisting or the senior is tackling the project on his own, it’s a good idea to focus on one area or space at a time. For example, is the goal to declutter and start ridding the home of unneeded items such as furniture that can be passed along to other family members? Or perhaps the senior needs to organize paperwork and put their important documents in order. Both are important aspects of the process so they need to be identified and dealt with one at a time.
When decluttering, it’s nice to have neat areas that are void of too much stuff, but it’s also a good idea to consider safety — particularly for seniors that utilize a cane or walker. For example, moving furniture around or taking it completely out of the room or home to clear wide open pathways can make a big difference not only in the appearance of a clutter-free area, but also to the safety of the senior so she can get around easily with any added equipment or assistance she may have (such as a wheelchair).
When going through special items, it’s understandable that many seniors may have emotional or sentimental attachments to specific things. Those are “the keepers” and whether they are kept on display or put into storage, respecting the senior’s wishes when it comes to what is preserved is crucial.
Depending on the state of the home and how much needs to go, consider decluttering a project that needs to be done in stages. Categorizing each stage (such as the aforementioned documents and furniture, along with memorabilia and what may come down to throw-aways) is an easy way to tackle one thing at a time. It’s also key to consider the amount of time dedicated to the decluttering process each day or week. The senior’s health or state of mind may not allow for long sessions of dredging through items so trim decluttering sessions down as needed.
Fellowship Square understands that downsizing, moving and simply decluttering can be an emotional process for seniors. For caregivers and family that are helping them through this process, it’s important to be supportive of their choices, gentle when encouraging them to get rid of items and, above all, to be patient with them during each step of the process.